Here’s how they’re trying to save Meet the Press: with theater criticism.
Excerpts from the transcript of the long-running news show’s Sept. 7 edition, the first to feature new host Chuck Todd. (The complete transcript is here.)
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA:
But part of this job is also the theater of it. Part of it is how are you–
You hate that you–
Well, it’s not something that always comes naturally to me. But it matters. And I’m mindful of that. So the important thing is in addition to that, is am I getting the policies right? Am I protecting the American people? Am I doing what’s necessary?
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON (OF THE WASHINGTON POST):
But he got the theater of politics. And this idea that somehow he doesn’t get it now, I think he gets it. I think he probably just doesn’t care at this point. And is fine with blaming the press.
JOE SCARBOROUGH (OF MSNBC):
Obviously, he made some very clumsy mistakes. And the White House has always said they don’t do theater. Well, they do theater they want to do. They don’t do theater they don’t want to do. So in this case, so I was glad. It was good to hear the president say, “I’m not really good at it. I probably should be a little bit better at optics.” That’s hard for him.
[On Hillary Clinton obviously running for President in 2016 without having officially announced it yet]
Well, I think the longer she teases people, the worse it is for her. If she’s going to run, she’s going to have to come out and say it sooner rather than later, because at some point, it becomes, I mean, it’s already sort of ridiculous theater to watch. And the public is going to start to see this.