It has been a weird weekend, and one I wouldn’t want to repeat again. No sooner than I’ve had a chance to catch my breath and reflect on the impact that Tim Russert was on Meet The Press, we’re now hearing about who’s going to replace him.

Russert isn’t even buried yet, and already, there’s speculation about who NBC is looking at as Russert’s possible successor. While I didn’t always agree with Russert (face it, he had a chance to really grill Dick Cheney about that “hunting” accident, and didn’t), you really couldn’t hate on the man, and what he brought to what’s left of television journalism.

My collegues have already posted a tribute of sorts to Mr. Russert, and Father’s Day had to be very difficult for his widow and son; so, I want to honor Mr. Russert in my own way.

By looking at who NBC is considering to replace him and evaluating their worthiness to succeed “Little Russ”.

According to the LA Times, there are three “insiders” being considered for Russert’s job: Chris “Tweety” Matthews, David Gregory and Joe Scarborough.

All three to which I echo my collegue, Rikyrah, with a resounding “HELL TO THE NAW!” with good reason.

If you’ve watched (or suffered) through any show on NBC or MSNBC hosted by these “top” three, then you will soon know my opinion on them, and hopefully, you may agree, or have an even stronger opinion of their journalistic fortitude than I have.

DAVID GREGORY – least offensive of the three, and has been known to jeopardize his White House Media access by actually asking challenging questions and rebuttal ones during White House press conferences, which somewhat implies journalistic integrity. However, his impression of a rap artist with DJ KKKarl Rove at the last White House Correspondence Dinner, somewhat diminishes that journalistic integrity. I’d appreciate some feedback on Mr. Gregory from our readers.

CHRIS MATTHEWS – the man nicknamed “Tweety” in the blogsphere is too bloviating and too prone to get “crushes” to the point he can’t cover the objects of his affections in an objective fashion (His fawning over Rudy Giuliani, and waxing poetic over the smell of Fred “Law & Order” Thompson eau de Stale Cigar with Old Spice was really creepy). He started to reverse that slide with the death throes of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign; but that was too easy for him, considering he had a hatred “hard-on” for Hillary from the day she announced she was running. He’s also prone to having to be byotch-slapped by Keith Olbermann when they provide election coverage during the Democratic primary; didn’t Olbermann have to smack him down in one of his “Special Comments” lately? Plus, he can barely read the teleprompter on a good day, and I don’t want to see him on a bad one. He’s also sexist and walks a fine line between being a bigot and objective journalist. Just say “No” to him, please.

JOE SCARBOROUGH – (a) he’s an alcoholic who’s (b) too much of a reich-wing idealogue to be an objective moderator for MTP and (c) he should not benefit from Tim Russert’s death with a promotion of this caliber until he answers questions about that dead staffer found in his Pensacola office when he was a Congressman. Plus, if you’ve suffered through an episode of “Morning Joe” you feel sorry that Mika Brezinzki has to put up with his officious ass while restraining the urge to pimp slap Willie Geist for being a milder-version of Don Imus’ bigoted producer, Bernard McGuirk (he of the “nappy-headed hoes” joke which got him and Imus fired from MSNBC).

Additionally, Joe was on MTP to pay tribute to Russert, but to me, it looked like he was already trying to interview and audition for Russert’s job, which is in very poor taste. Hey, he didn’t break a sweat over Lori Klausutis (the dead staffer), either.

I would think that NBC would wait a couple of weeks, to allow the grieving over Russert’s passing to settle. The man died on Friday; Sunday evening, they’re auditioning for his replacement. This is ruthless media at the core, I guess, but if you’re going to consider people, how about:

BILL MOYERS – He rocked last weekend at the Media Reform Conference in Minneapolis. He put a beat down on Bill O’Reilly’s producer who tried to ambush him (a MasterCard moment), plus he has the highest journalistic integrity unquestioned. I love watching his documentaries and “Bill Moyer’s Journal” on PBS. A worthy successor to Russert, bar none.

GWEN IFILL – Her selection would have MTP making history with one of our people. I remember how she set Russert straight by calling him out on his failure to call out his buddy, Don Imus, for the racist comments he’d made on his show, long before the Rutgers Women’s Basketball team fallout. She related Imus’ comment about how PBS had “hired the cleaning lady to do news” when she was promoted to anchor on the then-”McNeil-Lehrer” Report, and how, the day that comment was made, Russert was a guest on Imus’ show. That’s the one time I saw Russert squirm and looked like he wished he was somewhere else. But what I also learned is that Russert recruited Ifill to fill in for him when he was off on MTP and really encouraged and promoted her in her career. So, she, too, would be a worthy successor to Russert as well.

KEITH OLBERMANN – the drawback is that he wouldn’t be able to break out cans of whip-ass on people that need to get called out. He’d also be a worthy successor to Russert, but I like him where he is on “Countdown”. He’s his own man on that show – he’d have to toe the line on MTP, which isn’t Olbermann’s style.

TOM BROKAW – I liked watching him on the NBC Evening News and I think, watching his coverage of Russert’s passing on Friday Night, he also would be a good replacement if he’s willing to come out of retirement, and still be allowed to do those special documentary projects he’s been busy with.

The remaining names I saw in the Times should be on the “Hell to the Naw!” list as well as Joe Scar, Tweety and Gregory:

KATIE COURIC – the CBS Evening News is in the tank and we must also wonder why the “Today” Show allowed her to walk if she was that good.

ANDREA MITCHELL – Double “HELL TO THE NAW” because she’s married to Mr. Bubble (Alan Greenspan) who lied about the Nation’s economy and now it’s biting us in the ass. Oil companies shouldn’t be making record profits while we get goughed for gas, and no bank on Wall Street should be bailed out for mismanagement by the Federal Reserve, which her husband ran for 20 years. I know she’s a reporter, but she’s not a very good one, and I’ve seen her moderate panels and forums; she’s as good at moderating as her husband was in lying to the American Public about the state of the economy and America’s monetary policy (the Euro has more value than the American greenback these days). Her coverage has been equally biased by her political connections and ideology, though she tries to hide it, but doesn’t do a very good job of toning down her rhetoric, either.

ANYONE FROM FOX NETWORK – They are NOT JOURNALISTS; they are bigoted teleprompter readers who can’t string two sentences together unless those sentences have racial comments or slurs contained. They need not apply unless they want to get laughed out of Jeff Zucker’s office.

I think in summing up this post, NBC’s Zucker said it best:

“Nobody should even think about replacing Tim Russert,” he said in a telephone interview on Sunday. “What someone will need to do is find the next way to do ‘Meet the Press’ and provide political analysis. Anybody who thinks they can replace Tim Russert is kidding themselves.”

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