There were a lot of terrible people getting away with saying ridiculous things on teevee this Sunday, but I have to say, Chuck Todd's "Meet the Press" was almost literally unwatchable: a complete, abject, ass-showing capitulation to the will of the Right and the Manifesto of Both Siderism.
And this short clip of Chuck Todd I snipped from a 70 minute interview he did on "The Moment" back in June of 2015 explains why:
See, the confusion comes when people mistake Chuck Todd for a journalist.
But Chuck Todd is not a journalist.
But Chuck Todd is not a journalist.
Chuck Todd is an entertainer, as are most of the people you see dancing for paychecks at the Sunday Mouse Circus. They are due no more deference as journalists or experts than the guy playing the title role in a high school production of "Jesus Christ, Superstar" deserves to be treated as the risen Lord. Also, they are due no more First Amendment "free press" consideration for the product they are selling than Barnum, Bailey and his sister, Sue.
Chuck does not "interview" people, or assemble panels of experts to try to inform his audience -- that is what journalists do. As an entertainer, Chuck and the producers and executives who order him around cast various other performers in predetermined roles on his teevee show. So should you stumble across the excruciating sight of Chuck Todd pretending to be a journalist seated across the table from Reince Priebus pretending to have an endoskeleton, understand that you are not watching two seasoned professionals at the apex of the fields of journalism and politics respectively: you are watching two drunks thespians leaning on each other in public.
Of course, no matter what, the Prime Directive of the Beltway media is to defend the Both Siderist narrative. It is the Hive Queen which must be protected at all costs.
So you see the problem? Now that Trump and his Trumpshirts have come roaring out of the Konservative Klan Kloset where the GOP has kept its base stashed for decades (and right where the dirty Liberals have been telling you they were all along), it is impossible for anyone with a shred of integrity or a functional conscience to go on with this Both Siderist farce.
Fortunately, the forward-looking geniuses at Comcast/NBC didn't hire someone to as their lead rodeo clown on "Meet the Press" with a shred of integrity or a functional conscience. Instead, they hired Chuck Todd, who damn well knows that his real job is to get the Beltway Both Siderist gravy train back on the fucking tracks immediately.
And key to this strategy is to make sure at least one seat on "Meet the Press" (and usually more) is held open for flat-out, bold-face wingnut talking point dispensing machines like Hugh Hewitt. And because, like most conservative pundits, Hugh Hewitt does not feel normal, human emotions like shame or guilt, he is quite capable of pivoting directly from a question about Trump and immigration, to a soliloquy on how Bill and Hillary Clinton are both criminals whose arrest and trial are just around the corner:
CHUCK TODD: Has he done damage on immigration or not, Hugh?HUGH HEWITT: No, I think he's helped himself a lot by appearing to bring more humanity to his position, especially with regards to families. It was a terrible two weeks. I think what we will hear, eight letters, F-A-R-A-F-C-P-A. Foreign Agent Registration Act, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The Clinton Foundation is in trouble, Doug Bannon. Even the former President is in trouble on these two very complex, very applicable laws.
And about the inconvenient fact that Donald Trump just picked the publisher of the most nakedly racist, lied-riddled rag in the country?
HUGH HEWITT: But I will say this, for every Steve Bannon and Breitbart and there is a David Brock and Media Matters; for every Ann Coulter, there's a Michael Moore; for every single Milo there's a Maher. And so, there's a reflection--...CHUCK TODD: I think we as discussed, we may be one oppo drop away from Bannon not being a part of this campaign.HUGH HEWITT: Very possibly. I will point out, though, that Secretary Clinton carries more baggage than Marley's ghost--CHUCK TODD:Well I want to transition to that--HUGH HEWITT: And one of those is Sidney Blumenthal. So if you want to talk about toxic people following around in the wake of a candidate, let's hone in on Sidney Blumenthal and the Clinton gang from the '90s, more baggage than Marley's ghost. I mean, that's why she--
Of course, since the mission this week was to get the Both Sides gravy train back on track, Chuck Todd quickly scuttled away from talk of Donald the Bigot to balance out the Beltway scales with Fake Clinton Foundation Scandal:
ANDREA MITCHELL: So it is going to be a slow wind down, it's not going to be wound down, by the time if she's elected and takes over.HUGH HEWITT:But that's not an excuse for breaking the law.ANDREA MITCHELL: I'm not saying that's an excuse.JOY-ANN REID:What law was broken?ANDREA MITCHELL:There is no law.HUGH HEWITT: The quo and quid pro quo is the meeting and you cannot set up meetings on behalf of--
Of course if you care even a little bit about this future of this country, watching this freak show can be 57 different kinds of maddening, especially if you supplement Hugh Hewitt's abbreviated lies on "Meet the Press" with a longer, unabridged version of those same lies on "AM Joy" that same day.
And while it was entertaining to see Mr. Hewitt very nearly side-eyed to death by the rest of the panel, since Mr. Hewitt does not feel human emotions like remorse or guilt, he was unperturbed as he ran though his a flat-out, Soviet-style denial that anything untoward or racist had ever gone on in the Republican Party during the entire time he had been a member (since 1968) and -- once again -- Breitbart's Steve Bannon running the Trump campaign is exactly the same as Media Matters, Ann Coulter is exactly the same as Michael Moore, and also too, Sidney Blumenthal! (h/t Crooks and Liars):
But if you are frustrated or saddened by this wretched spectacle because you are worried that it will corrupt national political journalism beyond repair, well I have some good news, and I have some bad news.
Good news, you are not watching the death of honest national political journalism because, bad news, honest national political journalism died years ago. What you are watching is a puppet show, scripted and staged to look like "news" by morally bankrupt bean counters who you will never see on camera, for the purpose of pulling the highest ratings possible while protecting the only asset the Beltway has left: its holy and inviolable dogma of Both Sides.
Which is why, in the end, Robert Costa was tapped to bring everyone back to where this miserable shitwagon was headed all along:
ROBERT COSTA: You got 75 days left. Is it about the Clinton campaign and the foundation or is it about the Alt Right and Trump?CHUCK TODD: Great closing point, we'll pause it there.ANDREA MITCHELL: A pox on both your house.CHUCK TODD: There it is...
There is is indeed.