Context is everything and veteran journalist Dan Rather is providing that value to us now, since we can’t depend upon mainstream media to do that job. Before we go farther, I want to go on record as saying unequivocally that Meet The Press has gone completely to Hell in a hand basket. It was a fine show for many years. It is the longest running show on television, having begun in November of 1947, an upgrade to television of the popular radio news show of the same name. Meet The Press was the progenitor of other shows of its ilk. David Weigel, writing for Slate, characterized the traditional Sunday show’s format, as developed by Meet the Press, as having the unique “ability to lock subjects in a well-lit room for most of an hour and boil away their talking points.” That was when it was a  credible show, when they all were credible shows. This is what it is now.

I daresay that between Kristin Welker’s softball interview with Trump her first day on the job and this fluff fest, that she’ll maintain access to him. That’s the price of a journalist’s soul these days, evidently, and Welker is playing right along. Dan Rather, a real television journalist, stuck a pin in Welker’s parody of a Sunday show devoted to political analysis.

The part of the story missing from many news reports is that Trump is slipping from his 2020 numbers. His support is strongest among his MAGA base, which pollsters put at no more than 33% of the electorate. Clearly, he will need more than MAGA to win the White House again.

President Biden won the South Carolina Democratic primary with 96.2% of the vote. Trump, who is essentially an incumbent up against a novice at running for national office, could not muster even 60% of his party’s vote. Exit polls from Saturday night should have GOP leaders nervous.

The makeup of South Carolina’s Republican voters does not mirror the country. They are heavily weighted with hard-right “conservatives,” older, white, male, evangelical election deniers. Trump won overwhelmingly among them. But Haley won among independents, moderates, and those who care about foreign policy. And that’s the crux of it.

Here’s what frosts me. This context is everything. It is the heart of the story. It is what reporters should be reporting. But instead Meet The Press turned into Newsmax with a lopsided, narrow reporting of only certain facts, and not the key ones. It should not be necessary to have to read commentary on a basic news story like this to get the basic facts, but that is now the case.

As has been stated here before, the drive for eyeballs and ratings is crippling the actual reporting of the truth by the mainstream media. This is the ecosystem that Trump has thrived in since 2015, because while he’s terrible for the country, his freak show style is great for ratings. Back to reality, Rather says

To win the presidency again, Trump will need to bring all Republicans into the tent. Gallop estimates that 41% of the electorate identifies as Republican. Then it gets really tough. He has to convince a large number of independents and Democrats to vote for him. But how?

  • Not by favoring a 16-week national abortion ban
  • Not by threatening to pull out of NATO
  • Not by defunding Ukraine and supporting Putin’s invasion
  • Not by promising “ultimate and absolute revenge” against his political opponents
  • Not by refusing to accept the results of elections he’s lost
  • Not by promising to be a dictator on day one of his second term

Not by saying things like: “These are the stakes of this election. Our country is being destroyed, and the only thing standing between you and its obliteration is me.”

Trump is winning primaries while underperforming. Dan Pfeiffer, a former adviser to President Obama and current host of “Pod Save America,” writes: “You cannot win the White House with the coalition that Trump is getting in these primaries. He must expand his coalition, persuade people who aren’t already on board and get beyond the Big Lie-believing MAGA base. Through three primary contests, Trump has gained no ground.”

He’s gained no ground, yet to hear Meet The Press talk about it, he’s like General Grant taking Richmond or General Sherman laying waste to everything from Atlanta to the sea. Trump is not sweeping all these contests in that fashion if you look at the actual numbers in context. In the Iowa caucus there was the lowest turnout in 24 years and Trump got a plurality of the voters that actually turned out on a bitterly cold night, but in no way did Iowa Republicans rise en masse to endorse him as you might have believed had you listened to the hype.

On the other side of the coin, along with not reporting Trump’s victories in context, everything that Joe Biden does is minimized. This is getting closer to Roger Ailes’ myth of fair and balanced, where the propaganda aspects are just snuck in with some subtlety.

What we’re seeing is the Fox News-ification of the rest of mainstream media. What a show. At least we are getting some context, some truth, from those who provide commentary, such as Dan Rather.

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    • Nope, she’s as bad and many times worse than Chuck was. I was hopeful she would be a good fit, but alas, she is just another so called journalist kissing a$$ to try and get contact with trump and other losers.

  1. Once again I can’t help but think of Edward R. Murrow’s famous Wires and Lights in a box speech. He foresaw, and laid out two possible roads those in his profession could walk and feared in time they would choose the one we have wound up on.

  2. Any questions that the oligarchs that own the mass media want fascism, tax cuts for the upper 1% and to stop giving any money to the poor? They gave us Trump in 2016…they are at it again. They don’t give a rat’s ass about the dead children at the border, in the slums of America, in Ukraine or in Gaza. Evil. Pure phucking evil. Its up to us to vote and stop them. The coup continues along with getting help from Russia.

  3. If by “CRUSHED, TROUNCED, and DOMINATED” welker meant “almost 40% of republican voters want someone else”, then I guess dingleberry crushed, trounced and dominated haley. I do not think those words are generally used when a very large portion of a political party are sick of one candidate and want another. Usually what is said is some variant of “in a primary mainly the party’s base participates. For haley to have garnered almost 40% of the primary voters indicates great dissatisfaction with trump”. Not sure why we’re not hearing this unless our msm are a group of incompetent, kiss-ass m-f*ckers only interested in presenting msm’s version of click-bait.

  4. Between the primary results, the polls, and the media, which one most a accurately reflects reality? Of course the actual results. What that also seems to mean is that voters are not paying that much attention to bullshit polls or bullshit media reporting, as the actual voting results show. Meet the Press may be the longest-running program on television, but in 2024 how much influence does it actually have on voters? Very little, I would say. The media take the polls very seriously, the media take each other very seriously, but nobody else does.


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