A few weeks ago, NBC's David Gregory was outraged at the possibility that President Obama knew The Huffington Post's Nico Pitney would ask a question about Iran during a presidential press conference. During the June 28 broadcast of Meet the Press, Gregory repeatedly questioned Obama advisor David Axelrod about the matter:
MR. GREGORY: I just want to be clear. Did the White House coordinate with a reporter about a question to be asked at a press conference?
MR. GREGORY: So you talked to a reporter beforehand and said, "Could you ask a question about--from--directly from Iran at a press conference?"
MR. GREGORY: Well, why is it appropriate to coordinate with a reporter about what's asked at a time when we're championing democracy around the world?
MR. GREGORY: Is that, is that what you should do at a press conference?
MR. GREGORY: But you coordinated with him about, about that subject of a question beforehand.
MR. GREGORY: If President Bush had done that, don't you think Democrats would have said that's outrageous?
MR. GREGORY: Right. So you would, so you'd do it again?
As I noted at the time, Gregory's obsession was more than a little silly, given that television shows like his regularly negotiate topics with guests in advance. But I underestimated Gregory's hypocrisy.
Here's an email Gregory sent to an aide to South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, in an effort to book Sanford on Meet the Press:
Hey Joel ...
Left you a message. Wanted you to hear directly from me that I want to have the Gov on Sunday on Meet The Press. I think it's exactly the right forum to answer the questions about his trip as well as giving him a platform to discuss the economy/stimulus and the future of the party. You know he will get a fair shake from me and coming on MTP puts all of this to rest.
Let's talk when you can.
That was on June 24 -- just four days before Gregory grilled Axelrod about coordinating the subject of questions with reporters.
Gregory later followed up with another email:
[C]oming on Meet The Press allows you to frame the conversation how you really want to...and then move on. You can see (sic) you have done your interview and then move on. Consider it.
So, Gregory was not only coordinating with Sanford's staff about what topics Gregory would ask Sanford about, should the South Carolina Governor agree to appear on Meet the Press -- he was telling the aide he would allow Sanford to "frame the conversation how you really want to."
And then, just a few days later, Gregory took to the air to denounce the White House and Nico Pitney for coordinating about the subject of a question. Incredible.