Can he really be this stupid, this insular, this out of touch with obvious reality? Really?
NBC News’s Chuck Todd wrote an op-ed in The Atlantic titled “It’s Time for the Press to Stop Complaining – and to Start Fighting Back.” Much of it wasn’t about the urgency for journalists to defend their work, as the headline suggests; it was mostly focused on how Roger Ailes and Fox News are to blame for growing American animosity towards the news media.
Todd starts by explaining there’s a “new kind of campaign,” a campaign meant to destroy the legitimacy of the American news media.” He quickly pivots to prominent figures in conservative media, accusing Rush Limbaugh, Matt Drudge, and Fox News hosts Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and Tucker Carlson of attaining wealth and power by “exploiting the fears of older white people.”
However, he admits that President Donald Trump “didn’t start this fire” of people hating the mainstream media. That honor, according to Todd, belongs to Fox News founder Ailes. The “Meet The Press” host gave Ailes the title of “the godfather of the Trump presidency.”
“Take the word balanced. It sounded harmless enough. But how does one balance facts?” Todd asks.
Seems easy enough to me, Chuckles: you report ’em, and keep your opinions about ’em to yourself. But hey, I’m not a trained, professional “journalist.”
“A reporting-driven news organization might promise to be accurate, or honest, or comprehensive, or to report stories for an underserved community. But Ailes wasn’t building a reporting-driven news organization. The promise to be ‘balanced’ was a coded pledge to offer alternative explanations, putting commentary ahead of reporting; it was an attack on the integrity of the rest of the media. Fox intended to build its brand the same way Ailes had built the brands of political candidates: by making the public hate the other choice more.”
Nobody needs to worry about any outside campaigns to “destroy the legitimacy of the American news media”; the American news media, to include one Chuck Todd, did that all by themselves, thanks. Sexton takes Todd’s self-serving drivel apart:
Meanwhile, you have one of the allegedly down-the-middle reporters at CNN comparing Antifa, a group the U.S. government has warned is a domestic terror threat, to soldiers landing at Normandy and telling us “all punches are not equal.” But hey, no need to concern ourselves with a lack of balance at any network besides Fox News. In fact, my even bringing this up as an example of media bias is probably just more whataboutism that Chuck Todd would prefer everyone ignore.
Here’s the truth. The people who make up the media lean overwhelmingly to the left and are spectacularly bad at recognizing their own biases. That’s why conservatives are forever forced into the position of trying to point out that the media’s laser focus on the bad behavior of one set of partisans (those on the right) is not the complete story. There is another side to the story which often gets less attention because it doesn’t grab people like Chuck Todd as equally significant or important.
That’s why, just as an aside, you so often see the “GOP seizes on…” headlines. That’s a signal that people on the right are worked up about something which the media doesn’t think is a problem and therefore can only cover at all if they make it a story about the GOP’s odd (or perhaps dishonest) behavior.
The examples, statistics, and patterns confirming not just “some” but overwhelming liberal bias—damned near universal liberal bias—in the “mainstream” media are simply too voluminous to bother listing in this post; plenty of them have been discussed here over the years, but nowhere near all. To hear no less a libmedia leading light than Chuck Todd attempting to pooh-pooh it goes well beyond straining credulity; you almost have to feel sorry for the man. Almost. Back to Wulfsohn for our closer.
At least MSNBC doesn’t attempt to portray itself as fair and objective, unlike CNN. All you have to do is ask Todd what pro-Trump pundits are on NBC’s payroll. The answer: there aren’t any. You’ll find plenty of Never Trumpers, but you won’t find any Republican who will defend this president. To CNN’s credit, they actually do have pro-Trump commentators, albeit ones often greatly outnumbered by Trump haters.
On a side note, Todd has a lot of gall to question the journalistic standards of Fox News right as his own network is being accused of killing the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault story. In fact, on the night Todd’s piece was published, Ronan Farrow accused his former employer of blocking him from further reporting. So while he craps on a competing network, his own network’s credibility is being burned to the ground.
What Todd resents the most about Fox News is the fact they’re the first to highlight media bias and profit from it. They’ve dominated in ratings for almost 20 years. A huge audience is sick and tired of being informed about current events with a liberal slant. Fox News became the anecdote (uhh, antidote, maybe—M), the counterweight to the rest of the mainstream media, who shield Democrats and demonize Republicans.
Todd is either clueless or lying, I’m not sure which. Either way, he’s preposterous…and pathetic.