John Thune was apparently on Meet the Press this morning. Coincidently, a Ryan Cooper column at The Week asserts that a typical Meet the Press segment is "short, dull, clichéd, and barely touch[es] the subject on hand." According to Cooper, the long running Sunday morning staple "has become completely worthless. Further, the program is "neither informative nor interesting." Regular viewers "find the same dozen or so tired D.C. insiders [who] blithely opine on stuff they know little or nothing about." The opportunities for snark abound, but I will forego all of them because Cooper has an interesting proposal to improve the program that a South Dakota television program could adapt for the state.
In short Cooper suggests having half-hour conversations between writers interested in the subject, experts, and public officials. He offers several examples like this one: "journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates and economist Jared Bernstein interview Paul Ryan on his poverty plan."
Off the top of my head, I can think of four or five segments that would be worthwhile. I prefer a bit more of a lion's den approach rather than the standard interviewer from the left and interviewer from the right approach. The format would be a table, comfortable chairs, and coffee for everyone but Heidelberger who would wave his arms too much if caffeinated.
Mike Rounds interviewed by Cory Heidelberger and Representative Bernie Hunhoff.
Rick Wieland interviewed by Pat Powers and Representative Rev. Steve Hickey
Rapid City Mayor Sam Kookier and Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether interviewed by John Tsitrian and Scott Ehrisman.
Secretary of Education Melody Schopp interviewed by Associated School Boards of South Dakota Executive Director Wade Pogany and me (provided the camera were kept on the other two so as the good children of South Dakota did not suffer nightmares. If they won't agree to that condition, Representative Jim Bolin or Mike Larson would be more telegenic than I.)
It would be an important public service to have Governor Daugaard interviewed about Native American policy. I have to confess I'm unsure whom the Native American community would deem able to best ask questions that advocated their interests.
Quite frankly, I would love to see Libertarian blogger Ken Santema interview anyone in South Dakota politics.If the television station airing the program would demand an official journalist to moderate, David Montgomery or Kevin Woster strike me as able to do the job. If nothing else this program would allow South Dakota voters and television viewers to see officials questioned by folks a less willing to accept press releases as the final word on a matter.