On Thursday’s “Morning Joe,” NBC News political director and White House correspondent Chuck Todd vented his frustration with his own network’s decision to air a mini-series about former Secretary of State and potential 2016 Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton.
The mini-series is one example of a larger rivalry between NBC’s news division and NBC’s entertainment division, Todd said.
“The two entities are sometimes at war with each other,” he said. “I can’t tell you how many fights we’ve had internally about whether to cover — you know, we want to cover some live news event and those, you know, guys on the West Coast, they want to, you know, run some rerun of ‘Parks and Recreation’ or whatever because they’ll make money that way. And you know actually, the relationship is bad. It’s never great. It’s either OK or really bad.”
“Entertainment hates news,” he said. “All we do is take up precious time that they could sell out ads, you know, promoting ‘America’s Got Talent.’ … Actually, please, NBC Entertainment, can you please make some money? Thank God for all of the cable channels, right? Yay, Bravo, yay, USA.”
Todd explained to his fellow panelist on “Morning Joe” that the public doesn’t differentiate between the different divisions at NBC and argued that was problematic for him and the news division of the network.
“But the real issue is — the fact that Nicole [Wallace] didn’t know that — that’s somebody that’s well-informed about the machinations of how the media works,” Todd said. “This is why this mini-series is a total nightmare for NBC News. We know there’s this giant firewall, we have nothing to do with it, we know that we’d love probably to be as critical, or whatever it is going to be, if it comes out. But there’s nothing we can do about it.”
“And we’re going to only own the negative,” he continued. “Whether it’s negative because it’s the Clinton people are upset that it’s too tough on them, or negative because the Republicans think it’s this glorification of her. No matter what, only we are going to own it, because people are going to see the peacock and NBC, and they see NBC News, and they think: ‘Well, they can’t be that separate.’”