Amazingly Enough, Shit From 30,000 Feet Still Looks Like Shit

Chuckie T. is losing sleep over the private emails of liberals:

“I am sure Ezra had good intentions when he created it, but I am offended the right is using this as a sledgehammer against those of us who don’t practice activist journalism.

“Journolist was pretty offensive. Those of us who are mainstream journalists got mixed in with journalists with an agenda. Those folks who thought they were improving journalism are destroying the credibility of journalism.

“This has kept me up nights. I try to be fair. It’s very depressing.”

Oh, for the love of everything holy. Chuck Todd is upset about what people say in unguarded moments on email. Personally, I’m more worked up about performances like this from our “mainstream journalists”:

Scahill, who has written a popular book about Blackwater, had scathing comments about the organization, calling it “Erik Prince’s Christian supremacist fighting force to eliminate Muslims and destroy Islam globally, and then they bill taxpayers again for this killing that they’re doing and they’re not held to the same standard as soldiers.”

“There are Iraqi and Afghan people that are forced to face down against them, when, I’m sorry, the U.S. Congress does nothing to stop it,” he continued, “and journalists have done nothing to hold the White House accountable now, Chuck, or under Bush. This has not been an issue and yet it constitutes more than half of the fighting force in Afghanistan.”

Scahill singled out Todd, a fellow panelist on HBO’s “Real Time With Bill Maher”, for not taking the issue more seriously. “Chuck, you called it political cat-nip to talk about the CIA and Cheney’s role in this, because it distracts from the important issues,” he said. “This is a central issue and you called it cable cat-nip.”

Chuck’s response:

Right as we walked off stage, he said to me “that was a cheap shot.” I said “what are you talking about?” and he said “you know it.” I then said that I monitor msm coverage very closely and asked him what was not true that I said on the show. He then replied: “that’s not the point. You sullied my reputation on TV.”

You know what. Here’s your news org doing what it does best:

Oh noes! People speaking on a private email list had opinions while my news organization has devolved to stirring up food fights about a wedding. Talk about burning Rome and then fiddling.

*** Update ***

Todd feels he was misquoted or misunderstood:

The diehards who are pointing to Journolist as proof of a Vast Left Wing Media Conspiracy were very excited this morning by a Politico article quoting Chuck Todd criticizing the list in fairly harsh terms. Todd ripped J-List as “offensive” and suggested its legacy is “destroying the credibility of journalism.”

But I spoke today with Todd, and he told me that the Politico article didn’t represent his full thoughts on the matter. Indeed, it’s hard to see how anyone on the right could be cheered by what Todd actually thinks.

In particular, Todd clarified that the right’s campaign to use Journolist to tar the entire mainstream media is more “disingenuous” than anything J-List did.

Todd stressed to me that he wasn’t condoning what J-Listers appeared to do at times, for instance, when some J-Listers suggested message coordination. But he clarified that his primary concern is that the right is successfully using this to carry out its larger program of tarring the mainstream press as liberal.

“I understand what the purpose of the list was,” Todd told me. “A minority of folks created a perception problem for the list. And there’s clearly a campaign by some conservatives to use this.”

So why isn’t he calling out the Politico? Because those two interviews are completely at odds with each other.

41 replies
  1. 1
    MikeJ says:

    I wasn’t aware that Obama had hung out with Chelsea a lot.

  2. 2
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Todd, Tapper, Gregory, a few others, they represent the third generation of Broderism, people for whom “both sides are equally to blame” and “it doesn’t matter if it’s true or not, it’s out there” are no more to be questioned than “the sky is blue” or “water is wet”. They make me very sad
    ETA: He lost sleep over a glorified chat room. It beggars any comment.

  3. 3

    I don’t consider Ezra a journalist, though I don’t know if he does himself. Nor Matt Y. These guys and most of the others I’ve read belonged to journolist are outed liberals, but ones with a degree of integrity and respect for the truth.

    I don’t know what the fuck Chuck Todd is, other than a self serving dipshit with way too much ambition and precious little respect for the truth. Fuck him.

  4. 4
    That's Master of Accountancy to You, Pal (JMN) says:

    No, Chuck, he didn’t sully your reputation on TV. He merely pointed out that youhave sullied your reputation. Shut up and reevaluate how you do your job if you don’t want him to criticize you.

  5. 5

    And the whole issue of using mercs or private armed forces other than pure security guard duty is a cancer on this republic and it’s military. Something is going to have to give with this bullshit. Obama inherited this clusterfuck from Bush and the neocons, but seems to have done little to reign it in. I think it was Biden who said not long ago that they had no choice given the situation of our overextended military and it being overcommitted when they took office. Weak excuse to not do anything about it.

  6. 6
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    I keep seeing these “defeat the debt” banner ads. I haven’t clicked on any, but I wonder what commonsense proposal to steamroll the poor and gut the middle class I’d find?

  7. 7
    gnomedad says:

    That’s harsh, man. I would totally invite Obama to my kid’s wedding.

