NEW CANAAN, Conn. -- A packed house at New Canaan High School welcomed TV news anchor Brian Williams on Sunday night as he stood up to host a panel that included three other well-known names in media.
Williams hosted the panel as a part of the New Canaan Library's Richard Salant Lecture series on the subject of "The Election and the Next Four Years." The very first question that Williams asked was, "What just happened?"
Host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Joe Scarborough's immediate response was, "We lost!" Scarborough, a former Republican member of Congress from Florida, described the Republican primary process as ugly. “We got beaten for a lot of different reasons,” he said. But one big reason he said was, “our brand is horrible.”
"I think what happened was, we were divided before the election, we were divided very deeply and we were divided very deeply after the election -- more tired of it, more worried about it, but still divided," said Peter Goldmark, former CEO of the International Herald Tribune. He said the audience showed no emotion after the second presidential debate, saying it was an overall feeling that America has lost its way.
To Scarborough, the election wound up being about nothing, calling it a Seinfeld election. And according to CNN political analyst David Gergen, what happens now is that both parties need to make a move back to center and come back from the arrogance that can come from winning majority in the House or Senate.
When it comes to converstaions like revenue, Gergen said, “You have got to make sure that both parties get something out of it.”
Another major topic of conversation was media bias in election coverage. All the panelists agreed that there seemed to be something wrong with how conservative news outlets reported the results.
“The Republicans were really living in a different world,” said Gergen. And part of the problem, Williams said, was that you can watch “networks that already agree with you when you wake up.”
Scarborough agreed, adding that it simply reinforces the prejudices that were already there.