This is a pretty exciting time for ABC News's "This Week". In a few months, a new anchor is arriving, in the form of Christiane Amanpour. But in the intervening months, the show isn't resting: running with suggestions from Ana Marie Cox and Jay Rosen, respectively, "This Week" is making a huge effort to interact with viewers on Twitter, and has engaged Politifact as an official factchecking authority over the whole show.
Interim anchor Jake Tapper has been serving as an enthusiastic ringmaster of these changes, and he's solicited the assistance of The Note's Rick Klein, as well. It's a great message they're sending -- ABC's traditional gatekeepers are elbows-deep in the source code of a Sunday Morning political show, working at jail-breaking the form to give viewers as new an experience as they can muster.
Meanwhile, Howard Kurtz reports that over at "Meet The Press", David Gregory is really excited about the furniture:
The look is ultramodern: floor-to-ceiling bookcases, a pair of huge video screens with a White House backdrop, a small, circular glass table as well as a larger, rectangular one.
David Gregory is excited about the "striking" new set for "Meet the Press," which debuts May 2. "This is part of the evolution of the program," he says. "For the Gregory era of the program, there's a visual piece of that. It doesn't limit me to one position. It allows me to use technology in various ways. I can even stand."
Is America ready to experience new furniture and the "ultramodern" feel of occasional standing? Because this is the exciting way that "Meet The Press" is "evolving."
(Also: Bookcases? Who gives a shit about a couple of bookcases on the set of a news show? Are segments going to start with David Gregory saying, "Oh, hey! I didn't see you there! I was just cold chilling on the 'Meet' set, ironically leafing through the pages of Mikhail Bulgakov's 'The Master And Margarita'.")
Meanwhile, as to Jay Rosen's suggestion that "Meet The Press" engage in some furtive factchecking, David Gregory wants you to know that this is not his role! (Flashback.)
An "interesting idea," Gregory allows, but not one the NBC show will be emulating. "People can fact-check 'Meet the Press' every week on their own terms."
Right. Why would "people" want "facts" to be "checked" on a teevee show that beams out to millions of viewers? Anyway, isn't "factchecking" something that comedians do now, for America? Oh, wait, what's that, Steve Benen?
Gregory's comments suggest a more traditional approach: let viewers figure things out "on their own terms." Why separate fact from fiction for news consumers when they can do that on their own?
Perhaps because they aren't well equipped to do this on their own, and rely on professional news outlets to provide them with reliable information.
Well, too bad, because in a number of ways, things are about to get really comfortable for guests of "Meet The Press", both in terms of new furniture, and with David Gregory, who I guess will be serving as a "hassock that sometimes stands."