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Time for heads to roll at Meet The Press

Thursday, February 05, 2009 by Dave Winer.

First some disclaimers, disclosures, etc... Permalink to this paragraph

1. I stopped watching the Sunday morning news shows after the election. Now I listen to the podcasts, when I have a chance. I'm fed up with the gotcha crap. Gotcha, gotcha gotcha, that's all they know.  Permalink to this paragraph

2. I don't like "gotcha" interviewing. I want to hear what the people have to say. I'm very circumspect. I'll form my own opinion on what they say. I know they're all lying and spinning. No one ever gets anyone with a gotcha.  Permalink to this paragraph

3. Gotchas only interest the reporter and his or her competitors. It's their way of keeping score. No one else cares. And because they all do it all the time, it breeds politicians who are good at saying nothing because the prime gotcha is "I caught you saying something. Gotcha!" Permalink to this paragraph

4. Like every other element of the political system this needs reforming. If you believe in the primacy of the network filter (for me it's fading realllly fast) then nothing can get done until they evolve beyond gotcha. Permalink to this paragraph

5. Make a list of the reporters who can interview someone and just let them tell their story, help them along as needed, represent the audience, and stop playing the insiders' game. Bill Moyers. Some of the PBS people like Gwen Ifil. Terry Gross except when she's interviewing the terrorist who Obama palled around with. And the guy I like best: Aaron Brown.  Permalink to this paragraph

Which brings me to the point. Permalink to this paragraph

A picture named brown.jpgTom Brokaw was pretty good. He's old enough and senior enough not to really care what the other reporters think of him. Even so, he did play gotcha while he was filling in. But he was the best of the three. Now that he's gone, Stephanopoulos is the best, Gregory is a toad. He's a tiny mind. In way over his head. He says the stupidest gotcha stuff. Here's my favorite -- he pressed Rahm Emanuel to explain how hiring more teachers was going to create jobs. Yeah he actually said that. Several times. Give Rahm some points for not calling him a fucking idiot to his face. Permalink to this paragraph

Given a few years maybe Gregory will grow into the job. But we don't have a few years. Permalink to this paragraph

If you have to go for another interim host, get Moyers if he'll do it. But if you really want to make news on Sunday morning work, and raise the bar for everyone else, get Aaron Brown to do Meet The Press. Pay him $20 million.  Permalink to this paragraph

I beg you. Permalink to this paragraph


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A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

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