  8. 8
    Warren Terra says:

    Stuck, why not call Ezra a journalist? Sure, he’s got a viewpoint, but it’s hardly covert. He’s honest, and he does some solid reporting, mostly via interviewing important players – very well, too.

  9. 9
    Warren Terra says:

    The American Joseph-Pulitzer-dictated ideal of the impartial journalist was never fully realized nor a great success, and these days it serves mostly as a disguise and a refrain for Fox. Let it die!

  10. 10
    Ailuridae says:

    Chuck Todd is fat.

  11. 11
    wasabi gasp says:

    I try to be fair.

    Mirror, mirror on the wall.

  12. 12
    Donald G says:

    Chuck Todd is a journalist? That’s news to me. The zombified corpse of Chet Huntley have more journalistic acumen in his little finger than the numbers cruncher/political analyst promoted to White House correspondent beyond his means and ability.

    But that’s NBC for you. (see also: Russert, Luke)

    All right, perhaps that’s not entirely fair. Issues of weight aside, Chuck Todd comes across as a journalistic lightweight who leads with his ego.

  13. 13

    Obama would so be invited to my hypothetical kid’s wedding. It’s really depressing because Todd was good at what he did before becoming a ‘journalist’. Sigh.

  14. 14
    MikeJ says:

    @Donald G: Todd was actually ok when all he did was count delegates and cover the pure horse race elements of elections. It’s just if he tries to do anything more than that he sucks.

  15. 15
    valdivia says:

    and Sulli has been pimping this for all he’s worth. ugh.

  16. 16
    Mnemosyne says:

    In Chelsea’s defense, she’s the daughter of a president. She grew up around all of that rigamarole. I can’t really blame her for not wanting to have every aspect of her wedding thoroughly investigated and picked over by what are probably the most paranoid set of Secret Service agents ever.

    I’m sure the Obamas sent her a china setting or two and that settled the whole thing.

  17. 17
    Ailuridae says:


    Was he actually good at what he did or was he just the only person at NBC who did it or was allowed to do it? He certainly was a lot worse than Nate Silver or Sean Oxedine who did the same thing for free and were far superior at it. Now they weren’t “journalists” but they outperformed him in his sole job task for years at MSNBC and did it for free.

    So why is Chuck Todd on my TV all the time? He’s not really a journalist, he’s not very bright, he’s intellectually dishonest, and he’s painfully attractive.

  18. 18
    valdivia says:


    wait what is the issue with the wedding?

  19. 19
    slag says:

    Gossipy assholes are gossipy and assholey. Film at 11.

  20. 20

    @Ailuridae: Hm. I didn’t think about that. Good question. He was the only guy I saw on the teevees doing it, so I presumed he was good at it. But, as you point out, Nate Silver kicks Todd’s ass–no question about it.

    @valdivia: Embiggen the screengrab and see the red arrow Cole added to it. Supposedly, it’s news that Obama wasn’t invited to Chelsea’s wedding.

    @Mnemosyne: Come to think of it, you’re right. No reason for Chelsea to have her wedding day be a big spectacle.

  21. 21
    gwangung says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Well, it’s ALREADY going to be one…but it’ll be a manageable spectacle, instead of the full on train wreck of quintupled security if she invited someone whose only connection with her is through a professional relationship of her parents, thats only two years old.

  22. 22
    Admiral_Komack says:


    Chuck Todd is an idiot.

  23. 23
    suzanne says:

    Oh my God. Can everyone just fucking SHUT UP about JournoList already?! While I don’t give a rat’s ass if a bunch of hipsters want to hang out in cyberspace with each other, and I certainly don’t think they’re organized enough to coordinate any sort of message, anything that smacks of exclusivity inherently leaves itself vulnerable to charges of elitism. And some of them just keep pissing and moaning about how they’re getting picked on (Pandagon has ANOTHER post about it today). So Chuck Todd is an asshole. And Tucker Carlson is an asshole. Is *anyone* surprised by this breaking news? This self-absorbed navel-gazing from the progressives is beginning to annoy me even more than the predictable asshole conservatard protests. Dave Weigel lost his job, and that’s pretty shitty. I don’t give a fuck about the rest of them and their hurt feelings. I don’t give a fuck about cocktail parties to which I am not invited.

  24. 24
    Ailuridae says:


    A fat idiot

  25. 25
    mai naem says:

    I listen to ChuckieCheese in the morning and he’s a David Gregory/Timbo Russert wanna be in the worst way. This POS can never say anything positive about the Dems. It’s always about how bad Obama’s numbers are , how bad the Dem. Congress’ numbers are, which Dem congresscritters are likely to lose their seats, which Dem governors are likely to lose their seats. Enough already. And I cannot stand the way all the NBC’rs kiss up to Jack”TurtleHead” Welch and his trophy wife.
    Also too, I doubt Obama wasn’t invited to Chelsea’s wedding I bet he chose not to attend because of the security nightmare he would create.

