MSM Delenda Est, Chuck Todd edition

A couple of commenters in the last thread picked up the same item that’s had me stewing for a few hours already, so I thought I’d share the bile with the lot of you:

During a segment on “Morning Joe,” former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D) speculated that most opponents of the Affordable Care Act have been fed erroneous information about the law. Todd said that Republicans “have successfully messaged against it” but he disagrees with those who argue that the media should educate the public on the law. According to Todd, that’s President Barack Obama’s job.

“But more importantly, it would be stuff that Republicans have successfully messaged against it,” Todd told Rendell. “They don’t repeat the other stuff because they haven’t even heard the Democratic message. What I always love is people say, ‘Well, it’s you folks’ fault in the media.’ No, it’s the President of the United States’ fault for not selling it.”

Back in the old days (Get Offa My Lawn!….), us print folks used to snort at the way TV types styled themselves journalists.  When we did, we’d point to folks our Mr. Todd resembles: stenographers with cameras.

An-Officer-dictating-a-Letter-1655-58-Gerard-ter-Borch

Nowadays, of course (and much more than we wanted to admit back then) there’s nothing medium-specific about the utter intellectual failure of elite American political journalism.  But after today I’d say that even in that dismal lineup Todd is a special snowflake.

What’s infuriating is that he really isn’t stupid.  He has a body of knowledge and some genuine expertise.  But the claim above is so — self-castrating is about the best I can say for it.  What professional with any jot or tittle of pride in his or her work would say “Hey! Don’t look at me! I don’t write this stuff; I just deliver my lines.”

Truly:  Todd’s quote reads to these eyes like a resignation letter. If you can’t rouse yourself to meet the minimum requirement of a cub reporter covering a school council meeting — ask if that thing Councilmember Doe just said, was, you know, actually true? — then perhaps you should take a bit more time with your family.

Or rather:

Yo! Chuck:  you’re stealing paychecks from the Peacock and wasting everyone else’s time.  Go home.

Image: Gerard ter Borch, An Officer Dictating a Letter, c. 1655-1658

123 replies
  1. 1
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Shorter Chuckles the Toad: I am, in fact, a very overpaid stenographer.

  2. 2
    Mike E says:

    Whoa…VDE’s copyright lawyer is phoning you! Retract!!

  3. 3
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Also, too, the coverage of the shooting in DC the other day seems to have been not about reporting the facts, but about creating drama, to entertain the audience, to create a live-action murder mystery.

    It’s all about the eyeballs on the commercial breaks, where the actual money is made. It doesn’t matter what is used to attract the eyeballs as long as they are attracted and can be monetized in the form of ratings.

    The broadcast system in the US is utterly corrupt. It must be destroyed and rebuilt.

  4. 4
    max says:

    “They don’t repeat the other stuff because they haven’t even heard the Democratic message.

    Translation: ‘I am only an asspuppet for manly men.’

    max
    [‘Somehow I forgot to turn on my TV today. Of course, I always forget to turn on cable TV news. Maybe I gotta condition or something.’]

  5. 5

    Look, you can either do the hard work of cultivating sources, gathering facts, calling a lie a lie (something that may alienate a source forcing you to work harder and longer hours), and presenting the best body of truth you can to inform the public, or you can print/read whatever press release you’ve been given, then ask the other side for their press release and read that, and you’ll still get invited to Washington cocktail parties.

    Both options pay the same.

  6. 6
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    I’m going to tweet this link to Chuck and point out to him the error of his ways.

  7. 7
    dubo says:

    Every political news show loves to pack its guest schedule with Republicans and fawn over everything a tea partier says, and Obama doesn’t own a TV network or newspaper, so how exactly does he recommend the President get out his message?

  8. 8
    Bobby Thomson says:

    Lazy, yes, but it’s not even honest. They scrutinize claims all the time when the claims and/or the people making them threaten their owners.

    A more honest statement would be “the people paying me to whore myself out are just fine with Republican lies, thank you very much. Whatcha gonna do about it?”

  9. 9
    Yatsuno says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: Oh good. Maybe we can get Chuckles over here to defend his position. And mock as necessary.

    @dubo:

    so how exactly does he recommend the President get out his message?

    Bully pulpit. Duh.

  10. 10
    Alex in NYC says:

    Also on Morning Joe this morning, they had Aaron Schock and Tulsi Gabbard on, who have formed some sort of bipartisan future caucus. One of the people on the show asked Schock to say 3 nice things about Obama (the point of the Future Caucus is to talk civilly, etc.). He said he comes from Illinios (where Schock is from). Couldn’t say anything else. Then he launches into spending, etc., and says we’re spending too much, with $1 Trillion deficits. Gabbard sits there and says nothing — I guess being civil means one side gets to lie and the other side sits there. Nobody on the panel told him he was full of shit either.

