I recall first seeing Chuck Todd as a reporter when he seemed to be the heir apparent to Tim Russert. You always knew Russert was a liberal Democrat, but it NEVER seemed to leak into his work. He terrorized Democrats and Republicans on Meet The Press.
MTP was originally designed as a 30-minute press conference for the guest, questioned by a panel of three national reporters in a very typical “question and answer” format. The very first sitting President to appear as the guest was Gerald Ford in November 1975. Between 1966 and 1991 — 25 years — MTP had seven different “hosts.” The show had declined so badly in quality that NBC was considering canceling the program.
But Tim Russert, then the Washington DC Bureau Chief for NBC, was made the host, and the show realized a rejuvenation with Russert’s upbeat but very analytical style. He worked to change the format, expanding the show to an hour and eliminating the panel of three journalists as questioners. Russert conducted the guest interviews alone. Russert hosted the program for 17 years until he died suddenly of a heart attack in June 2008.
David Gregory was eventually announced to replace Russert as the host, but in December 2008, Chuck Todd was named as “Contributing Editor,” which I assume means he had some influence on the editorial content of the show each week. At the time, Todd was relatively new on the scene and was “Political Director” for NBC News. This was following the election of Barack Obama. MTP declined in the ratings with David Gregory as host, and in August 2014, Todd was announced as the new host for the show.
Todd has a “similar” appearance to Russert, and it has been suggested over the years that he patterns his approach to doing the show after Russert. When he first assumed the role, he seemed to follow the template that Russert forged, and was tough in his questioning of all guests. But Donald Trump’s victory in 2016 changed everything. Todd’s questioning of any guest connected to the Administration or GOP invariably dripped with the talking points you heard from Congressional Democrats. Now that the campaign is underway in full, his questions and comments sound like their cribbed notes from a Biden campaign conference call every morning on the “message of the day.”
Today’s edition and his questioning of Mark Meadows is a perfect example. Last night a member of “Patriot Prayer,” a legitimately questionable group based in the Pacific Northwest, was gunned down in the streets of downtown Portland without provocation or warning. An individual walked out in the street approximately 15 yards from where the victim was standing and fired two shots with a semi-automatic handgun.
Portland has been the location of over three months of violent rioting in the downtown area as well as suburbs. The rioting is being led by Antifa and BLM Portland. “Counter-protestors” — “right-wing” groups if you insist that description is necessary — have shown up only sporadically. Yesterday a caravan of several hundred cars carrying Trump supporters drove through downtown Portland as a “rolling Trump rally.” There were various incidents involving confrontation and violence between small numbers of the two groups, but no wide-scale violence. The shooting happened after most of the “Rally” had departed the downtown area, and there were few individuals on either side of the conflict present. The first reports of the shooting didn’t even confirm there was any connection between the shooting and the rally. It was only a couple hours later that the association of the victim was confirmed, and later that night Antifa and BLM “celebrated” the news.
So, fast forward to the Sunday morning talk shows, specifically Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press.”
After calling Kyle Rittenhouse a “teenage vigilante who came in from out of state,” Todd doesn’t even mention the Saturday night shooting in Portland of a pro-Trump supporter. But it’s not like he was unaware of what had happened because he had questions for White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows about the subject. Todd expressed his view on the shooting in Portland through the following questions:
Todd: If the President is cheering on people that are going to go into Portland, those protesters — the President called them “Great Patriots” — do you think the President should be telling his supporters “de-escalate, don’t show up with long guns, don’t play vigilante” — he only wants to de-escalate the protests he doesn’t like, he has not talked about the protests that support him that are showing up with long guns and are certainly trying to at least give a visual incentive to create a conflict.”
Where “long guns” have been carried, it has been absolutely legal under both federal and state law for the individuals who carried them to have done so. Rioting, looting, and physical assault are all crimes — that is what Antifa and BLM have been engaging in for months. Openly carrying a long-gun is not illegal in Portland or Kenosha.
Todd: This young man that took matters into his own hands, the President has yet to condemn these actions…. I’m talking about Kenosha.”
Meadows gave the perfect response here, and the question betrays Todd’s complete bias. Meadows said the facts of that episode have not yet been established through the justice system, so it would be inappropriate for any government official to condemn the actions. Todd insists on finding fault with Rittenhouse’s conduct, and from his comments, it’s clear that he has almost no understanding of the actual facts involved.
Todd: “The President denounced the violence on one side of protesters he didn’t like, but why not denounce what this young man did? Why not say “Please don’t take matters into your own hands.”
This is where the DNC and Biden campaign is headed. The “failure” of Pres. Trump to denounce his supporters — whether there is anything to “denounce” or not — means he’s just as complicit in the violence as anyone who has expressed support for the Antifa/BLM rioters.
The Democrats CANNOT disavow the violence they have supported for over three months. They can’t risk alienating the demographic block of the Democrat party constituency who are leading the violence. The only approach to the potentially fatal problem they have created for themselves is to try and get voters to accept a false equivalency and declare “a pox on both your houses” to neutralize it as a voting issue.
Chuck Todd is a ball carrier for the Biden team. NBC should make them pay his salary.
The entire interview can be seen here: