Malacandra.me

Sunday Morning Comin’ Down


Everything that is broken with the Beltway media in easy-to-swallow pill-form.

First, this headline in  The New York Times magazine:
Chuck Todd Thinks It’s Important to Stay Neutral
Second, the interviewer is Ana Marie Cox, of Crooked Media/Pod Save DC, NYC and LA America.  So, y'know, I'm there.  I'm buckled in for a epic verbal fencing match between the personification of Everything That Is Wrong With Our Political Media --



-- and The Latest Shiny, New, Coastal Liberal Media Thingie That Will Be The Solution To Everything That Is Wrong With Our Political Media.

Cool.



Cox:  You’ve been moderating “Meet the Press” for just over three years. Do you think your job is the same today as it was, say, 10 months ago?

Todd:  What the audience expects hasn’t changed. People come to us for the same reasons: to be educated and informed. My biggest change is that I feel the need to reinforce the wall between the news media and the politicians. The wall has always been there, but sometimes there have been too many holes in it. One legitimate criticism of the political press over the last two decades has been the appearance of coziness between people in the media and the political elite. It’s a lot easier for me, say, as a sports fan...
Ruh roh.
Cox: O.K., but you did vote for someone. You have opinions. Is that the same as being biased?

Todd:  No. I don’t advocate — that’s the big difference. Now, that said, we’re all human beings...
Yes, we are indeed all human beings.

Except for Hugh Hewitt.

Who is, as has been long-established, a cyborg sent from the future to destroy America.

And who has also been (for reasons no one dares to explain to us rubes out here in flyover country) jumped up from Crackpot Wingnut Radio Drone to Chuck Todd's BFF and a regular in the rotation on "Meet the Press".

Just like Charlie Sykes!

And Rick Wilson.  And Bill Kristol.  And Joe Scarborough.  And David Brooks.  And Danielle Pletka (The American Enterprise Institute.)  And Rich Lowry.  And Peggy Noonan.  And on and on and on.  Each with long established records of being horribly fucking wrong about everything, and each repeatedly refurbished with unearned credibility by the mere fact that Chuck Todd keeps giving them a seat at the "Meet the Press" table along with his personal guarantee that no one will bring up the inconvenient fact of their ongoing horrible wrongness.

Because Chuck Todd just loves neutrality so god damn much!

Which brings us back to Hugh Hewitt, who was once again called up to the Big Kids Table on "Meet the Press".

Which, in turn brings us back to Ms. Cox's ruthless cross-examination laid-back, beanbag-chair rap session with Mr. Todd:
Cox:  If someone is a bad character, what is your role as a journalist?

Todd:  You just point it out. At the end of the day, it’s still up to the voter, not me.
Sigh.
Cox: Do you think you did a good job covering the events of 2016?
Oh!  Oh!  Call on me!  I know the answer to this one!  Like most of the rest of his caste, Mr. Todd did a fucking godawful job -- 
-- covering the events of 2016.

Now, let's see how close I got to Mr. Todd's actual answer!
Todd:  I’m going to give you a Donald Rumsfeld answer...
Sigh.  Again.

Mr. Chuck Todd's searching and fearless moral inventory goes on like that for a bit longer, until it sorta just piddles out.

You know, speaking only for myself, if enjoyed the kind of privilege and network of personal contacts that could swing me a sit-down with Mr. Toddler under a New York Times byline, I do not think I would use that opportunity to ask him "If you could be any kind of tree, what kind of tree would you be?"-level questions.  After all, at least theoretically, with great mission statements come great responsibility.  And if I am marketing myself as The Latest Shiny, New, Coastal Liberal Media Thingie That Will Be The Solution To Everything That Is Wrong With Our Political Media, then I believe it would have been my responsibility to ask Mr. Todd some very hard questions about how he and his caste have fucked the media up almost beyond redemption.  

Sure Chuck Todd, and his people,  and the corporate myrmidons who negotiate these little marriages-of-media-convenience would all probably never speak to me again.  But by that time I would have already done the Ed Sullivan Show.



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