  11. 11
    greennotGreen says:

    Another shorter Chuck Todd: Obama didn’t give me a cute nickname or feed me lobster on the press bus.

  12. 12
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Yatsuno: Dream on. The guy who nailed Monica Lewinsky is the only one who’s ever shown up here, and he didn’t stick around to defend his comments.

  13. 13
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @greennotGreen:

    No tire swing, no barbeque, no favorable coverage. It’s really quite simple.

    This is why flaying alive with an audience is too humane for the likes of Chuckles.

  14. 14
    MattF says:

    There’s a true division of labor– Republicans tell lies, reporters repeat the lies. It’s specialization, it’s how industrial civilization works and why do you hate America?

  15. 15
    greennotGreen says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: It may be too humane, but eeew!

  16. 16
    Zifnab25 says:

    Everyone knows that reality has a liberal bias. Ergo, reporting factual information marks you out as a partisan liberal. Stenographers can’t be labeled as partisan, so long as they never recite anything a liberal says.

  17. 17
    Violet says:

    Yo! Chuck: you’re stealing paychecks from the Peacock

    So not true. The Peacock doesn’t care about journalism or reporting. They care about eyeballs, ratings and ad revenue.

  18. 18
    dmsilev says:

    So, I assume Chuck Todd won’t complain if he gets replaced by an unpaid intern? Because that’s the job he’s doing.

  19. 19
    Jane2 says:

    And this in a nutshell is how the US media completely abrogates any responsibility to investigate, to analyze, or to inform. I noticed that a few days ago, NBC’s headlines screamed how unpopular Obamacare is, which goes against everything that every American (and I mean every, even the one whose daughter had a nice GOP position in Homeland Security) I’ve met has said about health care and its costs.

    On the other hand, maybe I should have talked to the Central Texas Tea Party Conventioneers who were at Lake Travis when I was…they too would have told me Obama hasn’t sold it.

  20. 20
  21. 21
    Jeremy says:

    Chuck Todd is a privileged moron who dropped out of college. He is the perfect example of everything that is wrong with the current beltway press. A group of predominantly white entitled morons who live in a bubble. You can always count on them to kiss the republicans A**, which is the only thing they’re good at doing.

  22. 22
    Another Holocene Human says:

    OT: Chuckie, On-Topic: ACA

    Has anybody else wondered if part of the reason for GOP (not GOP donor, but GOP) ire at this bill is the fear that the Dems will suddenly get an influx of seasoned ground troops now that you can buy subsidized health insurance in the exchange?

    How many people have commented that they need the insurance they have now and can’t leave?

    Dem ground operatives tend to be very young or very old (on Medicare, IOW).

    Dem turnout off-year has always been for shit. But what if more people were engaged in GOTV? People who could still get their Metformin, steroid shots, mammograms, HPB medicine….

  23. 23
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    self-castrating
    I would pay good cash money for tickets to that.

  24. 24
    NonyNony says:

    So let me get this straight. When Stephen Colbert mocked the journalists at the White House Press Corps dinner the other year and basically called them out for being overpaid stenographers who don’t bother to check their facts before they print things, Chuck Todd was nodding in agreement because that’s actually what he thinks his job is?

    The President makes decisions. He’s the decider. The press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Just put ’em through a spell check and go home. Get to know your family again. Make love to your wife. Write that novel you got kicking around in your head. You know, the one about the intrepid Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration? You know, fiction!

    Is this really what Chuck Todd is saying? That if Obama were more forceful with the press corps they would all fall in line like they did with W and just report whatever the hell he wanted them to report? Seriously Chuck? Seriously?

  25. 25
    Yatsuno says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Pay-per-view that puppy. Deficit solved overnight!

  26. 26
    Botsplainer says:

    Chuckles is getting his ass kicked on Twitter.

    https://twitter.com/chucktodd/status/380347712605941761

  27. 27
    agrippa says:

    The quality of work done by the news media is poor. I doubt that the quality has never been high. Is it worse than in the past?
    I doubt that there was a ‘good old days’.

  28. 28
    Keith G says:

    The President and the rest of the executive branch could and should be doing more to educate the public. This is certainly a role played by the modern executive.

    Tom, I wish we had a better Congress and a better media, but we don’t. In light of those significant deficits, someone has to step up. There is so much easy yet important work being left undone. Its either the President or no one.

  29. 29
    feebog says:

    Since I live on the Left Coast Morning Joe is irrelevant to me. And I would guess Joe’s followers on the East Coast number in the scores at least. I mean really, who gives a shit? Chuck Todd is a prime example of the Peter Principle. Lots of other news folk are in the same boat. They are either lazy or incompetent; in Chucks case, the two are not mutually exclusive.

