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Notes on the July 21, 2013 Broadcast of Meet The Press

July 21, 2013

All Rights NBC NewsThis morning’s Meet The Press began with a discussion of race in America, prompted by President Barack Obama’s comments earlier this week about the verdict in (and aftermath of) the Trayvon Martin case. PBS host Tavis Smiley was critical of the president saying he still did not answer the critical question, “Where do we go from here?” Smiley said the nation craves moral leadership on this issue.

Other panelists, including Harvard Professor Charles Ogletree and former New Orleans Mayor Mark Morial, pushed back saying that the speech was an opening for further conversation.Smiley retorted, “Lay on the table the evidence that the president has been trying to have a conversation about race.”

Panelist including Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) and former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, we’re critical of “stand your ground” laws but agreed it was largely a state issue.

Next up was a discussion of Detroit’s bankruptcy filing featuring Michigan Governor Rick Snyder (R). He said there were “no other viable options” for Detroit. “We’ve been kicking the can down the road for 60 years,” added Snyder. He said he is bullish on Detroit’s long-term future and that there are many good things going on in Detroit. “The last major obstacle is the city government,” Snyder said.

Host David Gregory pointed out that the federal government spent $80 billion to bail out the auto industry, but we can’t seem to find $18 billion to bail out Detroit.

David Brooks of the New York Times pointed out that the collapse of Detroit is not just about deindustrialization because that happened in a lot of cities. The Detroit case is about a failure of institutions, he said.

The program ended with the tribute to the late Helen Thomas who made her first appearance on Meet the Press in 1976. Gregory quoted President Obama who yesterday praised Thomas’ “…fierce belief that our democracy works best when we ask tough questions and hold our leaders to account.”

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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