Chuck Todd Irritated Dubious Buzzfeed Used to ‘Tar All Media’

In a Twitter outburst on Saturday, NBC moderator Chuck Todd lashed out at “those trying to tar all media” with the dubious Buzzfeed story by suggesting they “aren’t interested in improving journalism but protecting themselves.” That irritation carried over to Sunday’s Meet the Press where he ended the show by decrying those people once again, despite “all media” pouncing on the now-debunked report to push impeachment for President Trump.

In the midst of their overall discussion of the Buzzfeed story, towards the end of the program, Todd turned to New York Times chief White House correspondent Peter Baker so they could lament together.

We could all say we did the ‘if trues’, and ‘if trues’, and we said ‘we could not confirm it’. And that's all true. But let’s – It was something the entire media world was telling the public, this is probably true. By the way, we covered this. Now, look,” Todd bemoaned.

Baker began by defending Buzzfeed and suggesting they have “gotten a lot of things right.” But he did admit “there was some credibility, it seemed like, on the front end to what they were saying…” He then noted that the folks at The Times “weren't able to confirm it the way it was reported. And I think that gave us obviously a lot of pause, and it should.”

But while Baker seemed to suggest the dubiousness was obvious from the get-go, that didn’t stop the big three broadcast networks from dedicating over 27 minutes to Buzzfeed’s false claims Friday night. And Todd might huff about NBC admitting “we could not confirm it”, but that didn’t stop NBC Nightly News from spending over 10 minutes on it.

 

 

Continuing on, Baker lamented how these days every news organization was on the hook for every mistake another organization might have. “Now, unfortunately, it's blowback on all of us. We all own all of the media in effect. Anybody gets anything wrong, it's used as a weapon and a cudgel against all of us and against all of the other thousands of other stories…” he complained. But that’s because the liberal media are obsessed and quick to pounce on any news that hurts President Trump.

“I think the fact the Special Counsel chose to correct this one says that they weren't troubled by the vast majority of those thousands of other stories and a lot of the reporting has been, in fact, pretty right,” he added.

That assessment was a strange assertion many in the liberal media have been pushing since the Special Counsel’s Office rebuked Buzzfeed. But, as our friend Peter Hasson at the Daily Caller reminded Baker on Twitter, the office has rebuked a lot of stories. “What I have been telling all reporters is that many stories about our investigation have been inaccurate,” a spokesman told The Caller back in 2018.

And as the program was ending, Todd proclaimed that “we got to remind people, though there are people that want to exploit this, they want to see us be put this way, and they're doing it for exploitation purposes. So let's not give them the ammunition.” Then, he unironically thanked viewers for trusting NBC.

What Todd wants was a lofty goal for the industry. Because so far, no one in the liberal media seemed to be learning a lesson from this whole incident. Instead, they’re like Todd, lashing out at those trying to hold the media accountable while claiming they had no hand in it.

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

NBC’s Meet the Press
January 20, 2019
11:25:33 a.m. Eastern

CHUCK TODD: Peter, though, I think the bigger thing is the entire media world.

PETER BAKER: Yeah.

TODD: Okay. We could all say we did the “if trues”, and “if trues”, and we said “we could not confirm it”. And that's all true. But let’s – It was something the entire media world was telling the public, this is probably true. By the way, we covered this. Now, look.

BAKER: Well look, Buzzfeed has gotten a lot of things right. And you know, so, let's not forget that. They have had a number of important scoops on this. And I think there was some credibility, it seemed like, on the front end to what they were saying, but our people weren't able to confirm it the way it was reported. And I think that gave us obviously a lot of pause, and it should.

The problem is, in the old days, you know, when one media organization's competitor got something wrong, you would sit back and say, well ha-ha-ha. Now, unfortunately, it's blowback on all of us. We all own all of the media in effect. Anybody gets anything wrong, it's used as a weapon and a cudgel against all of us and against all of the other thousands of other stories Heidi just mentioned. I think the fact the Special Counsel chose to correct this one says that they weren't troubled by the vast majority of those thousands of other stories and a lot of the reporting has been, in fact, pretty right.

(…)

DANIELLE PLETKA: The problem is the fake news problem. Any time that somebody gets something so spectacularly wrong and everybody piles on, it furthers the narrative that this is yet another American institution that the people of our country can't trust. That's the problem with the Buzzfeed story.

TODD: No, it is. And we got to remind people, though there are people that want to exploit this, they want to see us be put this way, and they're doing it for exploitation purposes. So let's not give them the ammunition.

Anyway. Thank you, all, for today. Thank you for watching and trusting us.

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