  30. 30
    Jeremy says:

    @agrippa: It was better during the Walter Cronkite, Brinkley, Chancellor days. all you have to do is watch clips from that era and you would know it was a thousand times better than the current crap.

  31. 31
    jl says:

    @Jeremy: Sadly, almost all of Cronkite, Brinkley, Chancellor were before my time. But, from the clips I’ve seen, they were better than smug little do-nothings like Todd.

    So, Todd sits there an admits he a kind of dowdy soporific fourth-rate actor or ‘personality’ churning out mindless corporate news information product? He just opens his gob and says so in front of the whole country. Yeesh.

  32. 32
    Long Tooth says:

    “TV journalism” is a distillation of right wing propaganda force fed to its consumers through a corporate prism. I highly recommend to everyone: do not consume.

  33. 33
    Paul in KY says:

    @dubo: I think it would be a good idea for the President to have an national televised address like he did with the Syrian Crisis. He lays out his vision & refutes Repub lies & that forces the media to talk about it.

  34. 34
    Chris says:

    @Comrade Dread:

    Both options pay the same.

    Sure, as long as you can keep the job. I suspect keeping the job would be much harder for journalists who consistently called out lies when they saw them.

  35. 35
  36. 36
    Poopyman says:

    @Keith G: So the president is going to ride around with a bullhorn on top of the car explaining his policies? Don’t you think the media might have a useful role here somewhere?

    And since when does a President have to spend his time explaining, as Chuckles decreed? Preznits are Deciderers, not Explainers.

  37. 37
    Paul in KY says:

    @Keith G: Secretary of Health & Human Services should be out there all the time talking up the Affordable Care Act & refuting Repub lies.

  38. 38
    piratedan says:

    @Keith G: not sure what else they (the WH) can do Keith, he holds a press conference, they spend more time on the GOP response than on what Obama says and we’ve had cases in the past, where they don’t even cover presidential addresses. The administration pimps the government website as another source of outreach yet how often do we see it linked to? Are they supposed to buy commercial time? Anytime someone from this administration opens up, some asshat tries to make it about Benghazi or unearth some off tangent point of context to be misconstrued later (Susan Rice anyone?) They’re so busy scandal mongering they can’t even report the fact that there really hasn’t been a scandal, they just move on to the next shiny.

  39. 39
    Jeremy says:

    @jl: Yeah it was before my time as well. But I’ve seen old news clips and right off the bat I knew it was so much better than the current press.

  40. 40
    WereBear says:

    @Zifnab25: Everyone knows that reality has a liberal bias. Ergo, reporting factual information marks you out as a partisan liberal.

    Yep, that’s the basis for this allergy to facts.

    Can you imagine, just for a moment, what it would be like if there was actual reporting going on?

    “And in other news this morning, the Tea Party Caucus is planning the destruction of the world financial network. That would be bad news for… well, almost all of us! Tiffany will be up soon with tips for roasting sparrows on curtain rods. In Iowa, the governor has signed legislation allowing blind people and convicted murders to own firearms. Gotta love that Second Amendment! And Chip is up soon with the weather… sure been crazy now that global warming is increasing! Keeps ya busy, doesn’t it, Chip?”

  41. 41
    Tone in DC says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    I applaud your action, but I have a feeling the effort is wasted on Chuck Toad.

  42. 42
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Jeremy: All of those guys were trained, experienced, in some cases battle-hardened, veteran journalists before they ever saw the red light on a TV camera.

  43. 43
    Citizen_X says:

    @Poopyman:

    Preznits are Deciderers, not Explainers.

    C’mon, Obama’s supposed to catapult the propaganda, as the original Deciderer would put it. And that’s another reason why Obama’s worse than Bush!

  44. 44
    Elizabelle says:

    I think Chuck Todd should lose his job over that appearance.

    What a buffoon.

  45. 45
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Botsplainer: “From where I sit, the only thing failing is your goatee.”

  46. 46
    Xantar says:

    @Keith G:

    The President and the rest of the executive branch could and should be doing more to educate the public. This is certainly a role played by the modern executive.

    That’s easy for you to say. How about some specific suggestions?

    I work for a nonprofit that does outreach for the ACA. You just try explaining what an insurance marketplace is to the average American in the amount of time they’re willing to listen to you. Heck, I suspect most of them don’t understand what health insurance does.

  47. 47
    scav says:

    So the Todd Chucker chucks Todd, which can be defined pretty easily at this point. Unfiltered single-sourced (in both meanings) BS†. We’ve got a Lazy Ho to bookend with the Morning one.

    † willfull indifference to the truth, now a self-described latinum-plated credential for his position. Is there some sort of Hypocritic Oath for Journos now?

