KABOOM! Even I Did Not Think “Meet The Press” Could Sink This Low [UPDATED]

Above is a damning tweet from the Justice Department reacting to a stunning breach of journalism ethics, basic honesty and fairness by NBC’s “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd.  It memorializes the descent of the once iconic Sunday news show, and indeed the nation’s entire mainstream media, into total corruption to a degree that was once, even a few years ago, unimaginable.

We had already discussed here the shocking disinformation advanced by Barack Obama, decisively debunked by law professor Jonathan Turley, as the former POTUS claimed that the dismissal of the charges against Michael Flynn over prosecutorial misconduct (that Obama appears to have had a hand in) posed a threat to the rule of law. Several of our more cynical commenters here opined that the news media would cover for Obama as they set out to smear Attorney General Barr and the Trump Administration in defiance of the facts. At the time, I had not learned about today’s debacle on “Meet the Press.”

Its host, ChuckTodd used a deceptively edited portion of Barr’s interview last week with CBS News investigative reporter Catherine Herridge to attack the Attorney General while misrepresenting his statement.

Todd commented on the following exchange between Barr and Herridge:

HERRIDGE: In closing, this was a big decision in the Flynn case, to say the least. When history looks back on this decision, how do you think it will be written? What will it say about your decision making?

BARR: Well, history is written by the winner. So it largely depends on who’s writing the history. But I think a fair history would say that it was a good decision because it upheld the rule of law. It helped, it upheld the standards of the Department of Justice, and it undid what was an injustice.

Except that Todd used the introduction to Barr’s answer to the question and left out his actual response. All the NBC audience learned about what he said was,  “Well, history is written by the winner. So it largely depends on who’s writing the history.”

The redaction alone is outrageously unethical, editing  the nation’s highest ranking law enforcement official and materially altering his response to distort his answer regarding a major Justice Department decision. But Todd  then attacked  Barr based on the false and deceptive version of what the AG said, saying,

“I was struck … by the cynicism of the answer. It’s a correct answer. But he’s the attorney general. He didn’t make the case that he was upholding the rule of law. He was almost admitting that, yeah, this is a political job.”

The section of Barr’s answer that Todd hid from his viewers, was: “But I think a fair history would say that it was a good decision because it upheld the rule of law. It helped, it upheld the standards of the Department of Justice, and it undid what was an injustice.” Todd had the audacity to criticize Barr for not saying what he did say and that NBC cut from his answer.

I don’t know how  broadcast journalism sinks lower than that. A lawyer who presented evidence in a trial that he had edited like that would be disbarred: that’s fraud on the court. A journalist who does this on national television should be  fired; even being exiled to MSNBC like serial liar Brian Williams isn’t enough.

In addition to being unethical and disrespectful to his audience, Todd’s deception was stupid, not that this is any surprise regarding Todd, who has repeatedly proven himself to be a dolt. It may be true that all of the networks except Fox News share the same bias, but they are still competitors. Did NBC and Todd really think that CBS, on which the original, complete interview aired, would just sit back and not point out Todd’s hackery on a rival network?

Because it didn’t. CBS’s Herridge quickly posted a video of her interview with Barr that showed the full context of Barr’s answer and also included the following additional exchange:

HERRIDGE: When the special counsel report was released last year, you were accused by critics of putting your thumb on the scale in the president’s favor. Are you doing the president’s bidding in General Flynn’s case?

BARR: No, I’m doing the law’s bidding. I’m doing my duty under the law, as I see it.

Just as predictably, Barr spokeswoman Kerri Kupec responded to the segment by posting screenshots on Twitter of the transcript from what Todd said and what Barr said in his CBS News interview, writing: “Very disappointed by the deceptive editing/commentary by @ChuckTodd on @MeetThePress on AG Barr’s CBS interview. Compare the two transcripts below. Not only did the AG make the case in the VERY answer Chuck says he didn’t, he also did so multiple times throughout the interview.”

You know, I’m angry at my head for exploding over this. I don’t know why I am constantly surprised at the depth of the news media’s bias and lack of ethics. What’s left after this? We have no trustworthy journalism at all. There are apparently no limits to what journalists will do to mislead and manipulate.

