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Chuck Todd confesses he was naive about GOP disinformation being spread on his program

3 min read
MSNBC host Chuck Todd attempts to get a word in while Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy peddles falsehoods.

A new Chuck Todd interview with Rolling Stone in advance of a special program on disinformation also demonstrates MSM complicity. Bothsideism writ large, and Jay Rosen takes Todd to task.

Chuck Todd: “So look, whether we’d liked it or not, our platform has been used, or they’ve attempted to use our platform to essentially disseminate, or to sort of, what I would say, is lay the groundwork for this (disinformation).”

It’s not naiveté. It’s a willful blindness to what the Republican Party had become. Four years before Trump was elected, Tom Mann and Norm Orstein wrote, “The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.” Chuck Todd as NBC’s political director, and Meet the Press as its premiere politics show could have taken seriously what these exemplary members of the Washington establishment were saying back in 2012. They chose not to, but not because of their naiveté. They thought they knew better than Mann and Ornstein. And they were probably afraid of sounding too extreme themselves. 

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‘Round midnight on Christmas eve, Rolling Stone posted a short interview with Chuck Todd, host of “the longest running show on television,” NBC’s Meet the Press. 

Its contents were explosive, embarrassing, enraging, and just plain weird. 

Three years after Kellyanne Conway introduced the doctrine of “alternative facts” on his own program, a light went on for Chuck Todd. Republican strategy, he now realized, was to make stuff up, spread it on social media, repeat it in your answers to journalists — even when you know it’s a lie with crumbs of truth mixed in — and then convert whatever controversy arises into go-get-em points with the base, while pocketing for the party a juicy dividend: additional mistrust of the news media to help insulate President Trump among loyalists when his increasingly brazen actions are reported as news. 

pressthink.org/…

MSNBC host Chuck Todd attempts to get a word in while Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy peddles falsehoods.
ROLLING STONE: In your recent interview with Senator John Kennedy, he used Russian talking points to defend Trump. Somehow, he gets that disinformation from Russia. Why do you think Republicans are willing to come on your show and run that exact line?

CHUCK TODD: “The fact is, and by the way, this isn’t going to be easy to show, but I actually think when we outline this it will, the right has an incentive structure to utter the misinformation. Look, I’ll just be honest, when I had the third senator [to spread Russian disinformation], Senator Ted Cruz, come on my show and do this — who I did not expect to do this — I started to think, he wants the confrontation. He wants to use this for some sort of appeasement of the right.”
www.rollingstone.com/…

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