Tom Brokaw is no longer revered, if he ever had been. This has nothing to do with the bland job he did at last night’s pointless point-counterpoint session (debate). It did not start with him referring, twice on NBC’s Meet the Press last Sunday [transcript], to domestic terrorist Bill Ayers as “a school reformer in Illinois,” though seems to be an insidious symptom of his shrinking veneer of integrity. No… this is about Meet the Press.
When Tim Russert died last June at age 58, Brokaw took over and the MTP ratings began to plummet. I monitor the show, among the others, every Sunday, and as this election season progresses, I’ve seen Brokaw transform from confused and overwhelmed to poorly-prepared and hostile.
The New York Post piece (linked above) is not prepared to blame the ratings drop on Brokaw, instead declaring that “only explanation for the sudden drop” has to be “[t]he loss of the very popular Russert.” None of the other hosts have changed, though, and Russert was not canned in favor of Keefums or Matthews, so it is obvious that the quality Meet the Press has fallen dramatically under the partisan, doddering Brokaw.
As for Brokaw’s assertion that an unrepentant terrorist is only “a school reformer in Illinois,” that stems from the work the terrorist Ayers did with Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama on the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, which ended in 2001. That was also the year when Ayers wrote that “[e]verything was absolutely ideal on the day I bombed the Pentagon” and later told the New York Times, when asked if he’d do it again: “I don’t want to discount the possibility.” (The Times published that one the same day when Ayers got lucky. Al Qaeda dive-bombed the Pentagon for him.)
And if there were another Vietnam, he is asked, would he participate again in the Weathermen bombings?
Ayers answered with a bit of doggerel from Nobel Prize winning poet Seamus Heaney which seemed to indicate, albeit obtusely, that he would.
Just a school reformer in Illinois? Perhaps the Ayers has lost some of his terroristic talents, as Tom Brokaw has clearly lost his way journalistically. Barack Obama? He does not know which way is up, down, or right.