I was depressed today before I learned about this. Now I’m more depressed, and have to duct tape my head together.


UPDATE: Caught red-handed, NBC posted this on Twitter in response to DOJ’s tweet;

You’re correct. Earlier today, we inadvertently and inaccurately cut short a video clip of an interview with AG Barr before offering commentary and analysis. The remaining clip included important remarks from the attorney general that we missed, and we regret the error.

Inadvertently my…eye. Does NBC expect us to believe that Chuck Todd didn’t review the whole interview he planned on commenting about? If so, his incompetence is almost as flagrant as his bias.  Meanwhile, how does the network plan on undoing its misinformation? It’s not going to happen with a tweet.

34 thoughts on “KABOOM! Even I Did Not Think “Meet The Press” Could Sink This Low [UPDATED]

  1. It seems to me that any administration figure (of any administration, now or in the future) would be prudent to independently post a full and unedited transcript of all interviews they do as a matter of standard practice. It would be beneficial to the public, allowing us to see and compare what is aired and released versus what was actually said.

    • It’s an interesting idea, jwest. When I train clients how to interact with reporters, I caution them against recording the interviews on their own. Reporters become extremely hostile when a source attempts that.

      But my clients lack something senior administration officials possess: clout. In today’s MSM world access to those officials is still vital – which is why the press corps circled the wagons around Jim Acosta when the admin suspended his credentials. And I presume that the White House has its own cameras rolling anytime Trump speaks; if it doesn’t, it’s likely tapped into the pool cameras anyway.

      But I doubt members of the Cabinet and other key players have the same thing happening. They should. Reporters won’t like it, but too bad. The response going forward should be “Sure, you can talk to (X). Be aware that we’ll have our own crew in the room. Not saying that YOU do this, but many of your colleagues can’t be trusted to play fair with edits, so until they can, we reserve the right to post the complete interview after your story airs.”

      • “Reporters become extremely hostile when a source attempts that.” – AKA, “I can record but you can’t” That sounds an awful lot like they want to control the narrative. I’m sure they see it as they will do the “right thing” with it and can’t trust you not to do the “wrong thing” with it, but I think the current state of journalism shows that not to be the case.

        • Yes, that’s about the size of it – though I learned this lesson the hard way back in the days when I was the spokesperson for a rapidly-growing outdoor sports company. The media was biased back then, too, but it didn’t carry partisan agendas anywhere near as aggressively and openly as they do today. Most of my clientele has nothing to do with politics – but you’re correct: the current state of journalism does suggest a measure of protection.

          As I teach my clients, most “misquotes” are actually MISTAKES made by spokespeople; they come as the result of not being properly prepared for an interview and just letting things fall out of their mouths. But as the Barr quote proves, a reporter with an agenda will certainly pull this sort of crap. Barr is a very smart man – as evidenced by his acceptance of this interview with Catherine Herridge, who is one of the last reasonably objective national political reporters working. He’s also fortunate that CBS saw the necessity of firing back.

    • Ben Shapiro generally won’t do interviews unless they’re live precisely to prevent this kind of manipulation. It’d be a good policy for all conservatives in todays left bias media world.

  2. “Meanwhile, how does the network plan on undoing its misinformation?”

    I’m sure it doesn’t. I’m sure NBC believes that it has more important and significant work to do than to than reediting a transcript or rapping the hands of one of its star journalists who pulls in the ratings. Chuck Todd’s in the club, and he will never be fired or otherwise disciplined. NBC also knows, better than anyone, that Americans have a very short span of attention, are easily distracted, and are almost always willing to give the news establishment the benefit of the doubt (except those idiots who watch Fox). So they’ll bang out a quick tweet, and then if anyone asks them about it they will say “we’re moving on now.”

    The hope, I think, is that in another 6 months this will no longer matter, because Trump will be voted out and they can go back to pretending everything is just perfect, after all, there’s a Democrat in the White House, and it doesn’t get any more perfect that that, except maybe if Trump gets anal cancer and dies soon after.

    • Pretty sure all the truth and science deniers, like many of us here, will need to be dealt with as well once they’ve elected and ditched Joe.

