A Hanlon’s Razor Puzzle: Is Chuck Todd A Liar, Or An Idiot?

Everywhere I turned today, I heard, read or heard about media people saying astounding things. For example, I learned that Geraldo Rivera endorsed the ridiculous idea of appointing Cindy McCain to replace her husband, tweeting,

Cindy McCain is well-qualified & should be appointed to fill Senate seat now vacated by death of hero husband.

How is she “well qualified? She has a typical heiress resume, running charities and doing other rich-people things. If she is so well-qualified to be a Senator, why didn’t anyone suggest that she run before her husband died? Her “qualification” is that her last name is McCain, that’s all, and it’s no qualification at all. Is Geraldo lying, or is he an idiot? Hanlon’s Razor directs us to presume incompetence over malice, and in Geraldo’s case, his record points in the same direction. He’s an idiot.

Then, driving home just now, I heard some pundit telling CNN’s Erin Burnett that John McCain held no grudge against the President for his campaign slur against prisoners of war. He didn’t care what Trump said. It rolled right off his back. The Senator knew who he was; words didn’t wound him. Suuuuure. That’s why he made a point of saying that the President of the United States wasn’t welcome at his funeral. That’s why in his farewell statement, McCain couldn’t resist taking thinly veiled shots at Trump. Nah, he didn’t care what the President said!

This guy, whoever it was, was lying.

But I don’t know what to make of Chuck Todd. I used to watch “Meet the Press” religiously on Sundays when Tim Russert was the host. He was obviously a Democrat, but he was smart and usually fair; I never felt like he had an agenda, or that he was lying to me. Todd is a different matter, and after a single viewing when he took over, I scratched the show off my list. (The other Sunday talking head shows followed, for various reasons, over the next 18 months until there were none.)

This past Sunday, in a roundtable exchange with David Brody, chief political analyst at CBN News who noted that 62% of the public think the media is biased, Todd actually seemed to be saying that mainstream media liberal bias is a myth, responding,

“Well, the conservative echo chamber created [that] environment. It’s not — no, no, no. It’s been a tactic and a tool of the Roger Ailes-created chamber. So, let’s not pretend it is not anything other than that…it was a creation. It was a campaign tactic. It’s not based in much fact. “

What? My business and training include detecting bias, and there is no reasonable, factual argument that the news media isn’t biased. Ethics Alarms is full of examples, and it’s a small percentage of the data.  The New York Times and the Washington Post ooze bias from every pore, in their headlines, choice of stories, editorials, and spin. CNN is like a daily clinic in how not to perform ethical, objective journalism.

Now, I recognize that Todd is in the middle of the culture, and fish don’t know that they are surrounded in water, but can he possibly be that clueless? Has he never watched Chris Cuomo? Don Lemon? Jim Acosta? Brian Stelter? Does he see nothing amiss in former Clinton aide and staffer George Stephanopoulous covering stories involving Hillary Clinton? Does Todd really think that the news media’s near unanimous anti-gun stance is objective and independent? Did he really not see anything unprofessional about the funereal reporting by almost all of his colleagues when they realized on election night that Trump had won? Does he not recall the 2008 campaign, when the entire media openly idolized and idealized Barack Obama, while savaging Sarah Palin as not having enough experience to be Vice-President, when she had more relevant experience than Obama. That doesn’t ring any bells, Chuck? Hello?

Jake Tapper has admitted that the media was in the tank for Obama. He’s biased, but at least he’s smart enough to recognize it, and honest enough to admit it. I trust him—a little–because of that. Jeff Greenfield is a liberal shill, but he also has been honest about his profession’s bias, so I trust him–sort of—too.

But Todd—I don’t know. Hanlon’s Razor says we should assume stupidity rather than malice. But is anyone that stupid? Or that dishonest? Or so stupid that they don’t realize that being that dishonest won’t foll anyone?

Here’s a poll…

 

15 Comments

Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Character, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, History, Journalism & Media, Professions

15 responses to “A Hanlon’s Razor Puzzle: Is Chuck Todd A Liar, Or An Idiot?

  1. “There are none so blind as those who will not see.” -Matthew

    I really wish they would take off those rose colored glasses…

    • All past evidence to the contrary, journalists think that they will be a part of the Elite they idolize when the revolution is complete. They do not understand the term ‘useful idiots,’ and are willfully ignorant of what has happened to the Press after EVERY revolution where Marxists win.

      Hint: it usually involves a blindfold, a wall with curious holes all over it, and a three step cadence.

      • Even worse: if the New Right was to win such a conflict, the result for this Press Corps might be the same…

        Irony

        • dragin_dragon

          Slick, the main reason for that is that neither Marxism nor Fascism can exist, by definition, in a free society. The press, right now, is exercising it’s right to exist , if not to think, that it can only have in a free society. Unfortunately, a free society also gives (gave) liberals an opportunity to steer it onto the rocky shoals we now inhabit.

  2. Chris Marschner_

    Bias is only seen when its affect harms you. I believe he is blind to his own bias. It cannot be true, he thinks, because that would make him unprofessional and since he believes himself a professional he cannot be biased. It is those he reports on are the biased ones.

    This is no different than senior Justice officials believing that because they are noble and guardians of fair play whatever they do is justified.

    This is how civility breaks down. When one side fails to acknowledge that they may share responsibility or that they may be trying advance a parochial initiative that harms the group in disfavor and then projects bias on the opposition simply to discredit the opposition then the deleterious effects of bias become manifest.

  3. I suspect he thinks he’s objective and he’s an idiot. The two go hand in hand.

  4. Glenn Logan

    I vote for “and”.

  5. Rusty Rebar

    Is Geraldo lying, or is he an idiot?

    This is a rhetorical question right? I think it is, and has been , obvious for years to decades.

  6. dragin_dragon

    Since they were not mutually exclusive, I voted for all three.

  7. Jim Wallace

    Biased poll, no?

    • It would be biased if “He’s right” was a legitimate option. But since he’s not right, and no case could be mounted that he is right, then its’ not biased. Unless you have an alternative I haven’t considered.

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