David Gregory's Shrink
(David Gregory enters a room furnished with bookshelves, wall paintings, wood paneling, oak desk, plush swivel chair, and a couch. On the wall is the framed medical license of Dr. Shrink. He angrily slams the door behind him. Dr. Shrink, sitting behind his desk, gets up to introduce himself.)
DR. SHRINK: Hi David! NBC News has assigned me to analyze you so that we might find a way to make your personality more appealing to “Meet The Press” viewers. So far my report indicates that you are insecure, rude, and cut off people in the middle of...”
GREGORY: Shut your mouth! I don't cut off people while they are talking! So what does NBC News have against me? I don't understand why they are forcing me to see you.
DR. SHRINK: Well, they feel that...
GREGORY: I don't give a damn what they feel! How about how I feel? They are making me look like such a jerk by advertising that I am seeing a shrink. Tell me the truth, Doc, are they going to fire me?
DR. SHRINK: Well, they did say they stand behind you so just lie there on the couch and tell me your thoughts.
GREGORY: That's what they tell everybody before they fire them. And since Meet The Press has fallen from a strong first place to a dismal third since I've been there, I think my days there are numbered.
DR. SHRINK: I can assure you that...
(David Gregory interrupts by screaming with a wide frightened look in his eyes.)
GREGORY: DO YOU SEE HIM???
DR. SHRINK: Huh?
GREGORY (pointing ahead): If thou art privy to my network fate, Oh speak!
DR. SHRINK: David, who are you talking to?
GREGORY: To him! He has haunted me ever since I replaced him. He who is irreplaceable.
DR. SHRINK: You mean...
GREGORY: The ultimate Buffalo Bills fan. I just can't get him out of my mind.
DR. SHRINK: Perhaps we should meet him head on via hypnosis.
GREGORY: Anything to keep him from haunting me.
(Dr. Shrink holds up a medallion in front of Gregory and swings it back and forth.)
DR. SHRINK: Look closely at this Walter Cronkite Journalism Award medallion.
GREGORY: Where did you get that?
DR. SHRINK: Ronan Farrow won it after being on MSNBC for about five minutes. He gave it to me as a gift since he is also getting a David Brinkley Journalism Award for living through birth and doesn't really need it.
GREGORY: It isn't working. I don't feel hypnotized.
DR. SHRINK: Concentrate on Uncle Walt's moustache. Watch it very carefully as it goes back and forth...back and forth...
(Gregory's eyes start to close.)
GREGORY: I'm sleepy... Feeling sleepier...
DR. SHRINK: Good! Now go back in time a few years until you see...
DR SHRINK: You see him?
GREGORY: Yes! Tim Russert! It is so wonderful to see him again. We are in a D.C. Restaurant and he is at a table with me.
DR. SHRINK: Ask him for some advice about...
GREGORY: WHAT THE HELL IS THE MATTER WITH YOU? HAVE YOU NO IDEA OF MY IMPORTANCE!!!!?
DR. SHRINK: Why are you yelling at him?
GREGORY: I'm not yelling at Tim. I'm shouting at the lousy lowlife waitress who completely messed up my order of foie gras. Hey! Idiot! I ordered Pacific Ocean fleur de sel for my seasoning, not Atlantic! How can you be so stupid you...
DR. SHRINK: David, don't waste your time on the waitress. You need to ask Tim for advice on how to improve your show performance.
GREGORY: I can't. Tim just grabbed me by my coat lapel and shoved my face into the spinach dip.
DR. SHRINK: But can you get some advice from him?
GREGORY: “Don't be a damn shmuck!” That's what he is yelling at me.
DR. SHRINK: What else?
GREGORY: Nothing else. Getting that spinach dip in my eyes broke the hypnotic spell and now he is gone.
DR. SHRINK: Maybe Tim was right. The horrible way you treat your staff is because you act like a shmuck.
GREGORY: No, that can't possibly be right. My staff loves me. Why my “Meet The Press” producer, Chris Donovan, who was with Tim is also sticking with me. That shows you how loyal my people are.
DR. SHRINK: Um, David. I got a text message a little while ago that Donovan quit your show. Who can blame him the way you treat your staff like dirt?
GREGORY: Don't put this on me. I've long known my staff has been undermining my authority. For example, I was planning an office party and noticed some strawberry ice cream was missing from the freezer. Now I knew there was a duplicate key to the freezer and that all I had to do to track down the culprit was to find that key. I knew that they laughed at me behind my back and mocked me but the key, ah, that's where I had them! I proved with geometric logic that a duplicate key to the freezer existed and uh....
(No sound in the room for a long time except for the clicking of metal balls in Gregory's hand.)
DR. SHRINK: David, I think our session is over.
GREGORY: But what about my job? Will I be able to stay on as host of “Meet The Press?”
DR. SHRINK: I can assure you that NBC stands behind you. You will definitely be able to keep your job when you come back after you spend a very long time to be with your family.