      Except in our cases none of us will have the benefit of a recorded interview to pit against the propaganda machine. The jury of our peers will be populated by the TDS Facebook crowd who revulse at anything sensible .

  3. Wait . . . NBC edited a video to make the person they loathe more loathesome? Really? That must have been an anomaly. They know how to do proper edits. I mean, this is not like editing a 911 call to make George Zimmerman look like the grand dragon of the Plan, which never, ever happened.

  4. “Earlier today, we inadvertently and inaccurately cut short a video clip of an interview with AG Barr before offering commentary and analysis.” (bolds/italics mine)

    Anyone that posts that to explain what was done will lie to you about other things as well.

  5. They do this because it works. I had a discussion with a friend last week, one I haven’t spoken to in a while. She repeated all kinds of lies that she fervently believed. When I tried to tell her that all of those were lies and that the very sources she got them from had to admit they were lies she responded “You are just a conspiracy theory nut. That can’t be true. There is no way they could lie about all of that and get away with it.”

    The more and more blatantly they lie, the more their lies are believed because the faithful think journalists act in good faith and aren’t active propaganda agents.

      • “You are just a conspiracy theory nut. That can’t be true. There is no way they could lie about all of that and get away with it.”

        “And that’s how propagandists get others to send people and their ideas to the re-education camps.”

        This is so interesting. But it really is important to open this up to examination. So, Jim constantly reacts to things I write and often erroneously labels my ideas as Chomskian (whereas they are completely on another pole). Now why is that? How often do we *mis-hear*? How often do we make bad, or tendentious, or prejudiced, interpretations? What is going on when we do interpret? (What is interpretation).

        Who gets to play the rôle of *nut* today? Who gets to be the one seen as describing the truth?

        Michael pointed in the direction of a dangerous & disconcerting truth: that we are subsumed and submerged in all manner of different lies. Lies dove-tailing with other lies. Structures of lies. Lies and *narratives* that determine how we perceive.

        How far will you go, Jim? This tremendous anger that you have that I notice day-by-day augmenting — what is the cause of this? What are you reacting to? Where might it go? What will be your eventual realization?

        Now, this is one of the reasons why *we* have used the terms — if these do not make you uncomfortable you are a molding lump of cheese in the back of your own refrigerator! — like Weimerica and Lügenpresse. History does not repeat itself, but it echoes itself in octaves.

        Remember: the falsely-based liberal order that has established Hyper-Liberalism is in a process of collapse. Even *you people* see it now! Amazing!

        Once you *fully wake up* — oh man — then the counter-movement might really begin (again, within the idea-domain). But there is a huge danger there. Because now you still distort everything and constantly impose your erroneous categories (cannot see and cannot state *the truth* in open and direct terms), how will this change when you gain a bit more understanding and your *analysis* becomes that much more trenchant?

        This is one of the reason why preaching among the pseudo-conservatives has a certain importance. You are more the advance guard of the Progressive Left than you realize. What will happen when you actually *return* to truly conservative values?

        It is a weird time to be alive and to observe. But it is certainly an interesting one!

        • This is exactly how the Soviets used mental institutions as re-education camps. A priest I knew who was sent to the gulag for his beliefs contrary to the state. He escaped.

          Go ahead tell me this isn’t what these Stalinists have in mind.

          Please try paying attention to historical reality.

          • I am getting to the point that I have to try really hard to separate truth from fiction. I watch TV or go to a store and it seems like a dream about those totalitarian, dystopian futures. You know, the ones where government propaganda is played on a loop in pubic and in stores. Why are people not complaining about this? Why does everyone think I am crazy for being upset about it?

            When I go to the store and they are playing “Practice Social distancing. Make sure to keep at least 6 feet between you and the people around you. Report poor social distancing immediately” on a loop on the store’s speakers, my brain fills in “Trust the Government, Report all unauthorized opinions. Eat recycled food. The Soylent Corporation is our only hope for salvation.” Am I the only one who is noticing this? Remember, 2022 isn’t that far ahead.

          • some ones are crazy or maybe we take turns
            dreaming about some kind of life we say
            “it could have been different”.
            But it wasn’t because we weren’t

            John Trudell Rich Man’s War*.