  48. 48
    peach flavored shampoo says:

    Obama didn’t give me a cute nickname or feed me lobster on the press bus

    From the looks of things, I’m not sure he needs to be fed much of anything for a while.

  49. 49
    MikeJ says:

    On Twitter Todd is complaining that it was posted with a misleading headline and nobody wanted to get the real facts on what he said.

    Who said irony was dead?

  50. 50
    Hill Dweller says:

    Todd had absolutely no problem immediately making Watergate comparisons when the fake IRS scandal broke earlier this year.

    Now Todd is on twitter saying people hate him because he is objective.

    Bring on the meteor.

  51. 51
    Tone in DC says:

    @piratedan:

    @Keith G: not sure what else they (the WH) can do Keith, he holds a press conference, they spend more time on the GOP response than on what Obama says and we’ve had cases in the past, where they don’t even cover presidential addresses. The administration pimps the government website as another source of outreach yet how often do we see it linked to?
    Are they supposed to buy commercial time? Anytime someone from this administration opens up, some asshat tries to make it about Benghazi or unearth some off tangent point of context to be misconstrued later (Susan Rice anyone?) They’re so busy scandal mongering they can’t even report the fact that there really hasn’t been a scandal, they just move on to the next shiny.

    My emphasis.
    The M$M is still useless. Colbert delivered that monologue in 2006. Damn little has changed, outside of MSNBC, Pacifica radio/TV and a few other outlets. Thankfully, we have Comedy Central, which does more political news (and satire of news) than CNN.

  52. 52
    Violet says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    Now Todd is on twitter saying people hate him because he is objective.

    People hate him because he’s a highly-paid spineless toady.

  53. 53
    jl says:

    And Todd gets on the twitter to do some weaselly non-backpeddle backpeddlng

    Too bad nothing he says in that tweet contradicts what the supposed trolls (TPM?) were saying.

    I don’t think the TPM article says that the media is responsible for countering purely political messaging. If Obama gives his health reform no political support (though, he actually did do that in a big speech the other day), the media is not obliged to do the president’s political job.

    But the GOP has emitted reams of lies and and obfuscation on objective matters.

    Or is misinformation about how the law works, and lies about huge premium increases now ‘political messaging’. (Well, everything is ‘political’ to these rich layabouts in the media, I guess) And wasn’t Todd their genius numbers savant with the polling? I guess that grunt work is below his pay grade now.

  54. 54
    Emerald says:

    @Jeremy:

    It was better during the Walter Cronkite, Brinkley, Chancellor days

    And that’s the problem. Teevee viewers still expect that this media is telling them the truth, just as that media did.

    If people had any idea that today’s “journalists” had abrogated their basic duty, I think the whole house of cards would not stand.

  55. 55
    jl says:

    @Violet:

    ” People hate him because he’s a highly-paid spineless toady.”

    Nice work with the ultimate ‘y’, Civil discourse is important.

  56. 56
    WereBear says:

    @Emerald: And that’s the problem. Teevee viewers still expect that this media is telling them the truth, just as that media did.

    Well, people in a certain age group, certainly.

    But they are raising a generation who is going to ignore everything they say.

  57. 57
    scav says:

    @Hill Dweller: objectionable, not objective Todd Chucker. We understand it’s tricky.

  58. 58
    LanceThruster says:

    “Look beyond the superficial,” he instructed the hosts. “That’s what’s wrong with current affairs, you forget about what’s important. You allow the agenda to be set by superficial information. ‘What am I saying, what am I talking about?’ What am I wearing? That’s superficial.” ~ Russell Brand on “Morning Joe”

  59. 59
    Violet says:

    @jl: Comity of the commentariat.

  60. 60
    Haydnseek says:

    @Paul in KY: They are. The fact that someone like you who obviously pays attention to this issue, yet doesn’t know that they are trying to do exactly this, speaks volumes. Not slamming you, by any means. Just saying that the bully pulpit isn’t quite so bully when the people in the pews have their own agenda. (See the entire MSM media, etc.)

  61. 61
    Milord says:

    Well said, Tom. Chuck seems to have forgotten the only reason for the fourth estate to exist is to keep the government honest.

  62. 62
    gogol's wife says:

    @NonyNony:

    Whenever I think of that Colbert routine I almost faint with admiration.

  63. 63
    gogol's wife says:

    @agrippa:

    You obviously were not watching the debate between Ford and Carter when Ford said that Poland was not under Soviet domination.

  64. 64
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    It’s been alleged that Chuck Todd enjoys sexual relations with beavers, hence his goatee.

    Chuck Todd’s failure to deny this allegation speaks for itself.

  65. 65
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    And once again, it should be noted that Todd was a not-bad number cruncher (in the days before Nate Silver really established himself) who got promoted after Russert’s death into a role for which he is totally unsuited.

