Meet the Press' new host, David Gregory, was on The Colbert Report last night, and had to keep repeating how Teh Awesome the White House press corps really has been these past eight years, because Colbert somehow kept puncturing it:
Colbert: Are you proud of the questions the press asked the administration? Because I'm proud of the questions they didn't ask.
Gregory: I actually do think that the right questions were asked. I think this criticism is certainly out there of the press corps, and I try to be thoughtful about it, reflective about it. But I do think that the right questions were asked. I think that people view our job through their own ideological prism. And they've made some judgments along those lines.
Colbert: Well, you've said yourself that you wished the president had been more reflective.
Gregory: Look, I think in his last press conference -- I think he's reflective to a point --
Colbert: I think he's completely reflective, because the questions just bounce off of him.
Gregory: Look, you're a great defender of the president, and I respect. I do think he's reflective to a point. I think that he is not -- in terms of mistakes that he has admitted, there's been some tactical -- I don't think he wants to engage with the press corps about mistakes, I don't think there's much to be gained from all that.
Colbert: Do you think -- what is the press' relationship going to be with Barack Obama, as opposed to what it was with George Bush? Do you think there's going to be a different kind of press to meet?
Gregory: No, I think the press will do a good job. I think the press will ask the right questions. Look, we're in a time of crisis now and --
Colbert: I think you ask the right questions too. I mean, you ask questions like, 'Why are we in Iraq?' That's the right question. Not, 'Why would you want to go to Iraq?' You wait until we're there.
Gregory: I think that's a misreading of the kind of questions that were asked.
Colbert: But shouldn't you prove you're not asleep at the wheel with the Obama administration? I mean, just bring it hammer and tongs to this guy. Honeymoon over! OK? Honeymoon over, let's get straight to the divorce with this guy! Shouldn't the supposed crimes of the Bush administration be paid for by Barack Obama?
Gregory: I think you will see this press corps -- I certainly will ask the same kinds of questions to this administration that I asked to the last.
David Gregory is like a lot of the Beltway Village journalists: He's a centrist who's come to believe that centrism is functionally non-ideological and therefore the ideal place for a journalist. But centrism itself is an ideological bias, one that blinds journalists from reporting the truth -- which is what we're supposed to be doing.
Anyone who actually thinks the press asked the right questions of the Bush administration ought to just spend a little time scrolling through the Daily Howler archives -- especially from that 2002-2003 period before we actually invaded another country under false pretenses.