            Jim, just a while back you used in relation to me a related tactic. You described me of ‘doubtful mental stability’ or something to that effect. Dear Spartan, years back, used the same assertion when she realized that in regard to certain values (notions of values) that I would not budge. Then I became ‘needing mental health therapy’. And you are going to tell me a story about your priest friend!?! (Are you mad? 😉 )

            You-plural as American radicals (which you are, taken on the whole, and please excuse the generalism), along with the Progressive Left, and the Marxians and the social progressives, set up your definition of mental health and you tell others that they are sick when they do not accept your views, your values, your truth-assertions and truth-claims.

            In this distorted & distorting present — this is totally true — there are factions who adjudicate these issues of mental health and un-health. Our Hyper-Liberal present, which only now are some of you (according to my view) beginning to recognize in its fullness because the danger has suddenly come a bit closer to you, our hyper-liberal present tells us who is well and who is unwell, depending on the degree that our views and ideas conform to theirs. You are ‘mad’ ‘sick’ ‘dangerous’ and ‘retrograde’ if you do not accept these definitions and their structure-of-values.

            To be a believing Christian, and not merely a social or political Christian, is becoming, is being made into, a sign of mental disorder. And the reason for this is, at its base, because you subscribe to a superceded metaphysics.

            I want to draw to you attention that — even here — you-plural constantly make assessments of a related sort. You describe who is and who is not *an idiot* and use other terms like this to describe those you imagine to be your enemies. The Progressive Left used to be a part committed to the American worker; to strengthening families and communities by advocating for fair treatment of workers. What this progressive left is now I find it hard to say. But as we examine them, and try to interpret them, we too employ similar therapeutic terms. Deranged, ‘hysterical’ (my favorite) and others.

            What do we make of this?

            * Always wise to pay attention to those who clamo fromr ‘under the floorboards’.

  6. I don’t know how broadcast journalism sinks lower than that. A lawyer who presented evidence in a trial that he had edited like that would be disbarred: that’s fraud on the court. A journalist who does this on national television should be fired; even being exiled to MSNBC like serial liar Brian Williams isn’t enough.

    It stems of course from the strategy that was chosen a few years back. You pointed it out then: a NYTs reporter who proposed that stopping Donald Trump, and what he represented to him (that reporter) and to *them* (a faction in American difficult to define and describe), was so necessary that a responsible journalist, and indeed all *responsible people*, were required to really get clear about what side they served. And in that struggle, the reported alluded, one would be required to distort the truth and to act unethically — but in service to a ‘higher good’.

    This argument, I determined then, is and still is a derivation of the “What could have been done to have stopped Hitler and the rise of the National Socialists at that time?” This question was, of course, the question that was asked of all children, in Europe and in America, as they reviewed the history of the rise of National Socialism. They were asked, in essence, to place themselves in that time, to see themselves transported there in a moral exercise and projection, and to see them selves acting as Antifaschistische Aktion. These notions of *opposing fascism* have been inculcated in the culture and of course in youth and very definitely in America. The ascendency of Jewish concerns, and the structure of the ideology of the American *counter-culture* are founded on and grounded in these counter-fascist ideas.

    What is happening now is strange, disconcerting, confusing and very very hard to sort through. Describing *it* is very difficult. And I say this here, on this blog, composed of people who see things (generally) only in a certain way. Now, in our present, there is a resurgence of a social spirit that has a great deal in common with European fascism. The origins of fascist though are grounded in oppositional ideology to very powerful Marxist, socialist and communist trends. When these come marching into town, as they were in the first part of the Twentieth Century in Europe (and America) it causes people to think very deeply, but reactively, about their own ‘value-structure’.

    So, if a Marxist advocates for the undermining and destruction of religion and says that religion is its enemy, they who are steeped in those traditions will dive down into them and anchor themselves evermore in them. Radical Marxists, of course, seek to undermine all strong and established hierarchies because in the chaos the ensues — social dislocation, moral and ethical breakdown, confusion, angst — they can take advantage and continue to push forward with their projects. They actually have terms for all of this. Revolutionary disruption creates the conditions through which revolutionary projects become possible. That is why I describe Marxism, neo-Marxism and ‘cultural Marxism’ as *acids*. But not only do they break down hierarchical social structures that break down the inner structures through which man visualizes his *world*.

