Chuck Todd complains: Leftist media in a hole, not digging hard enough

Chuck Todd recently wrote an article for the Atlantic magazine entitled "It's Time for the Press to Stop Complaining – And to Start Fighting Back."  In it, he complains, "[A]ntipathy toward the media right now has risen to a level I've never personally experienced before."  He has not seen such hostility since the early Civil Rights movement.

In this article, Todd attacks members of the media like Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham, and Tucker Carlson.  By attacking these members of the media, could Chuck Todd be a threat to the First Amendment?  Of course not.  But that is one of the charges against media critics.  According to Todd, there is a "campaign to destroy the legitimacy of the American news media."

Todd suggests that critics of the media artificially stoke hatred because it can "deliver them some combination of fame, wealth, and power."  He claims, "They are thriving financially by exploiting the very same free-press umbrella they seem determined to undermine."  Are critics of the media sawing off the limb they are sitting on – the limb of a tree that has made them fantastically wealthy?  This is a critical point, because they are not, in fact, attacking "the media."  What they are attacking is the mainstream media, more properly called the Deep State media – a group of media that march in lockstep with the commands of the Deep State.

Todd's criticism of his opponents' wealth (they "attained wealth and power by exploiting the fears of older white people") may not have been the wisest tactic.  His own net worth is reported to be $2 million.  He may consider this a modest amount compared to other media stars.  Barbara Walters is reportedly worth $150 million, Diane Sawyer $80 million, Katie Couric $55 million, and the very talented and intellectually gifted Mika Brzezinski $12 million.  All this wealth may partially explain why the media elite are not in touch with the reality faced by most working-class Americans.

The media elite have claimed to be objective for generations.  Todd fully acknowledges that reporters "bring their own biases to their work."  He does not see this as a major problem.  He believes that most reporters try to be balanced.  The Center for Public Integrity surveyed people identified in federal campaign finance filings as journalists, reporters, news editors, and television news anchors.  They found that these people gave $396,000 to the presidential campaigns of Clinton and Trump.  Ninety-six percent of this money benefited the Clinton campaign.  This overwhelming financial support for Hillary Clinton does not necessarily mean that these reporters' coverage was biased.  Or does it?

Todd complained, "[W]hat did we reporters do in the face of this cable onslaught that would eventually turn into a social-media virus and lead us to the election of the most fact-free presidential candidate in American history?  We did nothing, because we were trained to say nothing.  Good reporters know that they have to let the chips fall where they may."  This is where Todd reveals his delusional mindset.  According to a study from the Pew Research Center's Journalism Project, "only 5 percent of news stories about Trump were positive, compared to 42 percent for Obama."

Todd claims he is "not advocating for a more activist press in the political sense, but for a more aggressive one."  In the eyes of the "deplorables" and those bitter people who "cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them," the Deep State media seem aggressive enough.  This may explain the declining readership and viewing audiences of their outlets.  A more aggressive approach may lead to further declines.  Todd asserts, "American democracy requires a functioning press that informs voters and creates a shared set of facts."  Unfortunately, the Deep State media are not fulfilling that requirement.

John Dietrich is a freelance writer and the author of The Morgenthau Plan: Soviet Influence on American Postwar Policy (Algora Publishing).  He has a Master of Arts degree in international relations from St. Mary's University.  He is retired from the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.

Image: Courtney Nash via Flickr.

Chuck Todd recently wrote an article for the Atlantic magazine entitled "It's Time for the Press to Stop Complaining – And to Start Fighting Back."  In it, he complains, "[A]ntipathy toward the media right now has risen to a level I've never personally experienced before."  He has not seen such hostility since the early Civil Rights movement.

In this article, Todd attacks members of the media like Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham, and Tucker Carlson.  By attacking these members of the media, could Chuck Todd be a threat to the First Amendment?  Of course not.  But that is one of the charges against media critics.  According to Todd, there is a "campaign to destroy the legitimacy of the American news media."

Todd suggests that critics of the media artificially stoke hatred because it can "deliver them some combination of fame, wealth, and power."  He claims, "They are thriving financially by exploiting the very same free-press umbrella they seem determined to undermine."  Are critics of the media sawing off the limb they are sitting on – the limb of a tree that has made them fantastically wealthy?  This is a critical point, because they are not, in fact, attacking "the media."  What they are attacking is the mainstream media, more properly called the Deep State media – a group of media that march in lockstep with the commands of the Deep State.

Todd's criticism of his opponents' wealth (they "attained wealth and power by exploiting the fears of older white people") may not have been the wisest tactic.  His own net worth is reported to be $2 million.  He may consider this a modest amount compared to other media stars.  Barbara Walters is reportedly worth $150 million, Diane Sawyer $80 million, Katie Couric $55 million, and the very talented and intellectually gifted Mika Brzezinski $12 million.  All this wealth may partially explain why the media elite are not in touch with the reality faced by most working-class Americans.

The media elite have claimed to be objective for generations.  Todd fully acknowledges that reporters "bring their own biases to their work."  He does not see this as a major problem.  He believes that most reporters try to be balanced.  The Center for Public Integrity surveyed people identified in federal campaign finance filings as journalists, reporters, news editors, and television news anchors.  They found that these people gave $396,000 to the presidential campaigns of Clinton and Trump.  Ninety-six percent of this money benefited the Clinton campaign.  This overwhelming financial support for Hillary Clinton does not necessarily mean that these reporters' coverage was biased.  Or does it?

Todd complained, "[W]hat did we reporters do in the face of this cable onslaught that would eventually turn into a social-media virus and lead us to the election of the most fact-free presidential candidate in American history?  We did nothing, because we were trained to say nothing.  Good reporters know that they have to let the chips fall where they may."  This is where Todd reveals his delusional mindset.  According to a study from the Pew Research Center's Journalism Project, "only 5 percent of news stories about Trump were positive, compared to 42 percent for Obama."

Todd claims he is "not advocating for a more activist press in the political sense, but for a more aggressive one."  In the eyes of the "deplorables" and those bitter people who "cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them," the Deep State media seem aggressive enough.  This may explain the declining readership and viewing audiences of their outlets.  A more aggressive approach may lead to further declines.  Todd asserts, "American democracy requires a functioning press that informs voters and creates a shared set of facts."  Unfortunately, the Deep State media are not fulfilling that requirement.

John Dietrich is a freelance writer and the author of The Morgenthau Plan: Soviet Influence on American Postwar Policy (Algora Publishing).  He has a Master of Arts degree in international relations from St. Mary's University.  He is retired from the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.

Image: Courtney Nash via Flickr.