Opinion | Meet the Press? Thanks, but I’ll Pass

Every Sunday I make the same mistake. At 9 a.m. Central Time, I turn on “Meet the Press,” or “Meet the Pest” as I have come to call it. For nine years the host was Chuck Todd. Mr. Todd was notable for overestimating his charm and underestimating the intelligence of people he interviewed, who were chiefly politicians. He loved nothing so much as catching out a senator or congressman or cabinet member in a contradiction, as if contradictions weren’t the air that such men and women breathe.

“Meet the Press” consists of two or three interviews, an examination of the latest polls and other such ephemeral data, and a 10-minute or so panel, always consisting of three liberal and one conservative journalist or sometimes a retired politician. Mr. Todd led the perfectly predictable panel discussion, aggressively inserting his own opinions and smiling at his own jokes. He seemed always to be having a swell time. Wish I could say the same. Now that he is gone, I don’t miss him. I wish him well, as the Jews in Russia said about the czar, but not too close to me.

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