NBC’s Meet the Press has been caught deceptively editing clips to further its attack against President Trump and his administration. Host Chuck Todd ran a segment that portrayed the DOJ’s decision to drop the Michael Flynn case as nothing more than a politically motivated act that showed scant regard for actual justice.
Like much of the press coverage toward President Trump’s team, the discussion was slanted, but on this occasion, egregious editing has shown just how far the complicit media is willing to go to derail the November election. The show aired a clip showing Attorney General Bill Barr responding to how history would react to the Flynn decision: “Well, history is written by the winner. So it largely depends on who’s writing the history,” the AG said.
Chuck Todd went on the attack:
“I was struck … by the cynicism of the answer. It’s a correct answer. But he’s the attorney general. He didn’t make the case that he was upholding the rule of law. He was almost admitting that, yeah, this is a political job.”
However, the clip was edited to make a narrative. The full exchange between Barr and CBS News’ Catherine Herridge was as follows:
HERRIDGE: In closing, this was a big decision in the Flynn case, to say the least. When history looks back on this decision, how do you think it will be written? What will it say about your decision making?
BARR: Well, history is written by the winner. So it largely depends on who’s writing the history. But I think a fair history would say that it was a good decision because it upheld the rule of law. It helped, it upheld the standards of the Department of Justice, and it undid what was an injustice.
A spokeswoman for AG Barr and the DOJ, Kerri Kupec, was quick to respond via Twitter, writing:
“Very disappointed by the deceptive editing/commentary by @ChuckTodd on @MeetThePress on AG Barr’s CBS interview. Compare the two transcripts below. Not only did the AG make the case in the VERY answer Chuck says he didn’t, he also did so multiple times throughout the interview.”
The Meet the Press official Twitter account responded to Kupec, saying:
“You’re correct. Earlier today, we inadvertently and inaccurately cut short a video clip of an interview with AG Barr before offering commentary and analysis. The remaining clip included important remarks from the attorney general that we missed, and we regret the error.”
Will the American public be satisfied with a tweeted retraction? The most likely outcome is that very little will happen and that business will continue as usual for newsrooms across the country. Not if the president can help it.
Determined not to be left out, President Trump went on the attack, calling on FCC Chair Ajit Pai to act against what the president clearly sees as a press broadcasting violation:
“Sleepy Eyes Chuck Todd should be FIRED by “Concast” (NBC) for this fraud. He knew exactly what he was doing. Public Airwaves = Fake News! @[email protected]”
Who’s to Blame?
It seems that Chuck Todd will be at the front end of any response to this scandal. If there is blame to be awarded, it shall fall on an exposed Todd as host. But is that quite fair? Todd himself does not edit the clips; he also does not run the show line-up. There are producers, editors, managers, and a whole host of checks and balances, approvals, and careful massaging that take place before “the talent” even gets in front of the camera.
This was a failure and a fraud on multiple levels for which no single individual bears complete responsibility. It is indicative of a news industry that has sold its soul for the quick click, knowing that any apology will receive a fraction of the airtime of the original misconduct.
Meet the Press likely calculated how much backlash they would get for airing a deceptively edited segment and decided to go Full Fake. As with any news story that exposes media corruption, it will be quickly subsumed by the next scandal, real or imaginary, and any defense from NBC will be gratefully accepted by those who favor ideology over truth with the exculpatory cheer of “Hey, we’re fighting an election campaign here!”
Read more from Mark Angelides.