This Sunday morning, I made myself watch Meet the Press, because the entire show was to be an interview with Gen. David Petraeus in Afghanistan. David Gregory – whom I usually find offensive – did a superb job. He started out, as all celebrity journalists do, with the old tired Tim Russert tactic of starting every follow-on question with “but! but!”. But Petraeus, with his quiet and patient intelligence, wore him down and finally Gregory got past himself and a fine fine interview ensued. Watch it here. And it wasn’t until the interview wrapped up that I realized there had been no commercial interruptions.
There are many of us who worship at the altar of Sunday morning television, a questionable activity to be sure. Like myself, I know quite a few people – mostly blog friends – who’d been looking forward to the arrival of Christiane Amanpour on ABC at the anchor desk. Her first show was a disappointment – it was the same show it had always been. And I sincerely hope she eventually puts her own stamp on it. So it’s ironic to find myself entranced at Meet the Press. Now – if Gregory and NBC can hold onto this tone, a serious one, we will all be better informed. Which, after all, is the point.
Petraeus used the phrase “The Long War” which has been creeping in lately. I expect we’ll be hearing more of that phrase, as we head into our tenth year in Afghanistan, where today is the 310th day of the ninth year of our presence in that sorry and beautiful land.