    What is really strange and difficult — just notice that by using the word ‘fascist’ or referring to a fascist ideology I have lost 99% of those who read here because you have, and we all have, been subject to 50-60 years of indoctrination so that we see real conservatism, which is always strict and demanding, as a sort of *evil*, and the result of this is that we can only think, essentially, within *progressive categories*, and in those, of course, *they* dominate. You only need to refer, for example, to the Covington Catholic boys and the way they were framed and thus *seen* to understand the point I want to make. It is possible, indeed it is likely in our distorting present, to see those Catholic kids as ‘proto-fascists’. And indeed that is exactly what these rather rabid cultural Marxist did . . . and do.

    Now you see? You see the box I have just placed myself in? and been placed in? In order to continue with my point I will have to demonstrate to a group of people who have been so utterly indoctrinated to react viscerally to the mere mention of the word ‘fascism’ that right here you-plural will tune me out. I can’t have anything valid to say. No important meaning or value to have and defend.

    And this is how this sort of propaganda and ideological coercion works. And you-plural are in it (as I never tire of saying) really just about as much as anyone.

    So, the movement of our time is in a rising up against an entire structure (which I call ‘Hyper-Liberalism’) that has been the ideological controlling mechanism in the American Postwar. You will have to examine that structure and you will have to confront it and ‘dismantle* it, and I mean inside of your own self. You must never forget or put out of your mind as a possibility a strong possibility, even a likelihood — that in your own way, if the need arose, you would turn against Truth just as that NYTs journalist said that he would (and I forgot his name so I can’t reference it).

    By making the suggestion that I have here — and it is one that I could not possibly present to you on this blog with all its limitations — is one that involves what we call The Red Pill. What is that? Well, *it* is ideas really, ideas that operate as a counter-current to a powerful river. It just takes one *idea* to enter in to the general current and cause there a *disturbance*. One sees differently. Then, as it often happens, some smallish structure collapses. Then others. (Think Building 7!) It definitely leads to insecurity, but it also leads to knowledge. And knowledge is the only thing that could lead, eventually, to power and recovery.

  7. When “journalism” becomes nothing but pushing narratives at all cost and these breaches of journalism ethics become so wide spread that it’s now a new norm this becomes “acceptable” journalism at some level and stupid people eat it all up as truth.

    Remember “the media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.” Malcolm X

    The German Nazi Reich Minister of Propaganda Paul Joseph Goebbels would probably be quite proud of the propaganda machine that Meet the Press and its host Chuck Todd have become.

    • I don’t want to see a,tweet from an anonymous NBC hack. Todd must deliver his full throated apology at his next appearance.

  8. Jack said:

    I don’t know how broadcast journalism sinks lower than that. A lawyer who presented evidence in a trial that he had edited like that would be disbarred: that’s fraud on the court. A journalist who does this on national television should be fired; even being exiled to MSNBC like serial liar Brian Williams isn’t enough.

    Absolutely right.

    Which begs us to inquire: Why is William Barr interviewing with such unethical journalists? I don’t mind Todd offering his opinion as long as it’s not contradicted by the facts. In this case, not only was it contradicted by the facts in the interview, but the interview was deceptively edited to make it seem like it wasn’t.

    So again: Why does Barr, or any member of a Republican administration or republican politician, allow these outlets to interview them? We have seen time and time again how hostile they are, and this is simply res ipsa loquitur about how dedicated the Left-media is to honest reporting and analysis.

    I am not surprised. I have seen this before, or it’s equivalent, many times (although usually by political operatives and not the press, which matters a lot).

    So now we must conclude, as if it were really timely to do so, that guys like Todd really are little more than Democratic operatives with bylines like professor Glenn Reynolds says. But we knew that, and Barr had to know that.

    So I ask again: Why, Barr? You should know better, and don’t give me that non-partisan bullshit. Giving an outfit like that an opportunity to deceive so many people by twisting your own words is incompetent and unethical.

    • Oops, I see my reading skills are one again in question. I didn’t note that Todd was commenting on a CBS interview, not an MSNBC interview.

      So I must withdraw my comment and apologize for my negligence.

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