Last week, Margot Friedman, a public relations professional in Washington, D.C., launched a Web site encouraging NBC News executives to rethink their strategy for picking the next moderator of Meet the Press.
“The New York Times has reported that NBC will name a new moderator for ‘Meet the Press’ between Election Day and early December,” reads the Web site http://dontletnbcdiswomen.org/. “Chuck Todd and David Gregory are in the running. Both men are fine journalists, but they do not represent the racial or gender diversity that their viewers deserve. It is important for viewers to be exposed to a broad range of perspectives and not exclusively those of Caucasian males.”
The site goes on to encourage readers to click on a link that allows them to send a message to NBC News president Steve Capus, urging him “to consider a woman and/or person of color” for the MTP job.
On Monday morning, Ms. Friedman described the campaign to the Media Mob as a grass-roots effort. “There are no big women’s organizations or media watchdog groups paying me anything,” said Ms. Friedman. “It’s an old-fashioned citizen action.”
“NBC/MSNBC was criticized during the 2008 election for sexism in its coverage,” she writes on the site. “Picking a qualified woman and/or person of color to host “Meet the Press” would help repair some of the damage to the network’s brand. There is no shortage of talented women and/or people of color who could do the job, including CNN’s Campbell Brown, PBS’ Gwen Ifill or NBC’s Andrea Mitchell. (Please note this campaign does not endorse a particular candidate for this position.)”