The story broken by NewsBusters last week involving Chuck Todd saying NBC's pollsters were "concerned" about President Obama's poll numbers has brought some scrutiny on the Peacock Network's chief White House correspondent.
After radio's Laura Ingraham questioned Todd about this issue Thursday, Fox News's Bill O'Reilly brought her on his program Friday saying, "We did a little research on Mr. Todd...His wife makes a living working for the Democratic Party. There is a report that Chuck Todd actually worked for Senator Tom Harkin, very liberal Senator from Iowa" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
BILL O'REILLY, HOST: Now for the "Top Story" tonight: very interesting back and forth between Laura Ingraham and NBC News White House correspondent Chuck Todd on the radio. It all began with Mr. Todd explaining an NBC poll on the president.
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CHUCK TODD, NBC: But on one important number that our pollsters say is in there is this idea that this is a long-term set back form or a short-term one, 54 percent said long-term. Our pollsters are concerned. That's the kind of numbers you have when the public starts to give up on a president as a problem solver.
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O'REILLY: The key phrase our pollsters are concerned. And yesterday, Laura Ingraham called Todd on that.
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LAURA INGRAHAM: I don't remember you saying that pollsters were concerned about Bush's poll numbers dropping though.
TODD: I -- I but, if you look at the trend line, this is just simply in the data. I -- look, I am aware of -- of how people are trying to interpret that line, and it's like, come on guys, there is not hidden bias all over the place.
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O'REILLY: And joining us now from Washington is Laura Ingraham. Now, maybe it was just a slip of the tongue, Jay Carney made one last night. He said put "party in front of country". He didn't mean that.
INGRAHAM: That was classic. Yes.
O'REILLY: Yes but I mean, I make mistakes like that. You do too. And we all make mistakes -- verbal mistakes.
INGRAHAM: Yes sure.
O'REILLY: So maybe Todd when he said our pollsters are concerned made a mistake.
INGRAHAM: Or maybe. And look, he comes on my show and a lot of folks won't because they don't want to be subjected to a FACTOR-like questioning so they avoid it. But he comes on and I gave him a chance to explain it he said oh come on you guys you see bias around every corner.
But aren't pollsters just supposed to report the numbers and the facts? To use the word "concerned" that the President is --
O'REILLY: Well it absolutely looks terrible. It's terrible.
INGRAHAM: It's a little odd.
O'REILLY: There's no doubt about it and we did a little research on --
INGRAHAM: Yes, go ahead.
O'REILLY: -- we did a little research on Mr. Todd. He is a big guy over at NBC News. And he's a Democrat. His wife makes a living working for the Democratic Party. There is a -- a report that Chuck Todd actually worked for Senator Tom Harkin, very liberal Senator from Iowa. We haven't been able to confirm that.
Well, I can. Former Washington Post columnist Howard Kurtz wrote on May 12, 2008, "While in college, Todd worked for the 1992 presidential campaign of Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and later started part time at the Hotline."
Fishbowl DC reported in 2007, "Before coming to the world of political reporting and analysis, Todd earned practical political experience on initiative campaigns in Florida and various national campaigns based in Washington, D.C."
As for his wife, this is from her bio at Maverick Strategies and Mail:
Kristian Denny Todd is a seasoned communications professional and a veteran of numerous successful Democratic campaigns. She recently served as Senior Communications Strategist to U.S. Senator Jim Webb’s 2006 victory in Virginia where she directed all earned and paid media strategy on behalf of the candidate. Webb’s victory tipped the control of the U.S. Senate back to the Democrats. She joined Steve Jarding and Jessica Vanden Berg in creating Maverick Strategies and Mail providing direct mail and consulting services for Democratic candidates and progressive causes.
She began her career in 1992 in her home state of Florida as an aide to then-Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives Bo Johnson. In 1993, Denny Todd moved west where for five years she worked first for U.S. Representative Gary Condit (CA-18) and later for the Washington state Democratic Party, as well as, the 1996 Washington state Democratic Coordinated Campaign effort. In 1998, Denny Todd worked as Press Secretary in U.S. Senator Ernest “Fritz” Hollings’ reelection campaign in South Carolina.
In 1999, she moved to Washington DC where she served as Press Secretary in the office of U.S. Senator Patty Murray (WA). [...]
In 2002, Denny Todd returned to politics by accepting a position with U.S. Senator John Edwards’ (NC) leadership PAC, New American Optimists. She spent a year as a Senior Political Aide in Iowa where she was sent to lay the ground work for Senator Edward’s 2004 run for the Democratic nomination for President. In early 2002, Denny Todd was the first 2004 Presidential staffer on the ground in Iowa.
Later in 2003, Denny Todd returned to her Florida roots when U.S. Senator Bob Graham (FL) entered the race for the Democratic nomination for President. Out of respect and admiration for the former Florida Governor, as well as a little home state pride, she went to work for his campaign as National Spokesperson.
This is the wife of NBC's chief White House correspondent. But I digress:
O'REILLY: But there is no doubt Chuck Todd is a liberal guy. Is he in the tank? What do you think?
INGRAHAM: Well, I -- I don't -- I don't know if he's in the tank for Obama. I mean I think he's probably to the left of most of the country. Do I think -- that's my gut? Do I know for a fact? No I don't but I think it's my responsibility when I have these reporters on to dig a little deeper and to find out what's really going on.
And -- and when a pollster is concerned, I think ok, a pollster is concerned that his poll is not accurate or a pollster is concerned that he should be polling most likely voters.
O'REILLY: Yes, I -- I -- absolutely. Absolutely.
INGRAHAM: Not that a concern that the President is not being considered a problem solver anymore. I thought it was odd then and I still think it's odd.
O'REILLY: All right, and it all goes back to NBC's image as being a promoter of Barack Obama. I mean, that's the Jeffrey Immelt thing, the GE used to own NBC. And it -- and it just swirls and swirls and swirls around.
INGRAHAM: Yes. And obviously it's cable -- cable outlet is totally left-wing.
O'REILLY: Right. Continues to be a promoter of Barack Obama.
INGRAHAM: -- for anything Obama does. Yes, of course.
O'REILLY: There is a difference between being left-wing like Dennis Kucinich who is coming up behind you and a promoter.
O'REILLY: If you have a major television network, as you did in 2008, actually promoting a candidate, a single candidate, that's a -- that's a problem for the country.
And said network has a chief White House correspondent that has worked on at least one Democrat campaign while being married to a Democrat strategist.
Bias? What bias?