    Peter Principle in action.

  66. 66
    MikeJ says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:

    It’s been alleged that Chuck Todd enjoys sexual relations with beavers, hence his goatee.

    Chuck Todd’s failure to deny this allegation speaks for itself.

    I’m not going to do his job for him. If he doesn’t want people to think he’s a rodent fucker, he should get his message out there.

  67. 67
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Violet: Something appealing,
    Something appalling,
    Something for everyone:
    Comity tonight!

    Bring on the kings, bring on the crowns;
    Bring on the lovers, liars and clowns!

    Old situations,
    New complications,
    Most important is to be polite!
    Tragedy tomorrow,
    Comity tonight!

  68. 68
    El Cid says:

    What he’s saying is that one political faction in this country (the conservative side) would get angry if the major news media were to actively distinguish between truth and falsehood.

    Therefore, since they don’t want to make conservatives angry, they should avoid whenever possible the job of distinguishing between reality and non-reality, and leave that to various politicians and spokespersons.

    What he is also saying — though he doesn’t realize it — is “YOU AS A CONSUMER HAVE NO REASON WHATSOEVER TO READ, LISTEN TO, OR WATCH US SINCE WE ARE GIVING YOU NO VALUE ADDED OVER PRESS RELEASES“.

  69. 69
    Scott S. says:

    The only good Chuck Todd is a Chuck Todd that’s been wrapped up in barbed wire, strapped to the side of a rocket, and shot into the sun.

  70. 70

    @Violet:

    The Peacock doesn’t care about journalism or reporting. They care about eyeballs, ratings and ad revenue.

    Was going to make this same point. The role of his political reporting is to present an entertaining summary of what The Two Sides said, and perhaps to speculate on which side might win.

    Chuck Todd is doing exactly what he’s supposed to do. He should get a raise.

  71. 71
    Scott S. says:

    @MikeJ: I’m hearing it, it’s my job to repeat it. Chuck Todd fucks semi-aquatic rodents. This is a true fact, at least as far as I’m willing to get off my ass to check it. (lights cigar)

  72. 72
    piratedan says:

    @Scott S.: that seems harsh, I’m perfectly willing to let him serve as an example of derision for not even having an iota of understanding of what his job is actually supposed to be. That said, I’m more concerned with the people that hire him and allow him to perpetuate this disservice to the people and if there is indeed a fairness issue involved, get the FCC on the MSM in general for using our airwaves to continue to perpetuate this travesty of “reporting the news”.

  73. 73
    amk says:

    @NonyNony: That was the best piece of journalism I have ever seen on teevee.

  74. 74
    bemused says:

    @Botsplainer:

    Good, not that anything will sink in.

    My favorite tweet was the question why he doesn’t see it as his job.

    Chuck Todd didn’t get trolled. He got called out. “Reporters” like Chuck do the trolling.

  75. 75
    CindyH says:

    @Long Tooth: I stole that – it’s perfect!

  76. 76
    rita forsyth says:

    @greennotGreen: this remark by chuck todd so infuriated me i looked up his backgroud the guy never graduated from college no degree in anything never studied journalism how does this happen???

  77. 77
    rita forsyth says:

    @greennotGreen: this remark by chuck todd so infuriated me i looked up his backgroud the guy never graduated from college no degree in anything never studied journalism how does this happen???

  78. 78
    rita forsyth says:

    @greennotGreen: this remark by chuck todd so infuriated me i looked up his backgroud the guy never graduated from college no degree in anything never studied journalism how does this happen???

  79. 79
    WereBear says:

    Chuck Todd’s mistake was repeating what he was told was his job.

    Ironically, it might be the most truthful thing he’s said in years.

  80. 80
    cckids says:

    @Emerald:

    And that’s the problem. Teevee viewers still expect that this media is telling them the truth, just as that media did.

    I think that is the issue with many of Fox “News” viewers; their age means that they grew up with Cronkite, Murrow, etc. – when news was by God news. They have a degree of trust in the purveyors of info that younger viewers don’t.

  81. 81
  82. 82
    Violet says:

    @piratedan:

    I’m perfectly willing to let him serve as an example of derision for not even having an iota of understanding of what his job is actually supposed to be.

    Chuck Todd knows exactly what his job is supposed to be and he’s doing it well.

    reflectionephemeral explained Chuck’s job very well:

    The role of his political reporting is to present an entertaining summary of what The Two Sides said, and perhaps to speculate on which side might win.

    Chuck Todd is doing exactly what he’s supposed to do. He should get a raise.

    He’s doing his job very well. His only mistake was saying what his job is out loud. The corporate media owners want the public to think they’re getting news, when in fact they’re getting corporate-approved both-sides-do-it commentary.

  83. 83
    Mike E says:

    @gogol’s wife: This. I want a tattoo of that Colbert speech. Badass.

