Who can you trust?: Part IV

Okay, I’ll concede waiting for “the writer” to correct a mistake that is more than 12 months old is like leaving the porch light on for Jimmy Hoffa.

So, the Kristen Welker era of “Meet the Press” is underway. It started with an in-depth interview with — the 45th President of the United States, Donald John Trump.

Ohhhh — kayyyy. I am just going to say this diplomatically. He wouldn’t have been my first choice if I were booking MTP guests. A Week 3 or 4 guest, perhaps, in the Welker era — but not Week 1.

Usually, when a major national news program (i.e. “one of the Sunday shows,” an evening newscast, etc.) changes anchors, it’s a good idea to book an interview with the incumbent POTUS instead of a predecessor — even if the predecessor (a) makes headlines for better or worse and/or (b) makes another run for The White House — and have that interview air during the anchor’s first broadcast. With that, let’s hope we see President Joe Biden as a guest really soon. The AP reported Thursday, September 14, an invite’s out to the incumbent; Welker echoed the same in the introduction to the pre-taped Trump interview.

After the Trump interview and the usual roundtable segment, we see Welker in a closing monologue — expressing gratitude to viewers; mentors; all the direct MTP competitors, which are now moderated or co-moderated by women; NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, who, as Welker noted, started blazing her trail in the male-dominated world of all-news radio in Philadelphia (Welker is a Philly native); and the late Martha Rountree, the original MTP moderator and co-creator of what has become the longest running television program of any genre.

Parts of Rountree’s Peabody Award acceptance speech from 1952 were the focus of the MTP Minute, the weekly flashback segment of the program.

So, to summarize the hour, while one could have wished for a better guest to start the Welker era, one could not have hoped for a better punctuation to that hour.

Now for another view. After all, it is only fair I bring up — “the writer.” Let’s see what he wrote about Welker’s maiden voyage…

[Checks his site and skims over these stories dated September 18, 2023: Female anchor in Philly goes bald, takes on certain media companies CEOs, an update on Nexstar and DirecTV, the dismissal of a Pittsburgh anchor, a consumer reporter’s social media claim she was robbed, “the writer’s” fall collection for ’23, an “all about me” story from Scranton (considering its positioning near the fall collection, oh the irony), an on-air blooper from New Orleans, readers’ reactions to Friday’s Danelo Cavalcante story (story itself is serious — so I’m surprised this is positioned this low), a fashion police story out of Nashville (to put it mildly), an oops award contender from Atlanta (again, to put it mildly), a mismatch in an online story out of Virginia (it was about student athletes at Hampton University being anything but students; a “National Night Out Against Crime” logo was somehow attached to the story, hence the mismatch), apparent goofing off in NYC, NewsNation hiring a meteorologist, and Miami’s mayor’s confrontation with a reporter from The Miami Herald.]

…annnnd — nothing at all about Week 1 of the Welker era? To be fair, in a Friday, September 15, article, he did acknowledge Welker’s first guest as MTP moderator would be Trump.

Also to be fair, “the writer’s” top story about Aziza Shuler (the aforementioned female anchor in Philly going bald) is actually a good read. “Shuler’s parents struggled with drug addiction,” he reported in the top story. This meant Shuler was not born in a hospital but in a woman’s jail. By the age of five, he reports, Shuler, “was forced into the foster care system, where she was abused physically and sexually.” Just before her teenage years, Shuler found out she had alopecia.

The article’s so good I will go ahead and link it here.

But back to Welker, Trump, and Rountree. Not even the slightest of critiques of Sunday’s program in today’s (9/18/23) update? I wish I were surprised. I’m not. If “the writer” watched Sunday’s MTP and saw the aforementioned MTP Minute, he must’ve realized, to borrow one of his favorite phrases, he still has toothpaste to place back in the tube.

Here’s the sad thing. Last month, in a YouTube video, he openly admitted he made a mistake. Just not that one. I’m linking the admission at the end of this paragraph instead of embedding it. Content warning: In the background, there’s an image of a nude woman and a snake. The image appears to be Richard Avedon’s classic photo of Nastassja Kinski; the female model’s private parts are strategically out of the camera’s view. Still, if you’re easily offended by that, don’t click on the following sentence. Otherwise, click here for the mea culpa.

So he goes on for ten minutes about how he goofed on a story on Scripps. Yet still — no admission about who the first female MTP moderator really is? As of this writing, this mistake is more than one year old.

You know what’s sad? When would there be a correction from that mistake from late August of 2022? I asked that question in the comments to the YouTube video — and, of course, my question got deleted. Gosh, was it something I said?

Let’s consider another video if “the writer” labels me a hater. Content warning: The nude woman/snake image is visible again; also, “the writer” uses adult language. So again, I hotlink here instead of embed.

Doug’s Place’s final take on this entire MTP matter (or so I hope; if you see a Part V, I was pushed into writing it): There’s a fine line between “hater” and “critic.” Read the definitions of both words in the dictionary for yourself. “The writer” would have to write more factual errors and fail to correct them before I hate him. Any further typos, subject-verb disagreements, etc., are things we just may have to live with. To be fair, however, spot-checks of recent posts indicate his writing is getting better.

So if he is improving his writing, should I stop calling him “the writer” and start calling him the writer or use another noun? For failing to correct a year-plus-old mistake, of course not. “The writer” is still “the writer.”

Wait, wait! Let’s go back to the Shuler story for a moment. Near the end of it, he writes, “As shallow as TV news has gotten, it is great to see someone with such dept.” Dept? I think he left off an “h” — and the “h” is still off as of Monday around 10 a.m. Central. Maybe his writing is not improving?

Regardless of your writings, if you’re going to be a one-person truth squad, make sure your facts are straight. “If NBC puts Guthrie on MTP, it gives the show a female host, which would be a first,” he wrote in late August of 2022. Guthrie being Savannah Guthrie. We know by now Guthrie’s still on “The Today Show” — and that’s never been part of the quibble. We also know by now who the first “female host” really was.

Doug’s Place has attempted to correct the record more than once — in public posts here, in two e-mails to the one-man truth squad, the aforementioned YouTube comment, and even this Instagram post pinned @dougmorrisgames.

Results: Not even the slightest “whoops!” from “the writer” as of this writing. Going forward, if there ever comes a day when “the writer” needs my reaction to a development in the media industry or a quote from me for any of his stories on his website, I promise you my response will boil down to two simple words.

“No comment.”

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