Commentator Mark Hemingway argued that last Sunday’s “Meet the Press” moment with host Chuck Todd dressing down a Republican senator perfectly illustrates how the show is more about selling a political bias than informing the public.
He calls the interview “a disappointing turn for Todd and the show, once one of the media’s flagship brands,” in a RealClear Politics op-ed. “Indeed,” Hemingway continues, “the full interview demonstrated how the media are increasingly obsessed with performative demonstrations of their political views, and less concerned with simply being informative.”
“The bottom line is that if most of the people watching this exchange had someone – even a friend – question their sincerity and call them a lackey, they wouldn’t put up with it. And it’s infinitely worse to have an ostensibly professional journalist question someone’s integrity this way on national TV.” (RELATED: Sen. Kennedy Squares Off With Chuck Todd Over Hunter Biden)
Todd immediately went after Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson about the supposed quid pro quo in the transcript of the controversial conversation between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, that sparked Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to launch a formal impeachment inquiry.
When Johnson preferred to talk about how Trump has allegedly been targeted by the FBI and the intelligence community for the past two years, Todd interrupted him and stated, “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?” Hemingway asks.
Answering his own question, Hemingway notes, “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 investigated.”
He recounts how former FBI Director James Comey leaked information to the media, how former Mueller investigator Peter Strzok revealed his hatred for the president in text messages to his girlfriend, and other instances of political bias from the political establishment. (RELATED: James Comey Has ‘Never Thought’ Of Electronic Surveillance ‘As Spying’)
Hemingway notes that “Attorney General William Barr is investigating how the theory of Trump collusion with Russia was used to launch a probe of the political campaign” and that “prosecutor John Durham is also investigating the origins of the probe … “
Apparently, these activities are not official enough for Todd.
“What Todd is telling viewers is that official investigations from Johnson’s committee, the Justice Department, and the attorney general are actually just outgrowths of a conspiracy theory,” Hemingway argues.
“Unsurprisingly, the interview went downhill after Todd made his accusation against Johnson. The “MTP” host said, “Senator, please. Can we just answer the question, instead of making Donald Trump feel better that you’re not criticizing him?”