  84. 84
    Paul in KY says:

    @Scott S.: You could wrap him up in barbed wire & roll him down a steep hill. Probably would be cheaper.

  85. 85
    Paul in KY says:

    @cleek: Good. She also needs to get booked on the Sunday morn talk shows.

  86. 86
    Scotius says:

    @Violet:

    His only mistake was saying what his job is out loud.

    This was a textbook example of Michael Kinsley’s definition of a gaffe — saying outloud exactly what you are actually thinking.

  87. 87
    MazeDancer says:

    Talking heads have no job in current NewsTainment unless there are two battling parties. Drama! Controversy! Horse race! Thus it is their job to only “report” message and make sure the GOP doesn’t die its natural death. It has also become their job to make sane people no longer bear to watch the “news” anymore. Driving away participation, muddling facts, making people believe nothing is real, nothing matters, and it doesn’t matter who wins is also a GOP goal. So the stenography press helps the GOP twice.

    It’s heart-breaking, wrong, and going to destroy our democracy. But can’t see how it will be changed. Unless the networks succeed too quickly in driving away their audience. Then, after a period of dialing up the idiocy, one station or outlet might try being a news organizations again. Though unlikely.

  88. 88
    Ben Cisco says:

    @rita forsyth: He got promoted above his competency level by an order of multitudes.

    MULTITUDES I SAY!!

  89. 89
    Chris says:

    @MazeDancer:

    Talking heads have no job in current NewsTainment unless there are two battling parties. Drama! Controversy! Horse race!

    It’s remarkable how eager they are on the one hand to have a political death struggle between two titans to report on, and how squeamish they are on the other hand when it comes to giving voice to any dissenting opinion that might actually challenge the post-Reagan consensus. (Even if it’s coming from the President).

    I mean, you’d think granting equal time to liberals and conservatives would be a fantastic way to let the sparks fly and give them the dramatic battles they so want… oh, but then the liberals might win, and that’s just not okay.

  90. 90
    Keith G says:

    @Tone in DC:
    @Xantar:
    @piratedan:
    @Poopyman:
    Sorry but this sounds like more of the same…”It’s so hard..and they’re being mean to the President…What’s he s’pposed to do???

    Look, the dude got elected to the most powerful office on earth against what some have view as chilling odds (I am not too sure how chilling), so this is what you get when you win this office: Hard…fucking hard tasks on an endless “do to” list.

    That’s easy for you to say. How about some specific suggestions?

    Yes it is. My suggestion? Work it like I work my job, “No excuses”. I don’t get a term of employment, I can get fired at will, so I scramble like a motherfucker every day. Try anything. Try everything. Throw the god damned kitchen sink at it, then pick it up and throw it again.

    If as some say, this is the keystone of Obama’s legacy, then he should be happy to battle every day for this. I read that he likes to be home for dinner, well maybe there are about 30-40 million Americans who need him to start missing those dinners. He should take a page from Churchill

    …we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender…

    Again to the people above and others, what is the alternative? We do not have better press or a better Congress. Great presidents are those who have faced down dark and scary days, who worked overtime to create solutions and overcome stubborn obstacles.

    I hope Obama is aiming for better than just the middle of the pack.

  91. 91
    Keith G says:

    Will an FPer please spring me from WP jail?

  92. 92
    Chris says:

    @Keith G:

    There should be WP dice we can use to have our moderated comments released early if we roll a double.

  93. 93
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Keith G: Released.

  94. 94
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Haydnseek:

    Exactly. The Obama administration HAS people out trying to tell the truth about ACA, but they’re ignored by the MSM, because, well, it doesn’t fit with the Rethuglican agenda that the Village is so in love with.

    Hence my nym.

    Wipe them out. All of them.

  95. 95
    bemused says:

    Ha, ha. Booman weighed in on this topic, educating the viewers, tweeting with Jake Tapper but Tapper bailed out faster than the speed of light.

  96. 96
    Kay says:

    @Villago Delenda Est

    I can’t really measure because there hasn’t been anything this big that applies to so many people in my memory. The best comparison is probably Bush’s prescription drug benefit, and that was a mess when it was rolled out, and it was much smaller and narrower.
    I would bet there aren’t one out of a hundred people who “understand” SCHIP in their state. The parents who use it in my practice don’t even know it’s a federal program. It was hugely under-enrolled for years because no one knew it was available. Enrollment picked up dramatically in 2004-5 not because anyone “sold” it, but because Bush put in a federal child support rule that has an insurance mandate for never-married and divorced parents. They enrolled because they had to.
    Medicaid has been around for decades. How many people know that 40% of Medicaid goes to elderly and disabled people, or how much of it goes directly to nursing homes? Media say “Medicaid, the program for the poor”.
    I know 3/4 of the people in nursing homes are on Medicaid, but that’s only because I deal with them. They don’t find out it’s available until they’re out of money.
    Apparently we’ve been “selling” health care programs poorly for a long, long time.

