David Gregory Does Not Like Getting Beat

By kevin 

The Daily Beast’s Lloyd Grove interviews NBC “Meet the Press” moderator David Gregory about what he’s learned so far, his perfect attendance, and his feelings about the competition. An excerpt:

Meet the Press has been No. 1 on the Sunday show ratings, but there were Sundays where This Week With George Stephanopoulos beat you. What was your reaction to that?

I wasn’t happy about it. Look, there have been a couple of occasions where we lost the weekly race. We’ve taken the long view here, and we’re still on top after my first year. I think that it was not a given in a lot of peoples’ minds, but that’s what I was committed to, what [executive producer] Betsy Fischer was committed to, and we’ve done it. I think ABC and Stephanopoulos have obviously been tough competitors. George is first-rate. He’s been doing this a long time on Sunday morning, and he’s a formidable guy, as is Bob Schieffer [host of CBS’ Face the Nation], so those times when we got beaten on a Sunday, I hated it.

After the jump, Gregory explains how the famous MC Karl Rove dance was “actually a set-up.”

You famously danced with Karl Rove on the stage of the Radio-TV Correspondents Dinner–and it’s on YouTube for eternity. If you had to do it all over again, would you have done that?

Let me just say, as a caveat, that was actually a set-up. I was told that Fox was determined to put us in that situation and I made the determination at the time that it would’ve been silly to refuse that moment of fun. Not knowing where it was going, I thought it would’ve seemed a little odd and maybe self-righteous to have just marched off the stage at that moment. I don’t think that moment somehow detracted from my seriousness on the job or my willingness to be tough with Karl Rove or President Bush, and I think my reputation there has spoken for itself. I know it’s been lampooned or criticized more generally. I’d rather not do that if that gives the wrong impression to people of whatever the take-away of that is. I’d rather not have that there.