Kicking off her brand-new Newsmax program on Wednesday night, former Fox News star Greta Van Susteren couldn’t have asked for a more awkward and cringe-inducing debut.
At the top of the premiere broadcast of The Record with Greta Van Susteren, the veteran anchor brought on Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) for a live interview. Grassley, the ranking Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, patched in via video feed from the halls of Congress.
Getting right into it, Van Susteren asked a multi-tiered question about inflation and whether both parties would be able to work together to find a solution to address rising energy and food prices. Grassley, however, let the host know he couldn’t hear a thing.
“You’ll have to come through clearer than you have so far. I couldn’t make out what you’re saying,” the 88-year-old lawmaker noted while fiddling with his earpiece.
An undeterred Van Susteren asked again: “I’m asking you, sir, that people are suffering so much from gas prices, food prices. What can Republicans and Democrats—what are they willing to do together and what can they do together to help the economy.”
After a pause, the Iowa Republican admitted: “I’m so sorry, it’s so muffled. It sounds like you’re talking but I just can’t hear anything you’re asking me.”
Despite the senator’s voice echoing throughout and Grassley repeatedly saying he couldn’t hear her—all indicative of serious technical issues—Van Susteren valiantly attempted once more to get her lengthy question answered.
“I totally understand that, Senator, and this is our first night on and as you can imagine, we apparently have some gremlins in the system—trying to get the question off to you,” she explained to Grassley, who was clearly still unable to hear her. “Let me ask you a question just generally, sir. You have any sort of thought on food prices. I know you’re from a farm state.”
After another couple seconds of awkward silence, a frustrated Grassley exclaimed: “If you’re still trying to interview me, I can’t make out what you’re saying.”
Finally—at last!—Van Susteren decided to “give up” and pull away from Grassley, telling viewers that the show would work on the audio issues.
And to the fledgling Newsmax program’s credit, they were later able to patch Grassley back in and conduct the interview, completely gremlin-free.