This effort was definitively inspired by the thoughts of NYU Journalism Professor Jay Rosen regarding how to fix the Sunday morning talk shows. That being said, there are two required readings below to get caught up on this line of thinking, both posts from Mr. Rosen.

Please note: We admire the passion of Professor Rosen and the many others who have spoken out on this issue, but for the purposes of this campaign please try to remember to comment respectfully when taking any of the actions suggested on this site. We are not trying to attack MTP and its staff but convince them to correct their course.

The Readings:

My Simple Fix for the Messed Up Sunday Shows (Jay Rosen)

The beauty of this idea is that it turns the biggest weakness of political television–the fact that time is expensive, and so complicated distortions, or simple distortions about complicated matters, are rational tactics for advantage-seeking pols—into a kind of strength.  The format beckons them to evade, deny, elide, demagogue and confuse…. but then they pay for it later if they give into temptation and make that choice.  So imagine the midweek fact check from last week as a short segment wrapping up the show the following week. Now you have an incentive system that’s at least pointed in the right direction.

Howard Kurtz’s piece at The Washington Post in which he asked Meet The Press host David Gregory about the fact checking idea:

Gregory has hung onto the No. 1 Sunday spot since succeeding the late Tim Russert, averaging 3.5 million viewers this year to just under 3 million for “Face the Nation” on CBS and 2.6 million for ABC’s “This Week.” The ABC program has been hurt by rotating hosts while waiting for Christiane Amanpour to take over in August. But accepting a challenge from New York University’s Jay Rosen, interim host Jake Tapper has arranged for the St. Petersburg Times’ PolitiFact site to fact-check what “This Week” guests say after each program.

An “interesting idea,” Gregory allows, but not one the NBC show will be emulating. “People can fact-check ‘Meet the Press’ every week on their own terms.”

David Gregory: “No, I won’t fact check my guests…” A time line. (Jay Rosen)

This post is a good time line and summary of the events up to now, including Mr. Gregory’s responses. There are also links to many of the other articles that have referenced the debate over fact checking the Sunday shows. This includes the more coverage of the ABC Sunday morning program This Week institution of exactly the kind of system we would like to see Meet The Press incorporate.

Essential viewing is Stephen Colbert’s satirical take
on the events thus far from his show on April 14, 2010:

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Sunday Morning Fact-Checking – Jake Tapper & Bill Adair
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Fox News

After being separately contacted by both and NPR’s On the Media, NBC News had this to say in response to our effort:

We have no specific comment on the website, but in regards to fact-checking in general — one of the core missions of “Meet the Press” is accountability and we take that responsibility very seriously throughout an interview and in our preparation. In addition, we always welcome viewers and media monitoring groups to join the conversation by visiting our website, or downloading our app, where we post the transcript after the broadcast.