Another White Guy for “Meet the Press”?

800px-Defense.gov_photo_essay_091205-D-7203C-023Oh, mainstream media. You have done it once again.  It seems that you just can’t help yourself when it comes to promoting white guy after white guy, especially for your signature shows.

Rumors have been swirling that David Gregory is on his way out as host of “Meet the Press.” In many ways that’s a good thing, as the show, while an important one in terms of hearing directly from influencers, politicians, and newsmakers of the day, is in dire need of change — let’s get some fresh blood, fresh perspectives, and a new approach.

So the choice to accomplish that is ….. Chuck Todd? Sure he knows his White House stuff, but if, as NBC News President Deborah Turness claims, there is a desire to “restore passion” to the show, the viewing public is going to need some serious convincing that Todd is the man for the job. Giving us another inside the D.C. Beltway white guy isn’t a recipe for fresh. I’d like to think that Turness, a Brit with experience in the kind of real news coverage the European cable news channels actually provide, would know better and would be bolder in her choice of a successor for Gregory.

If, as she has been quoted as saying, that “news is the best drama on television,” promoting another Caucasian male to sit in the MTP anchor chair is the least dramatic thing Turness could do.

If NBC really wants to shake things up with some passion, what about these women “insiders”:

Rachel Maddow – She’s been a guest on MTP from time to time, and has definitely held her own on the male heavy Sunday wonkfest. And given the kind of show she does each night on MSNBC, it’s clear she has the journalism chops to handle the heavy hitters who like to use MTP as their own personal soapbox.

Gwen Ifill – Yes, she is busy over at PBS co-anchoring “NewsHour” with Judy Woodruff, but Ifill is also the the host of “Washington Week”, essentially PBS’ version of MTP and she definitely has the street “cred” Turness says she’s looking for.

Soledad O’Brien — She’s been kicked from the CNN morning anchor desk not once, but twice, but I think that’s because she’s just too smart and substantive for A.M. “news.” O’Brien is now at Al Jazeera America (which has hired many other cable news alums whose names and faces you would most certainly recognize).

Bonnie Erbe – Erbe is the host of PBS’ “To the Contrary”, a roundtable political show that features the voices and opinions of women (hm, that sounds familiar!). After years of anchoring this all women, all the time show, Erbe would undoubtedly get more female guests on MTP.

Who would you nominate to be the “not Chuck Todd” candidate to be the next host for “Meet the Press”?

Joanne Bamberger is an independent journalist who is also the author of the book Mothers of Intention: How Women and Social Media are Revolutionizing Politics in America. She is the founder and publisher of the The Broad Side. You can find her on Twitter at @jlcbamberger. She is the co-founder of the Hillary Talk tumblr, which you can follow on Twitter at @hillary_talk.

Image via Wikimedia Commons/Department of Defense/in the public domain

  • Julie Marsh

    I like Chuck Todd. I can only hope that he will hold guests more accountable and keep them on topic far better than David Gregory (whom I like too, but who was not an effective host).

    However, I agree that it will be disappointing to see yet another white guy in that seat. (Oh, how I loved Tim though.) Of the candidates you listed, I think Gwen Ifill would have been a most outstanding choice.

    • Julie, Tim Russert was a hard act to follow for anyone. One of my “news” problems with Chuck Todd is that he is not a good interviewer. He isn’t good at following up on the hard questions and I often wonder — is that because he isn’t listening to the answers to know they need a follow up (maybe that’s the lawyer in me after taking so many depositions) or is there a fear of being cut off from the big names or interviews if they go too hard on them? I hope he can bring that to MTP, but I’m not holding my breath.

  • This is a great discussion, Joanne. I know women at the networks are wondering the same thing.

Why I Wrote “Trumping And Drinking”
Get Over Yourselves. We’re All Rory Gilmore
Hillary Clinton, Shake It Off, Taylor Swift, Hillary Clinton Campaign song
Six Reasons “Shake It Off” Should Be Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Theme Song
Nancy Reagan dies, Just Say No, Ronald Reagan
A Not-So-Positive Ode to Nancy Reagan’s Frothy “Just Say No” Campaign
I Married for Health Insurance
Why I Wrote “Trumping And Drinking”
A Case of Nixonian Deja Vu
Post-Election Munchies: What is Your Grief Snack of Choice?
Why I Wrote “Trumping And Drinking”
A Case of Nixonian Deja Vu
Trump Reality Check, Now with Actual Facts!
Fascism Facts
I Married for Health Insurance
Get Over Yourselves. We’re All Rory Gilmore
Post-Election Munchies: What is Your Grief Snack of Choice?
Women’s Elections Rights in Saudi Arabia: A Token Drop in an Abysmal Bucket & the Plight of Women Under Sharia Law
Maybe It Wasn’t Rape: Emerging Matriarchy and the Altering of Women’s Past Sexual Narratives
Paris attacks, Paris terrorism
Is Paris Burning?
Chinese government and women's reproductive rights, adopting Chinese girls, international adoption
Dear Xi Jinping, I Am Writing to You as an American Mom of a 19-Year-Old Chinese Daughter
The Vital Voice of Hillary Clinton: Part 1
Maybe It Wasn’t Rape: Emerging Matriarchy and the Altering of Women’s Past Sexual Narratives
The Eyes Have It!
Ashley Madison, Jared Fogle, sex, rape, sexual affairs
Ashley Madison vs. Jared Fogle: Rape, Sex and Hacking in America
women's viagra, Viagra, Flibanserin, sexual arousal, women's desire, sex after menopause
That “Little Pink Pill” Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be

Get our new weekly email
Broadly Speaking

featuring our best words for the week + an exclusive longread