Sen. Ron Johnson squandered a sterling opportunity to expose Chuck Todd on Meet The Press
To claim that the mainstream media have a Democrat bias is an erroneous assumption. That's because such a claim assumes that the party and the media are separate entities and the Democrats are influencing the news media.
That is simply false.
For ages, the mainstream news media has been the public relations wing for the Democrats. They crawl when asked to bend and prostrate when asked to crawl. Most news outfits follow the same narrative and even use identical phraseology to describe any given occurrence.
A perfect example of this setup is Chuck Todd. On paper, he works for NBC News, but he reports to the Democrat leadership. Todd isn't just metaphorically in bed with the Democrats; he's literally in bed: he is married to a Democrat campaign communications strategist working in D.C.
It is futile for Republicans, particularly MAGA Republicans, to engage with the likes of Todd because no matter what is said, clips will be presented out of context to demonize the interviewee.
Interviewers such as Todd control the forum; they can reduce the volume of the guest speaking and interject or talk over the guest. Audiences get the impression that the Republican was "owned" or left speechless or murmuring under his breath by Todd's factual claims.
Republicans agreeing to enter a forum hosted by Todd must learn to be battle-ready. It merits multiple practice sessions with a mock adversarial interrogator. The interviewee must be armed with facts, a calm demeanor, and a sense of humor.
This was an abominable week for the Democrats. Classified documents from Biden's days as vice president were discovered on not one, nor two, but three occasions. A failure with the Federal Aviation Administration's Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) system caused the temporary grounding of all U.S. flights for the first time since the 9/11 attacks. Transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg seemed clueless about why it had occurred and how to prevent it.
In light of these circumstances, Sen. Ron Johnson had the upper hand for his interview with Chuck Todd on Sunday's Meet the Press.
Todd began by asking Johnson if he agreed with Attorney General Merrick Garland's appointment of a special counsel to investigate classified documents being found in Joe Biden's former office and Delaware home. Johnson said he believed that Biden should be investigated like Trump and added that a special counsel should be appointed to investigate Hunter Biden's laptop. Johnson also lamented the fact that Congress never gets access to the information, and as a result, the American public never understands the truth of these situations.
This was a missed opportunity.
Johnson should have repeated the national security risk of Biden's mishandling of classified information and then should have blamed President Obama. Since Biden worked for Obama, it was Obama's responsibility to ensure that all documents during his presidency were returned.
The mention of Obama would have caused Todd to combust, which Johnson could have ridiculed.
Todd asked Johnson about whether, when the Justice Department decides a crime wasn't committed, he still wants the information to be made public to damage the individual politically. Johnson launched into a lengthy explanation of how the Hunter story was suppressed by social media and dismissed by intelligence officials and members of the media.
This was a wasted opportunity.
He should have said the following instead: "I'm pleased that you are concerned about reputations being damaged by false narratives. Perhaps you have learned your lesson and are ready to apologize to President Trump for carrying the Russian Collusion hoax and several such hoaxes for four years without a smidgen of evidence?"
This would result in a testy back-and-forth with Todd, but it would have been worth it.
The mention of Hunter's laptop irked Todd, causing him to ask Johnson if he could name a crime that Hunter Biden had committed, adding: "It is not a crime to make money off of your last name."
Johnson raised accusations in his Senate report, released in September 2020, that Hunter Biden paid about $30,000 to prostitutes caught up in European sex-trafficking operations and asked Todd if it sounded like a crime.
This was another squandered opportunity by Johnson.
He could have said something as follows: "Regular people are hired for a job based on their capabilities, experience, and expertise. Hunter had none of this, yet he had lucrative deals in Ukraine and with the Chinese, because of Joe Biden's abuse of power as vice president. There are crimes such as an influence-peddling scandal, an illegal transfer of foreign funds, gifts, and other matters that could prove criminal. A special counsel must probe these offenses, including some that involve emails referencing the president. As a journalist Chuck, you should have investigated the matter or at least demanded that it be investigated. Instead of unconditionally supporting your Democrat bosses."
Todd could have exploded at these allegations, which Johnson should have ignored.
Todd attempted to cast doubts on Johnson's claims about Hunter's laptop with "I'll take you at your word."
Johnson replied to Todd that "you don't invite me on to interview me; you invite me on to argue with me."
Todd refuted: "Look, you can go back on your partisan cable cocoon and talk about media bias all you want. I understand it's part of your identity."
This was another wasted opportunity.
Johnson should have reminded Todd of his blatant partisanship and the Democrat echo chamber he dwells in, and that he is married to a Democrat. Johnson should have read out from the list of hoaxes NBC News perpetrated against Trump and showed the paper to the audience.
Todd would have reacted with scorn.
Next, Todd attempted to blame the GOP and Trump for the recent violence in the capital of Brazil, quoting Mike Pence, who said the January 6 protests may have inspired it. Johnson mentioned the 570 riots during the summer of 2020.
Instead, Johnson should have mentioned a BBC report about experts asking why there was so little security for government buildings in the Brazilian capital that protesters could break in. He should have mentioned that the identity of the "protesters" who were bussed in remains unclear, and hence it needs to be investigated before laying blame.
Johnson should have said that a similar investigation needs to occur around Jan. 6, 2021, on why the security was not tight enough at the capital, and if government agents incited the crowd, and why the FBI refused to answer whether agents disguised as MAGA-supporters were part of the protests.
Todd would have vehemently opposed the idea of such as probe.
Johnson could simply counter by insisting that the January 6 probe that lasted for almost two years was politically motivated because all members of the committee were Trump-haters, and Trump's lawyers weren't allowed to question witnesses. Johnson should have said it is time people are acquainted with facts.
Overall, Johnson didn't do badly, but he could have driven the conversation and destroyed Todd's Democrat talking points.
This is why Trump is an absolute superstar. He is fearless and relished the opportunity to deride partisan hacks such as Chuck Todd.
Image: Screen shot from NBC News video via YouTube.