Hag readers know I harbor an understandable dislike for NBC’s David Gregory, but watching him this morning on his last-place excuse for a show, I think I started to figure out why. He’s an automaton (and a sloppily made, one, too… they evidently put on either the wrong eyebrows or the wrong hair at the factory). And he utterly lacks any knowledge or perspective beyond what he hears at any given moment. Oh, every so often a “conviction” pops out, say, that wars are great and rich people like him are very worried about the greediness of the lower orders, but that’s true of anyone on TV. What makes Gregory special is that he not only makes no distinction between lies and truth, but he goes a step further, constantly giving credence and air time to proven liars’ latest lies, presumably because they make better television than the boring old truth.

The urgency and grave tone that he adopted when he recounted the latest nutty, boring, and utterly false rantings of despised former Vice President Dick Cheney to current VP Biden was either ham acting, or Gregory is the stupidest human being on the face of the earth, besides Sarah Palin. I’m not sure which is more disturbing. Gregory almost seemed surprised at how easily Biden swatted away such malevolent nonsense, but clearly realizing that he now looked like a bigger ass than Dick by this point, Gregory tried to turn the whole thing into a Mean Girls gossipfest about appropriate behavior for former VP’s. Biden wasn’t having that, either, saying that being outspoken was fine, but lying wasn’t. Good luck with that Joe; you’re talking to Karl Rove’s dance partner, after all.

But as though that interview weren’t both vacuous and cringe-inducing enough, along comes the panel: David Brooks, whose head wobbles and arms swing independently of his body as he prattles, sort of like a bestacled Barney Rubble with Tourette’s, (his eyebrows don’t match his hair either, am I seeing a pattern here?), Harold Ford, Rachel Maddow, and this well-scrubbed 14 year old wingnut from Illinois named Aaron Schock.

Fireworks begin when Rachel points out the absurd hypocrisy of Shock’s attending an event celebrating stimulus dollars in his district, when he voted against the bill and repeatedly railed against such irresponsible “spending.” The panel format gave Rachel a lot of opportunity to work her false eyelashes demurely in side shots as she repeatedly made her trademark “concerned” look. (That’s how inherently bonkers TV News is… the butch lesbian is the one in false eyelashes.) Of course, the 14 year old didn’t appreciate such impertinence, and while he mentally read his hand, he said, “With all due respect,” and not much else. He thought of something a little later, though, and opened with, “With all due respect,” which I think meant “you nasty ol’ bull dyke with the false eyelashes,” and said something about his constituents getting their “fair share” of this wasteful spending for which our grandchildren will surely turn on us later and become hookers and meth-heads. Like all Republicans, the 14 year old has apparently not been told that his party is a tiny and disgraced minority, and has been deservedly told by the voters to give it a rest for a while. Both he and Gregory openly high-fived the prospect of “another 1994,” which would put all this nonsense about Republicans not running everything to rest once and for all. I can understand such stupidity about 1994 from someone who wasn’t born yet, but luckily Gregory is born again each day, so the fact that before 1994, Democrats had controlled congress for 50 years or so, often overwhelmingly, was never mentioned. Both have so many imaginary friends that they think Republicans are much more popular and abundant than they actually are, and all the king’s horses could never convince them otherwise.

The least relevant guest, and that’s saying something, was former Rep. Harold Ford of Tennessee, who’s gotten so rich after leaving congress that he thinks he ought to be a senator from Wall Street, without being bothered by the messy politics of it all, kind of like Rudy. Gregory’s gossipy questions about his taxes and position at Merrill Lynch didn’t dent Ford’s vaulting overconfidence one iota, but did reveal Ford to be an excellent circumlocutor and fervent disciple of Reaganomics, despite being about 1/64th black and 1/99th Democrat. I’m sure Gregory wanted to dance with him after that little performance; he’s way cuter than Karl Rove, too.

As usual, a whole hour of television was utterly wasted on trivia, speculation, and politics as theatre, the enormously important implications of the issues being discussed mattering not a whit to either the moderator or the guests, only how all of this will play in Peoria. I have news. Just as many Peorians as other Americans would sooner gouge out their eyeballs than watch “Meet the Press.” People can accept high unemployment, but not when David Gregory still has a job.