December 29, 2014 by David K. Sutton
Chuck Todd Admits Mainstream Media Must Ask Softball Questions
I guess we can call it a quest for ratings when new Meet the Press moderator Chuck “The Todd” Todd (I think I stole that from someone, maybe Stephen Colbert … R.I.P.) decided it would be a good idea to invite a panel of comedians on the show to discuss comedy and cynicism within our news and political discourse. Of course, the major conveyance here is The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, which was a frequent reference during this MTP segment. And I’m actually fine with the panel of comedians, which included Lewis Black, Laura Krafft, and W. Kamau Bell. Maybe I’m even fine with the premise, although I think it’s a vehicle to deflect blame away from the mainstream media, and the job it is failing to do, intentional or not.
And it seemed Chuck Todd let the cat out of the bag in response to a statement by Lewis Black. “I have watched you and everybody else where somebody comes on, and I don’t know how you do it because I’d be barking at them,” Black said to Todd. In response, Todd said, “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.”
Of course we all know this is true of the news media, but it is seldom revealed by anyone in the news industry, especially not the host of a prominent news show. Maybe somebody will say I’m reaching, but it seems to me Todd is saying he purposely asks softball questions to ensure the usual suspects, of current and former politicians along with political reject talking heads, return at a later date to repeat this entire charade yet again, and for a reason maybe only “The Todd” will one day explain.
I mean, why do we need Republican Senator John McCain to make his five-hundred and first (ok, really more like 53 or so … but yes, he is really old) appearance on Meet the Press? Is there really anything left that we must hear from this one person? Does one Senator from one state deserve that much air time? Okay, let’s stop picking on John McCain and turn the focus back to Chuck Todd and the news media. Does anyone truly believe Todd’s “oops moment” only reveals his flaws, not the flaws of a corporate-run news media?
After all, if there was a news show with sufficient leverage, affording it a degree of carte blanche, to really hold guests accountable, you would think that news show would be Meet the Press.