For the most part, I have stopped watching Meet the Press altogether. To begin with, David Gregory is pure mediocracy in motion, the embodiment of an establishment press that is too self-interested to ever ask truly relevant questions. Rather Gregory feigns “journalism” with the initial gotcha question, but then never follows it up with anything challenging. The end result is not journalism but a friendly medium for politicians to safely repeat their party lines. Gregory becomes nothing more than a megaphone for the political class, perpetuating the farce that has become our political culture. If Cronkite was the “most trusted man on television” — who Meet the Press is now hypocritically celebrating — then how should we describe the likes of Gregory and company?
For example, on today’s show Gregory let Senator McConnell get away, completely unchallenged, with a few of the most idiotic statements I have heard in a long time. On health care, McConnell was able to argue that Americans had the best health care in the world, regardless of statistics and expert opinion, because Americans think they have the best health care in the world.
MR. GREGORY: And this is what he wrote along with another expert last fall, saying: “It’s a myth that America has the best health care in the world. The United States is number one only in one sense, the amount we shell out for health care. We have the most expensive system in the world per capita, but we lag many developed countries on virtually every health statistic you can name”; life expectancy, infant mortality, obesity, death rate from prostate cancer, heart attack recovery. That’s the best system in the world?
SEN. McCONNELL: That’s one expert. If you look at the surveys and ask the American people what they think, they don’t think quality is a problem. They think cost is a problem and access is a problem.
Of course, Senator, we have the best health care system in the world. Just ask the millions of Americans who have never left the country and have been brainwashed for the past 50 years to believe that we are, without a doubt, the Leaders of the Free World. To even suggest that someone else somewhere else could do something better than us would be blasphemous. And please, never contradict the polls.
He even took the chance to take a stab at the Canadian system:
. . . I had a friend of mine in Florida who called up recently and said he’d just lost a friend of his in Canada because the government decided he was too old for a certain kind of procedure, and apparently he didn’t have the money or the ability to get down to the United States for quality health care. I don’t think that’s the direction the American people want us to go, David.
If that story was in fact true, how would it be any different from what happens every day in the U.S. under our private system? The private insurance companies, as part of their whole business model, regularly deny their customers coverage on a strictly cost/benefit rationale, making even insured Americans unable to afford the American quality heath care. And as you guessed it, Gregory let it slide.
When asked about the American solider recently captured by the Taliban, McConnell had this to say,
It’s regretful that this soldier has been captured, but it illustrates, again, the nature of the enemy, that they would try to coerce an American soldier into saying bad things about his country or to, or to suggest that we ought to stop the effort in Afghanistan.
How would the senator describe the purpose behind our enhanced interrogation techniques? It must be different when the Leaders of the Free World coerce you into saying things against your interests. At least in terms of quality.