I wrote about Sen. Ron Johnson fighting back against Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press” and praised Johnson for not surrendering to the insults and hectoring of Todd.
At the time, I knew that the left wing media was celebrating Todd for his rudeness and smug superiority, but I just didn’t want to take the time to swat at gnats like the Washington Post.
But it turns out I didn’t need to worry. Columnist Mark Hemingway arrived on the scene today with disinfectant and pesticide and entered the Media Swamp to do battle with the bugs.
In a column at Real Clear Politics, where I also write, Hemingway lamented “Chuck Todd and the Demise of True Journalism,” and catalogued the paeans that had been written about Todd’s encounter with an untamed conservative:
The Washington Post offered up a story headlined “‘Who leaked?’ An analysis of GOP Sen. Ron Johnson’s conspiracy-minded defense of Trump.’” The Daily Beast declared, “GOP Sen. Ron Johnson Loses It on ‘Meet the Press.’” Business Insider went with “GOP Senator Ron Johnson had a ‘Fox News conspiracy’ meltdown.” Columbia Journalism Review covered the story under the banner “The Sunday shows turn on Trump’s enablers.”
Hemingway showed how Todd had failed at his essential job of finding out what Johnson, as chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, knows about Ukraine, Biden and the Intelligence Community. The article’s conclusion is worth repeating in full, as it demonstrates plainly that the battle lines are drawn between the media and the truth:
Chuck Todd, however, appeared very interested in why Ron Johnson doesn’t think like Chuck Todd. Instead of letting his guest say his piece, or at least reframing his initial question in a way that might be less confrontational, the host attacked the guest personally. He then spent much of the interview trying to get at why Johnson doesn’t buy into the same narratives about Trump that Todd clearly believes. We learned nothing new about Trump or Ukraine or anything else for that matter, so the interviewer failed at his most primary responsibility: eliciting new information.
And yet, according to Columbia Journalism Review, “Online, Todd won plaudits for his uncompromising questioning, though some of his critics noted that his newfound aggression with misleading interviewees should be a baseline performance, not an exception.”
If Todd’s interview with Johnson is the new baseline, the media, which have been bleeding credibility long before Trump ever arrived on the political scene, are going to have an even harder time regaining the trust of the American people.
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