America’s Most Annoying Neighborhood Kid™, Luke Russert, tried out and made NBC’s Meet the Press team this week. Are you excited? You should be excited. C’mon …be excited!
Friday, Chuck “Figure It Out For Yourself” Todd emailed his NBC/MSNBC colleagues excitedly announcing that young master Luke would be joining the MTP cast — which, as I am sure you are aware and will be made aware no matter how much you try to avoid it– where Luke’s father [editors note to nerds: not Darth Vader] used to totally rule.
It’s just like The Lion King, but with self-important large-headed people instead of adorable cartoon lions and meerkats.
Let’s check out that email:
While we’re all busy working on this Sunday’s show, John [executive producer John Reiss] and I want to take a minute to share some news about our larger plans for the future of ‘Meet the Press’ throughout the week.
We’ve talked a lot about establishing ‘Meet’ as the preeminent politics brand of NBC News and expanding our daily relevance beyond Sunday mornings. And a lot has been written about who might be involved in our future. We’re now happy to announce that Luke Russert will be an important part of our 24/7 identity and will become a regular contributor to MTP, not just on air on Sundays, but online Mondays through Saturdays as well.
Luke has an impressive love for politics and has proven himself on the Capitol Hill beat. He’ll continue in his current role reporting for the network and MSNBC, but he’ll also branch out to take on new projects specifically for us. He’ll be a valuable part of our mission to highlight what’s working outside Washington. He’s already moving forward on a series of digital reports profiling innovative leaders in public life, the private sector, philanthropy, and anywhere else around the country where folks are ignoring partisanship and tackling problems in interesting ways.
We want ‘Meet the Press’ to be a home for all of our colleagues who love politics — every day of the week. We’re excited about Luke’s energy and creativity and look forward to the many talents he’ll add to the mix.
Join us in welcoming Luke to the team.
There are many children with famous names at NBC/MSNBC who could have been chosen — Mika Brzezinski, Willie Geist, Mark Halperin, Jenna Bush Hager, Chelsea Clinton (who recently left to give birth to a campaign prop, so I am told), Abby Huntsman, Ron Reagan Jr., Ronan Farrow, Meghan McCain (since departed) — but they chose Luke.
Probably because they thought he might attract the all-important youthful no-socks-and-boat-shoes-wearing-bro demographic, although more likely, he’ll draw your grandmother who thinks he looks like a nice young man with good manners and he probably calls his mother daily and his pants don’t sag off his butt and he doesn’t look like he listens to that hippy-hop rap music and smoke drugs and why can’t you be more like him and put that damn cell phone down and look at me when I talk to you?
The other reason is that, by bringing Luke on board, they are effectively getting his dad, Tim Russert, back.
Luke likes everything that his dad liked: the Buffalo Bills, Bruce Springsteen, the Pope, yacht-rock bands that existed before he was born, and all of his dad’s friends (nobody is a bigger Twitter booster, back-slapper, high-fiver, and glad-hander of other NBC/MSNBC talking heads than lil Luke). It’s just short of Oedipal.
Luke’s twitter bio is even Straight Outta Asbury Park:
I cover Capitol Hill for NBC News. Been sweating it out in the streets of a runaway American dream since 1985.
If, by “sweating it out in the streets of a runaway American dream,” you mean being the only child of a highly paid television celebrity and attending hoity-toity St. Albans prep school, then Boston College, and then landing a sweet gig at NBC right out of college because your dad died and you kept hanging around the studios looking sad.
To say nothing of the $500K bonus Luke is rumored to have received for going on Meet The Press where his job will mainly consist of being Chuck Todd’s hype man (“totally!” “awesome!” “you da man, Toddster!” “you CRUSHED it!”).
That kind of sweat.
So congratulations, NBC. He’s quite a notch in your belt and a testament to your pursuit of hard-hitting reportage , as his audition tape — compiled by Tel Aviv Chamber of Congress website, The Free Beacon — shows:
[Image Luke Russert Twitter timeline]