David Gregory opens up about faith, family and career in his memoir “How’s Your Faith? An Unlikely Spiritual Journey.”
By Erica Moody
When David Gregory suddenly lost his high-profile job as moderator of “Meet the Press” a year ago, his faith was seriously tested. He decided to take a long look at his spiritual life and where it was headed, resulting in a thoughtful book that takes readers from the newsman’s difficult childhood, raised by an alcoholic mother, to his struggles over whether to raise his children Jewish or Christian. We recently chatted with the longtime Washington resident about “How’s Your Faith? An Unlikely Spiritual Journey.”
Did you have any concerns about including the story of your mother’s alcoholism in the book? Did you worry about her reaction, and did you discuss it with her first? Oh yeah, but she was on board. I was concerned about it for her sake but I think she was comfortable with it because of the path she’s walked in life, that she felt it could be helpful to people. And it turned out well and she’s given our family a great gift–she’s really modeled redemption and taking something broken in her life and turned it around.
Has growing in your faith, growing closer to God, changed the way you think about your career? Or has it changed your perspective on other things? I think it’s changed my perspective on how I think of myself, this question of “Who am I?” I think I realized that, particularly in my situation, that what I lost at NBC was not who I am. I love being a journalist and that may be a part of who I am but that’s not who I am or who I’m trying to become.
You wrote a lot about being in an interfaith marriage and the struggles of deciding how to raise your kids, ultimately deciding to raise them Jewish. What advice would you give others in a similar situation? I think it’s really important to talk about it in some depth before you make the decision and understand the compromise and sacrifice that it’s worth. Neither Beth nor I understood the extent of the compromise, so I didn’t appreciate how difficult that would be for her, someone who was strongly rooted in her own traditions. I think it’s really important to talk about that when you make the decision. I think it’s worked for us because we have shared goals around spiritual growth that are universal aspects of Judaism and Christianity.
What do you feel is next for you in your career? Do you have any desire to go back to a job like “Meet the Press” or do you have a new path? I’d like to pursue a new path in journalism. I love covering politics, and covering the world and doing interviews. I’m really excited about the ways that media is changing and the opportunities. I’m really interested in the old and the new and finding the best platform for me. Faith as part of my journalism is something I would love to include … and it’s possible I’d like to work on another book about faith.
Writing a memoir like this can be a journey of self-discovery. You went into family history and reflected a lot on your life. What did you discover about yourself as you were writing the book? One of the things was a sense of humility, especially as it related to my parents. Things I’ve struggled with that I wrote about in the book, like anger, selfishness, etcetera, I think I realized that I found a lot of humility in being a parent and [realized that] they did the best they could and I’m trying to do the same thing with my children.
To read an excerpt, learn more and purchase “How’s Your Faith?” (Simon & Schuster, $26), click here.