WaPo’s Shales Calls Meacham ‘Pompous and Dreary’


By Betsy Rothstein 


WaPo’s Tom Shales was online earlier today chatting harshly on a range of topics. They included Betty White’s SNL appearance (he loves her), PBS host and Newsweek Editor Jon Meacham (he can’t stand him) and seeing Rue McLanahan naked (we’re not sure where he is on this one, but he thinks she’s the weakest of the Golden Girls).

On Meacham:
Need to Know: Do you think part of the problem with the show (also called “Need to Know”) is that Jon Meacham is kind of a pompous guy?
Shales: Pompous? yes. And dreary.

Shales said Meacham looked like he’d been “left out in the rain” while his co-host and NPR veteran Alison Stewart “looked as though she would have been more comfortable in Clinton’s lap.” (This would be former President Bill Clinton, the show’s debut interview.) More Shales’ thoughts on Meacham’s PBS show here in a May 11 post.

On seeing Rue McLanahan in the nude:
Shales: Ah, great details! I have seen Rue naked. No, not at my house. She posed a la Marilyn Monroe for a nudie pin-up before she decided to work in television. Naughty-naughty! I don’t think the nude photo ever really hurt her career. I thought she was the weakest Golden Girl – I mean, the character was so over-drawn, all that sex talk (why I found it embarrassing!!! – hey, I sound like I’m older than Betty White)…

Read the entire conversation here.