President Trump demanded on Sunday that NBC fire "Meet The Press" host Chuck Todd, after the network admitted to 'inadvertently cutting short' a sound byte from Attorney General William Barr regarding the DOJ's decision to move to dismiss the Michael Flynn case.
Except, it wasn't 'inadvertently cutting short anything. It was clear propaganda.
In the original clip, CBS News' Catherine Herridge asks Barr how history would judge the DOJ's decision - to which Barr responds "Well, history is written by the winners, so it largely depends on who's writing the history.
Todd cuts the clip off there, and says that he 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 was a political job."
In fact, that's exactly what Barr said.
"I think a fair history would say it was a good decision because it upheld the rule of law," said the AG, adding "It upheld the standards of the Department of Justice, and it undid what was an injustice."
In other words, Todd literally stole Barr's line about 'upholding the rule of law' and flipped it around in a case of blatant propaganda.
Greg Price of the Daily Caller calls out the "blatantly dishonest" reporting by Todd.
Today on Meet The Press, @chucktodd wildly took context out of an answer AG Bill Barr gave about his decision to drop the case into Gen. Michael Flynn.— Greg Price (@greg_price11) May 10, 2020
I cut Todd's segment along with Barr's full answer together. Look at how blatantly dishonest this is. pic.twitter.com/tODOEwL48V
Todd and NBC were called out by Barr spokeswoman Kerri Kupec, who tweeted that she was "Very disappointed by the deceptive editing/commentary," to which "Meet the Press" replied "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."
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.— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) May 10, 2020
In response, a furious President Trump tweeted "Sleepy Eyes Chuck Todd should be FIRED by “Concast” (NBC) for this fraud," adding "He knew exactly what he was doing. Public Airwaves = Fake News!"
Of course, the fake news typically gets more attention than the correction.
History may be written by the winners, but current affairs are most certainly misrepresented by the media https://t.co/U2LDDmEM6O— Max Niederhofer (@maxniederhofer) May 11, 2020
As Jonathan Turley writes, such partisan advocacy and attacks are now celebrated in many circles as the coverage devolves into a modern form of yellow journalism. The bias has been positively stifling with unrelentingly negative spins and distorted analysis. The only consistent element is the narrative from a media that seems uniformly on script in coverage. What remains is a smug cynicism reflected in the Todd segment, which NBC later shrugged off as “inadvertently and inaccurately” edited. The edit was made in obvious use to support Todd’s attack. It was in other words premeditated to fit Todd’s narrative. The fact is that some in the media would prefer to distort the facts (and, in the Flynn case, even embrace prosecutorial misconduct) if it advances what has become movement journalism.
I have often criticized President Trump in columns and on my blog. Yet, even raising such clear violations of journalistic values is treated as sacrilegious in today’s mainstream media. There is an insatiable appetite for distorted legal analysis and a corresponding intolerance for any dissenting views. The Todd segment was another hit job that misrepresented facts to feed the demand of echo journalism.
Jean-Paul Sartre once said “Better a good journalist than a poor assassin.” Todd made a poor journalist this week in order to be a better assassin.