Adjust TV for MTP, say NBC and FCC

Adjust TV for MTP say NBC and FCC

David Gregory assumes the helm of NBC’s venerable Meet the Press program this Sunday, and audience expectations are not all that will need adjustment.

Mr. Gregory is quite tall (6’5″), so studio lights have been raised to prevent the odor of  burning hair that might disturb guest newsmakers. And while the President-elect (6’1″) and many in his cabinet can see eye-to-eye with Mr. Gregory, NBC News has acquired a stock of booster seats, phonebooks, and milk crates to accommodate more vertically-challenged guests.

Television viewers will need to adjust the “aspect ratio” of widescreen TVs to compensate for Mr. Gregory’s extraordinary height. Technically, it’s a very simple matter, but  the FCC and NBC dispute who should inform viewers about this.  The FCC public information office is stretched to the limit by the impending  digital TV transition and by deluded citizens who insist HD Radio(tm) actually exists, while NBC is very busy  pretending it still has viewers. This jurisdictional quarrel has left an information vacuum, so NotionsCapital posts these instructions as a public service:

To adjust the aspect ratio of your TV set so you may view Meet The Press correctly, merely calculate the second harmonic of the square root of the total pixel capacity of your screen minus 144, divide by the number on the back of the screen, and enter the figure as a simple SQL statement. Don’t forget to reset this after the show or you won’t enjoy that Danny DeVito movie on Sunday night.

NBC was somewhat nervous about naming David Gregory to replace the late Tim Russert, but interim host Tom Brokaw was fed up commuting between New York, DC, and his Montana ranching empire. Network officials have decided that, if Mr. Gregory doesn’t work out, the show can always be moderated by Jay Leno.


Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

2 Responses to “Adjust TV for MTP, say NBC and FCC”

  1. Dee Says:

    Tallness vs. Big Chin. Hmmm. Just watch for the rebound. Nobody is Tim Russert and David Gregory shouldn’t have to be Tim. But he’s solid and should put his stamp on it from the get-go.

    My husband is 6’4″ and our first week of dating I remarked that we walked along the California beach at the same pace even though his legs are much longer and he’s much taller. He said, right off the bat, that he measured his stride and has for over seven years. What a sweetheart of a tall guy. Let’s hope Mr. Gregory uses his intelligence, abilities and humor to make Meet The Press his own.

    Thanks, Tom Brokaw, for stepping in. I think you should leave your shoes next to the door there, by Tim’s. David may need to look at them from time to time.

  2. Mike Licht Says:

    David Gregory certainly held his own as White House correspondent, in less than ideal circumstances. He knows the Sunday morning drill and the players, and will acquit himself well.

    That’s why we beat the rush and got in all the tall jokes before Sunday, when the serious stuff starts.

    Incidently, I just got back from a political event at a Hill bar. All the TVs were tuned to news (CNN, Cable8, Fox, cable 16 (DC Council), and not a single screen was set to the correct aspect ratio.

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