  97. 97
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @bemused:

    Tapper will someday die the painful thousand deaths of all cowards.

    Fuck him and all the rest of the Villagers.

  98. 98
    Elizabelle says:

    Hey, Booman’s going to be guest blogging at Washington Monthly’s Political Animal, beginning tomorrow.

    Woo hoo.

  99. 99
    Jebediah says:

    “Welcome to Nitwitness News, I’m Chuck Todd…”

  100. 100
    Jebediah says:

    Not entirely on topic:
    Fuck you, twitter. Stop fucking asking me to rset my password. Stop fucking giving me unreadably blurry captcha pictures. Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you.

  101. 101
    TG Chicago says:

    @MikeJ: Ha! Great point.

  102. 102
    gelfling545 says:

    The President should “sell” this where? I guess that would be in the media, no? And then the GOP tell some lies as their side of it & where do people have to go to find out who is accurate? I guess that once would have been back to the media but now they just need to take their best guess because the media, according to Mr. Todd, are out of the fact business.

  103. 103
    Johnnybuck says:

    @Keith G: I agree with everything you said but it has nothing to do with Chuck Todd not being bothered to report factual inaccuracies, or blatant mendacity from Republicans. that’s not “selling” a policy, that’s keeping the facts straight and he ought to consider that his job, first and foremost. The fact that he doesn’t bears some responsibility in why the message is so muddled.

    I can’t speak to how hard the President works or what he wants his legacy to be, but we should at least expect journalists to keep the facts straight on matters of policy.

  104. 104
    bemused says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    As if we will live long enough to see any of them suffer any sort of repercussions. They are all future Tom Brokaws.

    It just occurred to me that the Chuck Todds and Jake Tappers of our media world feel that doing real reporting, journalism, is so beneath them.

  105. 105
    Ted & Hellen says:

    As it does most of the time, the truth of the matter lies in the middle: Yes, the MSM should be doing a better job of pointing out falsehoods in Republican claims, and of putting together informational features/specials/segments to highlight how the ACA works.

    BUT Todd is absolutely right that PBO has been a really shitty, lazy (racist!) ass salesman regarding ACA. He could be doing about 500 per cent more and it wouldn’t be enough. He needs to be giving the media lots of hooks to hang their own reporting on, and he flat practically doesn’t do it.

    Only Bots are blind to this.

    Why, it’s almost as those the undersell is built into the Great Plutocratic/Drug Company Agreement somewhere…

  106. 106
    agorabum says:

    @Paul in KY: When the president (or administration) makes a speech, it’s not covered. “President patiently explains complicated health care thing” is never a headline. The explaining of something that has been a law for awhile is not “news”, it’s old hat. No drama, no conflict. A Republican claiming that Obamacare will be the death of the Republic, and that he’s willing to burn the village to save it (i.e. default) – exciting! Of course, reporting that a moron in congress opened his mouth and embarrassed himself with stupidity, that’s not exciting. So it gets reported as the former, not the latter.

  107. 107
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Paul in KY:

    I think it would be a good idea for the President to have an national televised address like he did with the Syrian Crisis. He lays out his vision & refutes Repub lies & that forces the media to talk about it.

    How dare you suggest something so reasonable and obvious and which makes it glaringly apparent that there must be some reason why what you suggest is NOT being done…on purpose.

  108. 108
    Tone in DC says:

    @Keith G:

    I’d put more stock in the “BHO isn’t trying hard enough” idea if so many people weren’t so busy ignoring what he says.

    There are over 100 million TV sets in this country. How many people are watching these White House press conferences?
    How many radios are tuned to the weekly presidential address?
    How many people read a newspaper (online or old school)?
    How many people trouble themselves to vote?

    If Obama could somehow get more than 45 to 50 percent of voting age Americans to actually cast a ballot or just pay better attention, it’d be a miracle. And yes, I know that the turnout for the last two presidential elections were far above average.

    About half of US Americans, and such as, are too busy watching the Kardashians, Honey boo-boo and Dancing with the Stars to pay attention to the state of this union. You blame Obama. Whatever. He didn’t give at least 27% of us a 30 second attention span.

  109. 109
    Botsplainer says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    BUT Todd is absolutely right that PBO has been a really shitty, lazy (racist!) ass salesman regarding ACA.

    Dude, you need help and should stop drinking Cisco.

    Cisco is bottled by the nation’s second largest wine company, Canandaigua Wine Co., in Canandaigua, NY and Naples, NY – the same company as Wild Irish Rose.

