Replacing Russert

REPLACING RUSSERT….Jonah Goldberg says that Tim Russert “executed his vision honorably, honestly, and with complete professionalism,” but he’d still like to see Meet the Press go back to its roots:

All of that said, I think the show should return to a panel, at least for the time being. What’s wrong with bringing three or four hard-hitting journalists to ask questions the way they used to? This is not only the best way to get a more diverse line of questioning (I would love to see Byron York or Steve Hayes on there asking questions no one else would ask), but it would help forestall some truly awful choices that seem to be in the hopper.

Now, this is not going to happen. TV journalism long ago become entirely personality driven, and that’s not going to change. And yes, if MTP did go back to a panel asking questions, we liberals would have a slightly different set of people we’d like to see getting airtime.

Still, just as a topic of conversation, what about it? I sort of doubt that having three journalists instead of one would really make much of a difference, but I’d be fairly enthusiastic about having one good moderator plus a couple of specialists each week. If the topic were economics or taxes, you’d have a harder time getting away with the usual BS if you were sitting across from Paul Krugman or Dean Baker. If the topic were FISA or Guantanamo, Jack Balkin or Erwin Chemerinsky might be able to dig a little deeper than Andrea Mitchell.

The danger, of course, is that the show would turn into a slightly higher rent version of the late unlamented Crossfire. Or that experts aren’t always good questioners. Maybe that’s not worth the risk. It’s worth a thought, though.