While the lack of self-awareness and introspection can be infuriating most of the times, there are instances when the massive set of blinders the media wears day-in-and-day-out can lead to hilarious results.
One of those events happened today when Rolling Stone published an interview with Chuck Todd. In a firmament of dim bulbs, Todd is not the dimmest as evidenced by him not working at CNN. But neither can Sleepy Chuck be called insightful. Todd is simply one of several Democrat apparatchiks who have been laundered into supposedly neutral journalists.
The subject of the interview, oddly enough, was disinformation. It is fitting that Todd hold forth on the subject as he has been a central figure in disseminating the most successful disinformation campaign in American history, that would be the Russia Hoax. Naturally, he wasn’t asked about his role is spreading disinformation, but rather how the media is the victim of it.
I spoke with Todd about this erosion of truth ahead of an upcoming Dec. 29th special edition of Meet the Press that will focus on journalism and the weaponization of disinformation, and feature guests such as Marty Baron, executive editor of The Washington Post; Dean Baquet, executive editor of The New York Times; The New Yorker’s Masha Gessen; and former U.S. ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul.
Just savor this for a moment. The Washington Post has knowingly spread not only the Russia Hoax but had a columnist who was a paid agent of influence of Qatar. The New York Times continues to misrepresent basic stories for no greater reason than trying to damage President Trump, some of the lies are so noxious that even other media don’t buy them. Like this one from a couple of weeks ago when the New York Times consciously lied about the contents of President Trump’s executive order on antisemitism–The New York Times Lies About Donald Trump’s Anti-Semitism Executive Order and Digs In When Called Out On It. McFaul’s lies about the Russia Hoax are the stuff of legend which makes you realize that the upper ranks of the FBI and, in McFaul’s case, the CIA have been stocked for years with either slobbering imbeciles or psychopathic liars. To top it off, the outlet doing the interview is the one that perpetrated a story that was known to be bullsh** that accused several young men of participating in a gang rape.
This is obviously what is bothering them. It isn’t disinformation, per se, it is the fact that politicians and the public have become bolder in pushing back on the obvious disinformation spread by Chuck Todd and his fellow travelers.
In your recent interview with Senator John Kennedy, he used Russian talking points to defend Trump. Somehow, he gets that disinformation from Russia. Why do you think Republicans are willing to come on your show and run that exact line?
[RedState’s take on the interview Hillary Clinton’s Rebuke of GOP Sen. John Kennedy Over Alleged Ukraine Interference Backfires Spectacularly]
The fact is, and by the way, this isn’t going to be easy to show, but I actually think when we outline this it will, the right has an incentive structure to utter the misinformation. Look, I’ll just be honest, when I had the third senator [to spread Russian disinformation], Senator Ted Cruz, come on my show and do this — who I did not expect to do this — I started to think, he wants the confrontation. He wants to use this for some sort of appeasement of the right. [RedState’s take on the interview TOTALLY LIT. Ted Cruz Wipes the Studio Floor With Sleepy Chuck Todd Over Ukraine Helping Hillary in 2016].
I didn’t know what else to think. I was stunned because he’s a Russia hawk. He spent the entire week showcasing his hawkishness on Russia. Threatening the administration on the pipeline in Germany and really be there. So the reason I, and I’m sorry I ever showed an expression, the reason that the expression on my face went viral, I think, I was genuinely shocked. And by the way, they came to us. They came to us saying they wanted to come on this week. And I really naively thought, maybe he wants to remind people that with Russia [and blaming Ukraine] this is getting ridiculous. And it turned out not to be the case.
So I do think one of the things that I want to explore on this is the incentive structure. One of the things we don’t fully appreciate in mainstream media on these attacks is that it’s become fun to attack the press, if that makes sense, on the right. It doesn’t matter if we’re right or wrong, attack them anyway.
This is, to me, the greater challenge we have, which is that pretending the media is a liar or fake news and all this stuff, is sport. Trump has turned this into sport. People that are the loudest chanters of fake news and accusatory of us are the ones who, under a lie detector, would probably take our word over any word they’ve heard from the other side on whether something was poisonous or not. Hannity says drink it, and so-and-so says don’t. Who do you trust? So I do think that is something that this sort of cheering on falsehoods for sport, wow, have we gone off the rails on the right side of the silo of the conversation that’s taking place.
The Russian talking points Todd keeps pleasuring himself about is the role of Ukraine in the 2016 election. Until about six months ago, it was pretty uncontroversial to recall that DNC fixer Alexandra Chalupa was working with the Ukraine government to get information on Paul Manafort’s business arrangements. The Ukrainian ambassador to the United States wrote an op-ed saying that Hillary Clinton winning was essential to Ukraine. The media keeps calling this Putin’s talking point, which is a non-sequitur. If Ukraine interfered in our election and Putin is talking about it, that doesn’t change the fact that they interfered. That fact stands alone. The media area also fond of calling it a “conspiracy theory” and “debunked” when, in fact, the allegation has never been subject to a criminal probe. Rather the same agencies that concocted the Russia Hoax have declared Ukraine did nothing. This hardly makes the non-crazy and non-stupid feel terribly confident in the pronouncement.
When you add onto that the fact that Hunter Biden got a position on the board of a Ukrainian gas company making $83,000 per month because Dear Old Dad was Obama’s “point person” on Ukraine, the reason that they don’t want to explore the issue and the reason that they want to shut down the questions and discredit the questioner becomes more and more obvious.
Right now three Senate committees are investigating Ukraine meddling in the 2016 election, those chairmen, Chuck Grassley, Lindsey Graham, and Ron Johnson are not known for doing wild and crazy stuff. The fact that Ted Cruz and John Kennedy also talked about it should be a hint that they probably know more about the subject than Todd. Maybe there is nothing, but the disinformation here is not the allegations, the disinformation is Chuck Todd insisting, in the absence of evidence, that the allegations are false.
The issue is simple. After the Russia Hoax, very, very few people give any credence to what the media report. And for very good reason. Even when using the weak and duplicitous report that Robert Mueller generated, virtually every Russia/collusion story run for three solid years was utter balderdash. The Nunes Memo, which was derided by the media, has been verified. Adam Schiff’s memo, which the media and NeverTrumpers latched onto with a vengeance, has been demonstrated to have been false in all regards. It was, itself, an exercise in disinformation and guys like Chuck Todd fell for it.
Chuck Todd shares office space with Joy Reid and Brian Williams and is lamenting to us common folk how misinformation spreads. https://t.co/ZDmWksuxA0
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) December 26, 2019
— Ben Domenech (@bdomenech) December 26, 2019
Nowhere in Todd's interview does he come even close for acknowledging the media's own fault in public distrust.https://t.co/ilvR7qeBVx
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) December 26, 2019
I’m sure the panel discussion on Sunday will be a total dumpster fire because the premise they are working from is false. The media is the linchpin in the spread of disinformation, whether it be authored in the Kremlin, as the Steele Dossier seems to have been, or on Capitol Hill by a Democrat congressman. The media falls for this because the products were carefully constructed to fit their politics and their world view, because there is not a newsroom in America today that checks those stories that are just too good to check.