  26. 26
    LosGatosCA says:

    What’s the problem? It’s not like he called him a ‘dick.’

    Maybe Dana Milbank can coach him to do better next time.

  27. 27
    Batocchio says:

    Todd’s followup as posted by Greg Sargent was a bit less obnoxious. But how fascinating that Todd couldn’t be bothered to learn even the basic facts of the torture scandal, and assumed it was just some partisan squabble, but this “offended” him.

  28. 28
    bago says:

    People in DC and ELSEWHERE might have TALKED! SCANDAL!

  29. 29

    Wait a minute–President Obama isn’t going to Chelsea Clinton’s wedding?

    That’s huge news. What it means is that Chelsea Clinton is only inviting friends and family to a private function and has no wish to involve the security circus that would surround an appearance by the POTUS.

    Breathlessly, you must conclude that President Clinton hasn’t been invited to his own daughter’s wedding.

    This is the sort of thing that would drive MAJOR traffic to a website, and news organizations are praying for more snubs and more scandalous guest list omissions. I can’t wait til we get to find out from Maureen Dowd how the bridesmaid dresses were designed to signal the collapse of Hillary Clinton’s subconscious menopausal libido.

  30. 30
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    Listen if they think this is bad, I’ve got something just as shocking that should blow the lid off this whole topic:

    I have it on good authority that Chuck Todd was once in a bar with two journalists who openly voiced a preference for John McCain in the 2008 election.

    I know, I know. You think I’m crazy making such a wild-eyed accusation but this actually happened.

    Now one thing I should stress right away is that Chuck Todd did not join in this sleazy activity. He remained entirely neutral during the whole private conversation. However he’s been awake nights even more from the fear that someone would find out about this one, how he sat there and was part of a group that expressed a political preference, and did nothing. He knew that he should immediately take this information to the authorities, and he did not.

    The idea that a working, professional journalist would express a preference for McCain in private among other journalists is shocking to say the least. Journalists not only having such a preference, but saying so to each other, is after all just the start of a slippery slope that could lead to even more outrageous things, like journalists openly expressing a liking for McCain on TV shows and in articles, to the point where McCain would joke that the press is “his base”. Imagine that nightmare scenario.

    In any case there I’ve spilled the beans. Politico should be all over this story, any minute now.

  31. 31
    El Cid says:

    You see, in professional journalism, you don’t express your political preferences off the record; you put them in print or on the air, making sure to quote someone else who has the opinions you want to express.

  32. 32
    Gregory says:

    Chuck Todd and his ilk are doing a fine job of destroying the credibility of journalism all by themselves.

    And when, oh when, will they figure out that they’ll never have credibility with the right win when they report anything the right wing doesn’t want to hear?

  33. 33

    You sullied my reputation on TV.

    Fuck popcorn, I’m buying stock in swooning couches.

  34. 34
    wilfred says:

    Todd responded by alleging that even if journalists reported more vigorously on the issue, it was unlikely that the organization would ever be held accountable. He said it would turn into “a political food fight” where “Congress would not be able to get any prosecutions done,” suggesting that Blackwater would inevitably find a way to get off the hook.

    Isn’t this the same thing that’s said about the lack of investigations into Bush Administration misconduct? That is: “Oh, we’d never get any prosecutions” or “No one will ever be held accountable”.

    I’m not defending Todd but what’s different between this and the comments supporting lack of action against torture, Iraq, etc.?

  35. 35
    Xero says:

    How did Chuck’Ts rep get sullied? Chuck said what Scahill said he did, on the air. So simply repeating what someone actually said can now “sully” their reputation?


  36. 36
    Sentient Puddle says:

    To be fair to Chuck, there is some evidence that Politico took his quotes out of context, and (try not to be shocked by this one) made it look like he was slamming Journolist more than he was.

  37. 37
    Allan says:

    Chuck Todd is a Republican. That’s the only reason he got the WH gig.

  38. 38
    Tax Analyst says:


    Supposedly, it’s news that Obama wasn’t invited to Chelsea’s wedding.

    Itz cuz hes a Mooslim. Chelsea said she’d be damned if she was going to wear a veil to her own damned wedding, so there!

  39. 39
    Paul in KY says:

    Question about Chuck Todd: ‘So why isn’t he calling out the Politico? Because those two interviews are completely at odds with each other?’

    Answer: Because he is a pussy.

  40. 40
    CalD says:

    Todd often reminds me of the frat guy business major in your anthropology class who constantly blows off doing the reading and spends most of the class painfully demonstrating that fact by asking stupid questions.

  41. 41
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    I read some of that Politico piece and this whole business still makes no sense to me. Wasn’t Journolist started by professed liberals as a place for liberals to talk about liberal stuff? So if some centrists joined it and compromised their “objectivity” it’s their own damn fault? I know what’s wrong with the righties who use this to fuel their feverish conspiracy theories, but what’s wrong with the professional masturbators at Politico? Don’t they have more important things to worry about, like how much Chelsea Clinton’s wedding costs?

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