David Gregory - Purdue Krannert
Book exclusive: "When I left NBC, what stung more than outright negativity was the indifference shown by so many". David Gregory was named moderator of NBC News' Meet the Press on Gregory lives in Washington, DC with his wife Beth Wilkinson. Former NBC "Meet the Press" moderator David Gregory attends NBC but said it was not until being confronted by his Protestant wife, Beth.
- Q&A: David Gregory on Losing His Dream Job, Brian Williams, and His New Book About Faith
- David Gregory: NBC 'was just the wrong atmosphere'
- David Gregory breaks silence on NBC departure
Would you do it differently? The other segment that got a lot of attention was your interview with Glenn Greenwald. What do you think about that now? I would do it again.
And so is he. He has no problem taking people on and asking people questions and probing and pushing. Was there a sense of relief after you left? I get that from the book. I miss covering the stories and doing good work. Watching what happened to Brian Williams, what did you think? I have a lot of respect for Brian.
I never did anything wrong, and I faced a lot of scrutiny. No one questioned my journalistic capability or my integrity.
But you know, the other side is: My wife was in the military. My father-in-law was a nuclear-submarine captain. My father was in the military. How does it make you feel now that his suspension is winding down? But is the lesson here that TV news is about ratings? What would that have done to the franchise? You would have done it?
But yeah, I understand why they wanted to have Jon Stewart. If you could book one interview now, who would it be? I was surprised that the title of your book comes from something President Bush told you. I thought about it more deeply as time wore on.
David Gregory (journalist)
The question was increasingly important for my life. I think I respected his personal growth and how he spoke about faith and how he spoke to me about faith. But the critique is he put faith above reason.
I just have never put much stock in the idea that he had a messianic view of Christianity that led him to make certain decisions or that appealing to a higher Father rather than his own father was somehow code for God tells me what to do. It came up a couple of times. As a more religious person, I know that this identity is who I am.
The Sunday shows were struggling to retain their place as appointment viewing. Booking guests whom viewers really wanted to see had become more difficult. It was frustrating, because I knew that people within NBC were leaking stories—saying I was about to be pushed out, in order to weaken my position, even as my bosses were telling me that was not the case.
But I needed the network to stand behind me. I knew Washington and politics. Now that there was blood in the water, it would only get worse. I told my bosses that the attention was becoming too much about me.
It was bad for the show and for what we were trying to do. Clearly, that was the signal that it was time to go. Could I have done something else at the network?
David Gregory (journalist) - Wikipedia
It never came up as an option. The last gasp came suddenly, and the timing was bad: Beth and I were setting off on a day of travel to pick up our kids from camp in New Hampshire.
Because of this ill-conceived concern, NBC decided not to let me have a final show. They wanted this to be my last day. I was furious when I heard that. I felt like they were snuffing me out. I had one of my first friends in TV news on my mind. He had a memorable shock of white hair, and he had come from big-market television, so he knew the ropes. He told me that jobs in the news business are fleeting.
Everything you have in your relationship with the public is based on this forum. And they can take it away at any time. My cell signal kept going in and out after we turned off the interstate and onto a country road, and at some point along RouteI saw on my Twitter feed that NBC had leaked that I was out at Meet the Press. This goodbye was never going to be easy. I worked every summer during college, and I got my first job, in Albuquerque, before I graduated.
After that, it was a new set of goals. And Meet the Press was a destination that had exceeded my expectations. After a career spent entirely in TV news, I had come to rely on being on the air. It was my way to measure how good a week I had.
Q&A: David Gregory on Losing His Dream Job, Brian Williams, and His New Book About Faith
When I was a reporter, being on the air a lot was shorthand for being in the middle of covering a big story. The equivalent at Meet the Press was how well spent my hourlong show was each week, and how much pickup the interviews got. Now, in the middle of my life, I would have to completely recalibrate my ideas about productivity and worth.
Sitting in the car that day, watching the tweets stack up about my rumored departure, I was far from at peace with all of it. I had spent so much time planning out my career. It was one of these moments people talk about: I had feared this moment would come. As the ratings slid and the press got worse, I had played out the scenario in my head. Now it was real. It is our job in the world to strive to be our best self all the time.
But the time when it matters most is when things are hard. That is the true test of our character. If I do not change as a result of this experience, then it was not worth it. But it happened as it happened, and I am determined to be the better for it. Moore answered me with his own questions.