NBC's Todd: Fox News Trying To 'Undermine' MSM

February 9th, 2010 8:14 AM

Fox News has a business strategy of seeking to "undermine" the MSM by alleging that it has a liberal bias.   That was Chuck Todd's assertion on Morning Joe today.

Todd, NBC's political director and chief White House correspondent, was reacting to Fox News Washington managing editor Bill Sammon's statement on "Fox News Sunday" that "the mainstream media hates the tea party movement almost as much as it hates Sarah Palin."

CHUCK TODD: We all know there are a lot of different ways people get news. And then you have straight journalists, you have activist journalists, you have opinion folks. And we know that they're all out there.  I think we believe here at NBC that people are smart enough to figure it out.  And that's why when a news executive goes out there and states a crazy accusation like that, that it ends up, it only ends up probably hurting what they're trying to do, but it creates, it only denigrates all of us.

. . .

And I'm sorry, there is certain news organizations out here whose agenda is to undermine the 90% of journalists who are just simply trying to cover stories out there. And that's what really frustrates me about what's happened in the media landscape.  It is a business for some media organizations to undermine the quote-unquote  mainstream media because it's good for their business.  And this is not just on the right, it's happening on the left as well.

Todd didn't indicate which media on the left are trying to undermine the MSM, but in the context it was clear that in speaking of media organizations on the right, he was accusing Fox News of trying to "undermine" the MSM for business purposes.

Note Todd's claim that NBC figures viewers are smart enough to distinguish between "straight" and "opinion" journalists.  Serious question for Chuck: what kind of journalist goes on Morning Joe and engages in a hand-note stunt mocking Sarah Palin? That's precisely what Andrea Mitchell did yesterday.  NBC bills her as a "correspondent," presumably putting her in the "straight journalist" category, but it sure looks like opinion journalism to me.  That an MSMer in as exalted position as Mitchell felt comfortable so openly mocking Palin also lends credence to Sammon's claim.