Chuck Todd is the NBC News Political Director and Chief White House Correspondent. I wonder what qualifications were required for those posts. Listening to Todd’s comments today on Morning Joe suggest that not much actual research or knowledge of current political events were deemed a prerequisite in landing his job:
The key portion of his remarks reveals some sort of tunnel vision on his part as he struggles to explain left-wing criticism of Obama’s healthcare initiatives:
“I think we’ve all been wondering at what point…you know…what would it take for the left to start actually criticizing the White House […] Would there be something that they would get upset about from the White House, and this is the first time we’re seeing that.”
The first time? Apparently Todd doesn’t read Paul Krugman, who has been blasting the President on his economic proposals. Todd hasn’t been watching Keith Olbermann or Rachel Maddow who have been fiercely critical of Obama’s timidity with regard to torture and the prosecution of those responsible for it. Todd must be oblivious to the attacks from advocates of civil liberties and same-sex marriage. And Todd must have missed the free press activists who are hammering the White House for not living up to their promises on transparency.
The left may be many things, but it is not above circling the wagons and firing away at itself. Todd has bought the right-wing fallacy that the media is liberal and that the Obama administration is enjoying special treatment. That has never been true, but that doesn’t stop the rightist propaganda machine from alleging it. One thing they never acknowledge is that Fox News is the #1 national cable news network, and they are notoriously, and viciously, critical of Obama, democrats, and liberals in general.
How the right can assert that the media is liberal while Fox, most newspapers, and virtually all of talk radio, are firmly in the conservative camp, is unfortunate but understandable given their self-serving agenda. What I don’t understand is how professional journalists, who aspire to practice their craft ethically, can be so taken in by the dishonest representations of partisan operatives and, as a result, disseminate the sort of nonsense that Todd is dispensing here.
[Update] Todd responded to an emailer (thanks, ecostar) saying:
“I love getting attacked on things like this. There’s a difference between venting and deciding to act upon the anger and what I was point out was the specific acting out by moveon on rahm and health care. Sounds like some blogger decided to either misrepresent what I said or somehow didn’t understand the context. But thanks for being a ranter in your attack.”
So Todd doesn’t think that all of the advocacy groups connected to the issues addressed above are acting on their complaints? MoveOn is just the latest to act. He should check with the ACLU, the Human Rights Campaign, FreePress.net, Brave New Films/Foundation, etc. His answer is a complete dodge that only further engulfs him in disinformation.
Feel free to let Todd know that this is NOT the first time that the left has been critical of Obama, and it is NOT the first time that media mainstays like him have misrepresented that fact: