Good Riddance to Chuck Todd
Chuck Todd Hate Hive rise up, we're feasting today!
I cannot stand Chuck Todd and I know I’m not alone in that opinion, so it gives me great pleasure to tell you that he is leaving Meet the Press, effective sometime in September. Tim Russert, he is not! Todd has hosted the long-running Sunday morning political news show on NBC since 2014 and will be replaced by Kristen Welker, who has filled in for Todd as host over the years.
Chuck Todd Hate Hive rise up, we’re feasting today!
On his departure, Todd had this to say, per CNN:
“When I took over ‘Meet the Press,’ it was a Sunday show that had a lot of people questioning whether it still could have a place in the modern media space,” Todd said on the show. “Well, I think we’ve answered that question and then some.”
But it’s important media leaders do not “overstay their welcome,” Todd said on the show. “I’d rather leave a little bit too soon than stay a tad too long.”
“I’ve let work consume me for nearly 30 years,” Todd said. “I can’t remember the last time I didn’t wake up before 5 or 6 a.m., and as I’ve watched too many friends and family let work consume them, before it was too late, I promised my family I wouldn’t do that.”
This may seem like a mean-spirited overreaction if you’re not familiar with how horrible Todd is, but trust me on this, the man is terrible at his job and has allowed harmful lies be presented as truth—a fact he seems to relish, per the above source:
“If you do this job seeking popularity, you are doing this job incorrectly,” Todd said. “I take the attacks from partisans as compliments. And I take the genuine compliments with a grain of salt when they come from partisans.”
So let’s get into what these so-called partisan attacks are, shall we? There are multiple articles out there about why Todd isn’t an impartial journalist, and is instead something of a hack who isn’t strong enough to call out Republican fascism. Here’s an example from an article in April 2022 from Yahoo! News:
Although Friday was supposed to be a day of celebration for Dems because of [Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson] historic nomination as the first Black woman appointed to serve on the Supreme Court, Todd took the glass-is-half-full approach on “MTP Daily.”
“Here’s the uncomfortable question for Democrats,” Todd asked. “Is this the last big thing they pass? Is this the last big thing this Congress accomplishes before November?”
Excuse me, what?! First and foremost, you look like an idiot posing that question when Democrats control both the House and the Senate, and Biden is President, Chuck. The midterm elections were six months away, so of course the Dems were going to accomplish more—like student loan debt forgiveness. What are you even talking about?! (Spoiler alert: he doesn’t know, he just likes the sound of his own voice.)
Even then, people were quick to point out that not only was he helping the Republicans with this asinine take, but it’s also just a dumb thing to say:
Here’s Joan Walsh piling on Todd, too. Walsh is a National Affairs Correspondent for The Nation:
Instead, I think it’s more accurate to say that Todd is the poster model for journalistic ineptitude. His claim to fame may be his inability to push back on fallacious claims and outright lies, but he’s far from alone in that. The White House press corps struggles to push back on a lot of this administration’s unfounded claims, or has given up trying.
Do you recall how absolutely terrible Todd was at moderating the Democratic primary debate in 2019?! Here’s a refresher, per Salon:
(Remember when he found a way to make last June’s first Democratic debates about him? This statement isn’t merely a matter of opinion, it’s an impression backed by data: A tally of words spoken during the debate put him in fourth place behind former Democratic presidential contenders Cory Booker, Beto O’Rourke, and Elizabeth Warren.)
He spoke more than the candidates. It was maddening!
Don’t forget how he never, ever pushed back on the f—king bonkers theories posited by Trump administration officials. Per the same Salon article:
And yet that is exactly what happened on Sunday’s “Meet the Press,” when White House trade adviser Peter Navarro floated an alarming “theory.” The Democrats, he said, “would prefer to see the economy go into the tank for another 90 days because that harms the president,” adding, “I hope that that Capitol Hill hasn’t become that cynical, but watching this negotiation, it makes me wonder.”
You know – just a musing drawn out of thin air.
How did Todd clap back at that plainly partisan slander? In part with the phrase that sent a crowd of viewers into a fury: “I take your point.”
Chuck Todd is just the worst, and I’m not done with the pile-on yet. Here is an excerpt from an LA Times interview in which Todd says it’s not his job as a journalist to correct every falsehood on his show. Excuse me, that is literally the job of a journalist, you hack!
You can’t correct everything. You have to pick and choose your spots. You pick and choose what you go after. You can sit there and go down those rabbit holes of accountability interviews on generic political rhetoric, and you’ll have wasted 10 minutes. At the end of the day I believe my job is to surface as much information as the viewer needs. I also am a believer in light not heat. I’m not shy. I will go toe-to-toe with anybody. Certain people’s feelings have been hurt to this day about it, and they don’t want to come on and defend themselves anymore. There’s a handful of senators that are in that column.
The interview continues:
I understand the era we’re in — there are a lot of people that Trump makes very anxious. Trust me, I get it. I have the death threats to prove it. But there is no utility in lecturing somebody on air. You get to be Howard Beale once, you know? There are places where that’s perfectly appropriate. This is where I’m concerned that we’ve conflated news and opinion too much. For an opinion host, there’s a lot of expectation for how declarative they can be or say.
The fact that Todd views pushing back on false narratives as “lecturing” tells you everything you need to know. Todd comes across as a spineless journalist who is easily steamrolled, and who has given lying liars a platform and thus legitimized them.
Chuck Todd leaving Meet the Press is a very good thing. Chuck Todd being replaced by Kristen Welker is an even better thing. Welker, whom you may remember from hosting the 2020 Presidential debate between Biden and Trump, will be the first Black woman to serve as host on the show. Welcome, Kristen Welker. September can’t come soon enough.
… and congratulations to everyone who hates Chuck Todd. Let’s call this a win.
(featured image: Jon Kopaloff, Getty Images)
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