Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Edgy Wedgie

[Producer Deborah Turness's] new vision for “Meet the Press” includes adding a regular panel of journalists who will question guests, something of a return to the venerable show’s original format. “The show needs more edge,” she said. “It needs to be consequential. I think the show had become a talking shop that raked over the cold embers of what had gone on the previous week. The one-on-one conversation belongs to a decade ago. We need more of a coffeehouse conversation." (New York Times)
My proposal for a truly edgier Meet the Press:

The show becomes a kind of reality series in which a group of, say, 10 contestants from the worlds of politics, industry, the military, and the press, etc., try to persuade Heidi and a panel of judges (Cokie Roberts, Ralph Nader, and Howard Stern) that they have what it takes to brand themselves as survivable in the hothouse atmosphere of Washington—a balance between avant-garde and commercial, friendly and freezing, smart and fart.

HEIDI: You know how it is in politics. One day you're in, and one you're out. Right, Cokie?

Each week they perform a different task—trying to have a conversation with John McCain, drafting a budget balancing agreement, eating their way down the midway of the Iowa state fair, and so on, changing with the political seasons. Tim counsels them through, and they ignore him at their peril.

TIM: I'm not sure you should be writing a book about Martin Luther King, Governor Huckabee. Shouldn't you open yourself up to a bigger color palette?

MIKE: I know what I'm doing, Tim. You'll see.

TIM: Well, make it work!

And then on Sunday morning—well, you see what I mean.

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