PBS’s Washington Week host Robert Costa came to TCA to talk about “the power of turning down the volume,” to assure TV critics he will not have newsmakers, or columnists on the program – just a “new generation” of reporters, moderated by a 32 year-old host.
Costa also is national political reporter for The Washington Post, and a political analyst for NBC News and MSNBC, appearing with some regularity on MSNBC’s turn-up-the-volume morning trash-Trump-fest, Morning Joe, which added a nice touch of irony to some of his comments at today’s TCA.
“Trust is the commodity that matters,” Costa said via satellite.
“Guests love that I don’t interrupt. I pride myself in not interrupting. Guests know I really want to know what they know,” Costa said proudly.
As to the nuts and bolts of the weekly Beltway show, Costa spoke at some length about his new set, and explained, “you really can’t plan ahead for Friday night; every Friday there is a news alert. Sometimes there is news broken on the show.”
Asked his predictions for 2020, Costa said “my mantra is to assume nothing,” explaining to the crowd in the Beverly Hills Hilton hotel that just like the rise and fall “In Hollywood, or on television” you can never who will be hot and who not in an election that many months away. Pollsters are predicting a blue save, but President Donald Trump’s base still is “pretty strong” he said. Costa did assume, however, that voters will be highly engaged for the midterm elections this year, with Dems seeing real opportunity to take over the House and maybe even the Senate.
This was not big news to TV critics, who’d been listening to that chatter on news networks for weeks now.
One year earlier, when Costa first took to the TCA stage as recently named host of PBS’s long-running Washington Week as Anthony Scaramucci had just been sacked as Donald Trump’s communications chief, news of which caused TV critics to erupt in applause.
Today, those critics wanted Costa to reveal his diet tips, having lost a noticeable amount of weight. Was it a Worked To the Bone diet, one critic asked.
“I was on a Campaign Diet for the last 10 years, Costa confessed.
“I realized I was getting too tired,” he said.
“I woke up last year and said to myself, ‘Why am I eating a hamburger a day?’ I started taking a walk a day and drinking black coffee” instead of with cream and sugar. “And ever since I committed to that, and been the better for it.”