To see a journalist try to impugn anyone else’s credibility is just the start of the stunted thinking.
It has been constant in the press for the better part of the month now to build up the Liz Cheney removal from her House leadership position as a major problem within the Republican Party. The reason is transparent, as they are using her case to perpetuate their newest narrative of selling us what they dub to be The Big Lie. Not surprisingly, Chuck Todd was following this script page by page on Sunday when he was discussing the Liz Cheney matter with Representative Dan Crenshaw.
Chuckles opened the segment in addressing this Big Lie narrative by opening with a lie himself. He stated boldly that Cheney’s removal was a direct result of her refusing to accept Donald Trump’s lie that the 2020 election was stolen. This is not the case, as she had already been put to a vote and retained following that vote. The issue behind her removal is her abject refusal to talk about anything else but Trump and the election result, and the effect this has had in holding back the party from addressing other issues.
Todd next ran a clip of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy speaking to the press following a meeting at the White House. McCarthy said no one is contesting the validity of the election, something the media has itself been calling to take place. Yet following his comments, the press recoiled in revulsion, with many braying that McCarthy was in denial and he needs to address the 2020 election head-on. Note this bifurcated complaint in the press: They accuse the GOP of being obsessed with the election result and yet the moment GOP members try to speak to another topic the press forces the subject back to the front of the discussion.
Chuck Todd displayed this very paradox in a ridiculous fashion yesterday. Todd started by saying there were members of the Republican Party who want to “wipe clean our collective memory of January 6.” Understand, within the same argument, the GOP is both obsessed with the subject and they are attempting to move past the subject, which is unacceptable. Make sense of that if you can, because it is beyond my skill set. Then Chuck got obnoxious when faced with reality.
Rep. Crenshaw opened the talk by correctly stating the Liz Cheney story is merely backroom drama, and the party needed to move on to other important policy issues. The claims of intra-party strife are dispelled by a new CBS News poll showing 80% of Republican voters backed removing Cheney from her post. Crenshaw noted how in that previous vote, Cheney was overwhelmingly supported and allowed to retain her leadership but that she was incapable of moving past the election issue, making it into a problem with her as a leader. As he laid out this case Todd turned intolerable.
Crenshaw mentioned how in talking with his constituents, nobody asks him about the Cheney issue, when Todd uncorked this blast. “Why should anybody believe a word you say, if the Republican Party itself doesn’t have any credibility?” That is an astounding comment for anyone to make, let alone a journalist. Just to start, if Todd adheres to this belief, then why did he have Crenshaw on in the first place?! To say that his words cannot be believed because he is a Republican alone means Todd only brought on Crenshaw in order to demean him and accuse wildly. It also means he is already dismissing any comments made strictly based on the party of origin, and not based on what the facts show.
That is behavior that belies journalistic credibility.
Then Chuck managed to completely undermine his entire premise when he, after Crenshaw again stated his party is not obsessed with the Liz Cheney drama and was looking into numerous other policy concerns, demanded they go back and address Trump and the concerns of the 2020 election. “I understand you guys want to put this behind you,” said Chuckles, desperate to get back to the issue of his preference, “but he is the leader of your party, and he doesn’t stop talking about this nonsense!”
Crenshaw calmly pointed out how Todd was the one being obsessive on this issue. “We are 5 months into President BIDEN’s Presidency, and there is a time to move on. And there’s a lot of reason for you to keep it alive.” This rattled Todd, who then as a retort only proved Crenshaw’s case.
“Why do we sit here and have a political party that is basically wrapping around this bizarre lie and mythology that the former President is doing, and you guys just want to say, ‘Hey, pay no attention to this’. That somehow we in the press are bringing it up. It’s the former President!”
This was remarkable. He states how the GOP is trying to move past it, and then he goes ahead and forces the conversation back onto the very topic he slanders the GOP for allegedly being obsessed with, when he displays the polar opposite. Twice, Representative Crenshaw points out how the party intentions are focused elsewhere, and here is Chuck Todd insisting he address Trump and the challenge of the election, while at the same time trying to claim the press is not bringing the topic up.
This is precisely the same reason Liz Cheney was removed; she is incapable of moving on from the subject. On Wednesday, following the vote to remove her, she addressed the press and in her opening comments said multiple times how the party needs to move forward. Then her very next comments, just seconds later, were about Trump, the election, and how she will pledge to battle the man.
Chuck Todd displayed all the same inner workings of this issue in the press. They need Liz, in order to keep the story churning. The vote to remove her Wednesday took all of 15 minutes, so the party could get on with agenda items in the chambers. Cheney, and the press, have spent the ensuing days rehashing and relitigating the election result, the Trump reactions, and The Big Lie incessantly, all the while insisting that it is the Republicans who cannot let it go.
Just as a way to underscore the game plan, immediately following Crenshaw’s segment Todd turned to Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a supporter of Cheney and her efforts. That interview was a complete tonal shift, with the host being calm and non-combative as he served up genteel questions so Kinzinger could repeat the talking points from the press, of whom he has been desperately cultivating favor. Also of note, Kinzinger is another to gleefully spout off at length about the 2020 election, criticizing those in his own party who supposedly cannot shut up about the topic he was dredging up. Again.
(At partner site Townhall we have launched a new feature highlighting episodes such as this called RIFFED FROM THE HEADLINES, a daily running feature detailing the media malpractice.)