On the basis of his impressive reporting and ease in front of the camera still being named Russert, Luke was promoted, after the election, to congressional correspondent. That’s the contempt with which NBC News views the occupation of journalism. To make Luke Russert a congressional reporter is to say, “We believe that this job requires no particular knowledge, training or skills. If a German shepard could be trained to speak, it could perform this work.” (That’s true of most cable news work, granted, but it really doesn’t have to be.) Proper reporting on the House of Representatives is actually difficult and largely thankless work, generally done by very hardworking and underpaid reporters. The assignment was transparently NBC’s attempt to help Russert develop chops, and what it has yielded thus far is the time Charlie Rangel called Luke dumb, which MSNBC turned into a two-day story.
NBC seems to be keeping Russert employed in the hopes that he’ll eventually develop an ability to simulate gravitas. Hopefully “Meet the Press” will still be on the air by the time Luke has mastered his serious face.
His Twitter feed presents a perfectly dull person with perfectly banal thoughts. When he drifts into attempted solemnity it’s usually more amusing than his actual attempts at humor. (More quality insight, right here.) It’s precisely what you would imagine the result would be if the elite Beltway press somehow collectively raised a child from birth — which is, in effect, what actually happened. He subscribes to every shibboleth of Washington conventional wisdom and shows fealty to all the proper institutions.
And yes, Luke Russert is precisely everything wrong with the DC press rolled into one obnoxiously banal little package. When I think of all the correspondents and reporters who should have Luke Russert's job as NBC's Capitol Hill correspondent it makes me scream.
And make no mistake, there's a lot wrong with our media other than Russert. He's a symptom, not a cause. The cause is corporate ownership, period.
You think if NBC was worried about journalistic integrity that Russert would be anything more than an intern?