Why I Don’t Watch Sunday Shows Like Meet the Press, This Week

Occasionally I’ll watch a clip from one of the Sunday shows like Meet the Press, This Week or Face the Nation, but I can no longer bring myself to watch these shows in full. Over at The American Prospect, Paul Waldman asks, “Why Do the Sunday Shows Suck So Much?” And make no mistake, these shows do suck.

I live and breathe politics, yet I find these programs absolutely unwatchable, and I can’t be the only one. On a typical episode, there is nothing to learn, no insight to be gained, no interesting perspective on offer, nothing but an endless spew of talking points and squabbling. – Paul Waldman

David Gregory - Meet the PressI agree 100 percent. These shows are simply unwatchable. I tried to watch Meet the Press most Sundays starting a few years ago, but that didn’t last very long. The first half-hour of Meet the Press, at least during presidential election season, is nothing more than a free campaign ad for the two guests, and you can be sure that one guest is a Republican and the other guest is a Democrat. The second half-hour of Meet the Press can sometimes be more interesting, and occasionally informative, but it’s still not worth watching because those qualities are increasingly rare. Just about the only time I watch Meet the Press now is when someone appears on the panel who I’m interested in seeing, like Rachel Maddow. Other than that, I pretty much ignore Meet the Press and the other Sunday shows with the exception of the rare clip that goes viral, and when that happens I sometimes cover it on this blog.

Waldman tips his hat to Up with Chris Hayes on MSNBC, saying it is the model of how a Sunday show should be done.

“Up With Chris Hayes” on MSNBC shows what the Sunday shows could be. Hayes doesn’t bother interviewing politicians or party hacks; instead, he brings on people who know a lot about whatever issue they’ll be discussing, aren’t constrained by the need to score partisan points, and might have something interesting to say.

Up with Chris HayesAgain, I’m in complete agreement, and no it’s not because it’s a liberal show, although obviously that is a bonus. Up with Chris Hayes is an intelligent show that offers robust discussions on important issues and I always find I learn something each time I watch it. It’s some of the best TV all week. And Melissa Harris-Perry (MHP), which follows Up, is a very close second. The only problem with these shows is that there is 8 hours to watch combined each weekend which means I usually have to skip one or more shows. That’s a good problem to have.

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