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Notes on the July 7, 2013 Broadcast of Meet The Press

July 7, 2013

All Rights NBC NewsThis morning’s broadcast began with live coverage of the Asiana flight 214 crash in San Francisco, and then turned to the crisis in Egypt.

Meet the Press was supposed to feature an exclusive interview with opposition leader Dr. Mohammed Elbaradei. Dr. Elbaradei was named prime minister of Egypt yesterday before his name was withdrawn by the Egyptian interim president’s office.

Just hours before Meet the Press came on the air, Dr. Elbaradei cancelled his appearance. Host David Gregory said he spoke with Dr. Elbaradei by phone and reported three things from that conversation: 1) Dr. Elbaradei claimed he was sick with laryngitis and a fever and therefore could do no television interviews, 2) He told Gregory that he still expects to be named prime minister as early as today, and 3) Dr. Elbaradei said, “The country is falling apart.”

Gregory then turned to Nabil Fahmy the former ambassador of Egypt to the United States. Gregory said that Fahmy has been mentioned as a potential foreign minister of Egypt in the interim government. Fahmy defended the role of the military and predicted a return to democratic processes very soon in Egypt.

Jeff Goldberg of Bloomberg called the events in Egypt a victory for progressivism and a defeat for democracy. He said we know the Muslim brotherhood are a totalitarian fundamentalist party and that their removal from power is good for women and Christians and others in Egypt. But we can also predict, he said, that it won’t be the last time the military plays a role in the political process.

Goldberg said, “If there had just been some patience on the part of liberals, the Muslim Brotherhood might have imploded on their own accord.” Now Goldberg worries the Muslim Brotherhood can be seen as martyrs and may get more involved in terrorism. Later Gregory quoted Shadi Hamid of Brookings making much the same point about the potential now for the brotherhood to become more involved in terrorism and to blame the United States for their fate.

Later Goldberg said, “This was the Muslim Brotherhood’s big chance, and they blew it. They put a bumpkin in charge, who was in over his head, and he tried to seize absolute power.”

NBC’s Andrea Mitchell pointed out that democracy is not necessarily synonymous with free and fair elections.

Moving on to other topics, Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said, “Any such acceptance of [Edward] Snowden to any country is going to put them directly against the United States, and they need to know that.”

The political roundtable next chewed over developments in health care reform. In reaction to the Obama Administration’s delay of an employer health care mandate, Congressman Raul Labrador (R-ID) asked, “So what part of Obamacare actually works?”

On immigration reform, Congressman Labrador tried to spell out the Republican opposition to the Senate bill. In a sometimes heated exchange, David Brooks of the New York Times called it one of the most intellectually weak opposition arguments he’s heard in Washington, D.C. Labrador said that is ridiculous. He later added that if we don’t do this right it will, “…be the death of the Republican Party.”

NBC’s Chuck Todd said for the first time he sees some doubt in the Obama White House about the prospects of immigration reform passing both houses of Congress this year.

Also follow the show on the MTP Facebook page, track Twitter feeds from host David Gregory, Meet The Press, and Executive Producer Betsy Fischer, watch the midweek PressPass interview, and don’t forget Gregory’s blog.

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