Little Luke Gets Huge Meet the Press Bonus, says source
Update: Luke Russert twets bonus denial. My response below
Washington bureau worker bees are incredulous that the under-qualified Luke Russert landed a $500,000 bonus for his new gig as a panelist on the revamped “Meet the Press,” says a well-informed source.
“I don’t think there is anybody but Comcast management who thinks he deserves that. They can ask him sports scores,” the source snarked about Russert, who worked for ESPN and co-hosted an XM Satellite Radio sports show before he nespotized his way into the hallowed ranks of NBC News correspondents.
"The crew at NBC [meaning engineers and cameramen] have been talking about this since last week. There are no secrets in the building,"says the source, let's call this person MDL (moderately deep-throated).
Why are they carping at Luke if he is well-liked and his father is so revered?
MDL says they are concerned that more more money for the on-air talent (or in Little Luke's case the not particularly talented) would lead to job cutbacks for them.
"You always know where the shit is falling."
In the past, NBC has used the salaries for on-air talent and producers to justify job cutbacks or better pay for the crew, says MDL. "We already spend this much money on the show," is the typical refrain.
By shows MDL means various shows on NBC and MSNBC not just Meet the Press.
UPDATE: NBC’s Erika Masonhall denied the story to Daily Caller Media blogger Betsy Rothstein, who labeled Gahr Washington's "resident phone enthusiast" because of his Pantheresque penchant for getting elusive people, such as Washington Post executive editor Marty Barron, on the phone. “We don’t typically comment on contracts, but in this case we feel it’s warranted: this is absolutely untrue.”
To quote Stalinist journalist Claud Cockburn, "Never believe anything until it has been officially denied." But this was really a non-denial denial. She denied he got$500,000 but that leaves open the possibility he received another amount.
It is also well to note that NBC lied about another story by this reporter when he confronted Keith Olbermann outside the disgraced broadcaster's home about his outstanding tax warrant.
Update: Luke tweeted on Wednesday after the Page Six report was published that he has not received a single penny from NBC for MTP.
Is he gong to post his contract online to back up his tweet? Washington public figures release their private sector contracts all the time.
Also, this non- blog blog faxed him for comment Tuesday morning but he did not respond. Why did he ignore Media blogger Betsy Rothstein's Daily Caller item on this story later that day? Or just call Page Six himself? As the current CBS evening news anchor once did.
Evan Gahr, a former press critic for the late New York Post editorial page editor Eric Breindel, has written for almost every major conservative publication but was also purged, under White House pressure, by the neo-con Hudson Institute. And blacklisted by AEI magazine editor Karl Zinsmeister for thought crimes.
Former Washington Post and New York Daily News gossip columnist Lloyd Grove dubbed Gahr a "Washington gadfly" in one of the many items on his scoops.