Monday, December 29, 2014

Chuck Todd and other political media exposed as gutless tools

If you wonder why the political establishment and reality often seems to be going in two different directions these days, this exchange from Sunday’s episode of “Meet the Press” might give you a good idea.

MTP host Chuck Todd decided to have a roundtable of comedians for this Holiday week, which isn’t a bad idea on the surface, since it’d likely be more interesting and honest than the white male right-wing politicians that dominate these programs. Daily Kos poster Egberto Willies wrote a great summary of this roundtable, and how the always-awesome Lewis Black exposed Todd as a fraud by asking Chuckles why he doesn’t call BS on his guests.
I have watched you and everybody else where somebody comes on," Lewis Black said. "I don't know how you do it. Because I would be barking at them. Because they sit there and go 'glib glib [blah blah]' and you sit there."

Chuck Todd then interjected. "We all sit there because we all know the first time we bark is the last time we do the show," Chuck Todd said. "... All of a sudden, no one will come on your show."

W. Kamau Bell came in with an interesting point. He said that many times the traditional mainstream media uses the comedian's satire to say what they dare not say. In effect comedians get to bark. He points out an interesting exception.

"The weird thing is that Fox News also gets to bark," W. Kamau Bell said "And I think sometimes the left leaning media is afraid of barking."
Yeah, it is kind of weird how right-wing media gets to hammer and demonize their opponents, but lefties don’t. Almost like there’s a double-standard in honesty and decency or something. (and yes, Charlie also has a great post on that today)

As usual, Esquire Magazine’s Charlie Pierce was on point with his summary of Todd’s embarrassing admission.
The problem with MTP never has been the hosts, although they could be better. The problem is that the format is obsolete, which is demonstrated quite clearly by the panels put together on MSNBC's weekend morning shows -- academics, and state politicians, and, occasionally, ordinary citizens who have latched into a cause, all viewpoints that almost never get aired anywhere else, and undeniably fresh ones. Does my man Chuck Todd really go through life concerned that he will lose the 90,763rd interview with John McCain if he points out that McCain really doesn't know fck all about much of anything? This makes me very sad. Kill this program now before it takes you all down with it and we have to escape down the mountain in a Sno-Cat.
As Pierce mentions, the real story is that Chuck Todd is admitting GETTING ACCESS TRUMPS THE TRUTH when it comes to political “reporting” these days. This is the same Chuck Todd who admitted last year that it wasn’t the media’s job to correct GOP lies and present facts regarding what was (and was not) part of the Affordable Care Act. In Chuck Todd’s world, facts take a back to seat to how much two sides can “sell” their side of an issue. Related to that, calling out liars for their BS and giving the record of the results of failed policies can jeopardize a relationship with politicians, so giving a bystanding public the information they need takes a backseat to cozying up to current and future guests.

We see the same situation here in Wisconsin, where the “journalists” at Journal Communications and other state media see a gravy train of opportunity with Scott Walker’s political career, and have consistently decided to play dumb and let this dishonest dimwit throw his statements out in public without a direct challenge. Don’t believe me? Remember how Scotty ended up blubbering on the campaign trail regarding Medicaid expansion when someone did the rare act of asking a follow-up question?

This lack of understanding of a huge health issue should disqualify any candidate in a society that valued competence, honesty, and respect for the common welfare- you know, stuff that public officials are supposed to have and stuff the media is supposed to hold them to account for. But since our state’s media relies on Walker/ WisGOP ad revenue and sources for their broadcasts and “news” stories, they won’t pull this routine too often, even if it destroys our state’s reputation and economy in the process. After all, these “chucktodd”-style journalists work for their corporate bosses, and not the public.

1 comment:

  1. I stopped watching "Meet the GOP", "Face John McCain", and "This Week with the Republicans" years ago, and I feel a lot better for it. It took valuable time away from reading economic research and commentary.

    Since moving away from the format that Lawrence Spivak pioneered, these shows have become irrelevant political fanzines.

    But seriously ask yourself, "how much does Todd make?" The answer to that query exposes the truth that these shows are nothing but multi-millionaires asking questions of the paid-for representatives of billionaire plutocrats.

    Dr. Morbius