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Chuck Todd and the Demise of True Journalism

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08.10.2019

Chuck Todd received plaudits from his media peers for lambasting Republican Sen. Ron Johnson’s investigation of the FBI as “Fox News conspiracy propaganda stuff” during a hostile 10-minute “Meet the Press” interview on Sunday.

The Washington Post offered up a story headlined “‘Who leaked?’ An analysis of GOP Sen. Ron Johnson’s conspiracy-minded defense of Trump.’” The Daily Beast declared, “GOP Sen. Ron Johnson Loses It on ‘Meet the Press.’” Business Insider went with “GOP Senator Ron Johnson had a 'Fox News conspiracy' meltdown.” Columbia Journalism Review covered the story under the banner “The Sunday shows turn on Trump’s enablers.”

But far from being a laudable moment of press accountability, the “Meet the Press” interview was a disappointing turn for Todd and the show, once one of the media’s flagship brands. Indeed, the full interview illustrated how the media are increasingly obsessed with performative demonstrations of their political views, and less concerned with simply being informative.

Conspiracy Theories?

Chuck Todd’s first question to Johnson was about the Wisconsin senator’s statement that he “winced” at the suggestion that military aid to Ukraine was potentially linked to investigations into Biden family dealings in that country. Johnson pivoted to attacks on President Trump by the media and intelligence agencies over the last two years.

After sighing loudly, Todd said, “I have no idea why Fox News conspiracy propaganda stuff is popping up on here.”

While Todd’s dismissal of Johnson was met with applause from fellow journalists, was this an appropriate stance from a newsman purportedly concerned with facts?

The Trump campaign and administration were investigated for several years both by an internal counterintelligence probe at the FBI and a powerful special counsel. Many apparent abuses of power at the FBI during that probe have been found and are being officially........

© RealClearPolitics