WHAT? Chuck – It’s Not My Job To Ask Questions – Todd Is Getting A Show On MSNBC

Big goings-on over at MSNBC. Today they announced some schedule changes, some of which are mind-boggling. The biggest one of all involves Chuck Todd, the man who is ruining Meet The Press.

MSNBC has been making noises about changing up their schedule and on Thursday, they announced most of them. Three shows have been pulled: The Cycle, Now With Alex Wagner and The Ed Show. Replacing Ed Schultz in the 5:00 pm time slot will be Chuck Todd. Todd will continue to destroy host Meet The Press, though.

Chuck Todd is not a very good journalist. He doesn’t ask important questions; he really doesn’t think that’s his job. More often than not, Todd is a mouthpiece for corporate media and conservatives. He sure did Mitch McConnell a favor by saying that McConnell’s opponent in the Kentucky Senatorial race, Alison Lundergan Grimes, “disqualified herself” when she wouldn’t say whether she had voted for President Obama. Todd went on Morning Joe the next day and tanked her campaign:

“And Kentuckians expect her to cast a tough vote on anything? Is she ever gonna answer a tough question on anything? You wanna be a U.S. senator? If you can’t find a way to stand behind your party’s president … you can disagree with him but you can’t answer a basic question and you come across looking that ridiculous? I think she disqualified herself.”

Of course, McConnell used that in an ad and Grimes was toast. Jim Newell at Salon.com summed it up nicely when he called Todd’s comment, “arrogant and short-sighted commentary.”

One of the biggest indicators of Todd’s lack of journalistic integrity is his comment about what is, and is not, the media’s job. On Morning Joe — Joe loves to have Todd on his show — Todd explained that correcting lies is not his job when talking about Obamacare with former Pennsylvania Governor, Ed Rendell on September 18, 2013. Rendell had noted that the media had been complicit in spreading the lies about the Affordable Care Act. Todd replied:

“But more importantly, it would be stuff that Republicans have successfully messaged against it. They [the media] 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.”

So… blame the president for your lack of backbone? That didn’t sell well among viewers of MTP. The ratings took a real hit. They took another hit after Todd had three comedians on Meet The Press to discuss political satire. Lewis Black, W. Kamau Bell and Laura Krafft did a round-table on the topic. Black noted that he would be “barking at” certain guests if he were a host, adding that he didn’t know how Todd and other hosts handle it. To which Todd replied, accidentally telling the truth:

“We all sit there because we know the first time we bark is the last time we do the show. There’s something where all of the sudden nobody will come on your show.”

There’s the problem: Todd sugarcoats things so that Republicans will come on MTP. Todd is so worried that Republicans won’t appear on his show that he is willing to let them lie with impunity. It’s not his job to correct blatant misrepresentation or outright lies peddled by the GOP, who work off of a talking point list. That Todd allows them to do so disqualifies him. He really needs to read the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics, where the first principle is “Seek Truth and Report It.” The first point under that is this:

Take responsibility for the accuracy of their work. Verify information before releasing it. Use original sources whenever possible.

“Verify information before releasing it.” Guess Todd missed that one. And the next 16 points, one of which admonishes a journalist to consider the motives of a source. The motives of the Republicans are clear; they want to make the president look bad. This is obvious to any reasonable person. Yet Todd allows them to conduct their smear campaign on his show without ever questioning their motives.

Bad journalism is worse than no journalism. And a bad journalist makes all of us look bad. Journalists have a responsibility to ask questions, be informed and respond to falsehoods, especially when those falsehoods are spoken directly to one’s face. Chuck Todd can’t seem to understand this. Giving him another show on which to practice his form of “journalism” is a huge mistake.

Photo Credit: Screen Capture from NBC video