The Political Media Complex is Broken

Here’s Bob Gibbs, the former White House press secretary. He was on This Week on ABC. Before I play the bite, I want to share something with you, just an observation. You know when Tim Russert ran Meet the Press, that show was the number one Sunday morning show year after year after year, and it continued to build on its lead. CBS’ Face the Nation was a distant third place. It was a half hour show. It was run by Bob Schieffer. Before Bob Schieffer had it, Lesley Stahl did it. The ABC show with Brinkley, a relatively high number two when Brinkley ran it and for a little while after that, but it didn’t matter. When Russert was at Meet the Press, it was the top dog, and it wasn’t even close, for years. Well, sadly, Russert passed away. David Gregory is now running Meet the Press and they’re no longer that big number one.

The number one Sunday morning show is CBS, Face the Nation. As a ranking member of the broadcast community, I study the media business. There are things that happen in this business that just defy any logic, particularly if you go back just 20 years or further, and when I started in 1967. For example, CNN. Now, the president of CNN finally threw in the towel. Jim Walton is finally quitting. He says, the place needs new thinking. But look how long CNN has been comfortable sitting there with no viewers. That’s something that would not be tolerated just 20 years ago. But now it’s almost like there’s a badge of honor. As long as you stay true to the cause, it doesn’t matter. They found a way to monetize it using CNN International so they were able to show a profit on CNN. And, by the way, a bunch of little media buyers sitting in the basements of these advertising agencies are very astute, and they’ll send advertising to CNN whether it makes any sense or not, simply to be loyal. Liberals protecting liberals. And don’t doubt me on this; it happens.



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