    Known as “liquid crack,” for its reputation for wreaking more mental havoc than the cheapest tequila. Something in this syrupy hooch seems to have a synapse-blasting effect not unlike low-grade cocaine. The label insists that the ingredients are merely “citrus wine & grape wine with artificial flavor & artificial color,” but anyone who has tried it knows better. Tales of Cisco-induced semi-psychotic fits are common. Often, people on a Cisco binge end up curled into a fetal ball, shuddering and muttering paranoid rants. Nudity and violence may well be involved too. Everyone who drinks this feels great at first, and claims, “It’s not bad at all, I like it.” But, you really do not want to mess around with this one, because they all sing a different tune a few minutes later. And by tune, I mean the psychotic ramblings of a raging naked bum.

  110. 110
    fuckwit says:

    YES THEY ONLY RECITE THEIR LINES! THEY ARE ACTORS!!

    That’s what TV newscasters are! They’re actors. They read from a script.

    And they set the tone, and now the print reporters have followed in their footsteps.

    I think 100 years from now, Stephen Colbert’s 2005 WH Press Dinner performance will be viewed as the most perfect description of the times we live in.

  111. 111
    jake the snake says:

    Though far from perfect, the downfall of broadcast news was putting the news organizations under the entertainment umbrella.
    At that point, the news was supposed to become profitable. Prior to that, the news departments were considered “loss leaders”
    and at least partially a public service.
    The growth of cable news and the tabloidization of news in general, led by Fox, have pretty much finished any idea of public responsibility.

  112. 112
    Keith G says:

    @Johnnybuck: @Tone in DC:
    So what to do?
    If there is only one reasonable person/team at the table then the only thing to be done is for that person/group to do more. Or they can give up. Tell me guys, which would you suggest? Give up? Do more?

  113. 113

    @Botsplainer: The naming convention of this product…disturbs me.

  114. 114
    johnny aquitard says:

    @Botsplainer:

    raging naked bum

    This has got to be a made into a tag for something.

    Or used as a nym.

  115. 115
    mai naem says:

    It wouldn’t bother me as much if this was coming out of Ed Henry, David Gregory or Mika Brzesinski’s mouth being that they’re lightweights, but Chuck Todd is actually a pretty smart guy. He used to work for, I believe, Roll Call and used to come on CSPAN’s Wash Journal and he could get in the weeds on all kinds of issues.

  116. 116

    […] Tom Levenson  looks at Todd’s declaration and gets it half right.  He’s spot on when he remarks that Todd “really isn’t stupid [and] has a body of knowledge and some genuine expertise.”  He’s off here, though: […]

  117. 117
    Xantar says:

    @Keith G:

    Well, you could always get involved yourself. Do your part to counter the lies.

    I also note that your previous post had no actual suggestions. “Miss dinner sometimes” is not a suggestion. You think he’s ever really off the job?

  118. 118
    AxelFoley says:

    @Xantar:

    Too much work for someone like Keith G. All he likes to do is voice his “concern”.

  119. 119
    mehrrh says:

    Todd is a prime example of the failure of the media and how that contributes to the disinformation and misinformation foisted on the public. If people do not have a reliable source for facts and background on any given issue what do they use for reference? Agenda-driven pundits? Corporate owned research “studies?”
    Todd is collecting a fine salary for NOT doing his job — his remarks are revealing.

  120. 120
    danielx says:

    Todd said that Republicans “have successfully messaged against it” but he disagrees with those who argue that the media should educate the public on the law. According to Todd, that’s President Barack Obama’s job.

    Must…watch…blood…pressure….

    Chuck – you don’t mind if I call you Chuck, do you? – could you fill us on just what the fuck you think your job is, then? Reading RNC press releases during those limited periods when your lips aren’t firmly affixed to Reince Priebus’s no doubt delectable buttocks? Silly me, I always thought reporting the truth was a journalist’s primary function. Clearly I was misinformed…

  121. 121
    Deb T says:

    Guess Chuck didn’t watch Lou Grant when he was growing up — last of the shows about crusading reporters. Heck, even on the Mary Tyler Moore show they did some investigative reporting. after Woodward and Bernstein outed the whole Watergate conspiracy of the hero reporter or justice come to fruition by the crusading press was a dominant meme of the times. There are still a few, but they just don’t have the power they once had.

  122. 122
    Paul in KY says:

    @Haydnseek: Do it in a way that gets it on TV (during the news shows). Easier said than done, I’ll grant you.

  123. 123
    Paul in KY says:

    @agorabum: They covered the Syrian speech.

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  1. […] Tom Levenson  looks at Todd’s declaration and gets it half right.  He’s spot on when he remarks that Todd “really isn’t stupid [and] has a body of knowledge and some genuine expertise.”  He’s off here, though: […]

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