Why would Republican appear on the "mainstream" Sunday shows? You could wonder after Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) was disgusted by moderator Chuck Todd's "very biased opening" segment on Meet the Press, and Todd openly fought with him and wouldn't let him finish a point as Johnson tried to tell him what he should ask John Brennan later in the show. Brennan received gooey sympathy.
Todd moaned and groaned and then said “I have no idea why Fox News conspiracy propaganda stuff is popping up on here. I have no idea why we’re going here." When Johnson said this is why people hate the media, "This is not about the media! Senator Johnson, please!!” As in "please stop criticizing the heroic press."
Johnson began: "your setup piece was --you know, typically, very unbiased [sarcasm]....Before I started answering all the detailed questions, let me just talk about why I'm pretty sympathetic with what President Trump has gone through. You know, I'm 64 years old. I have never in my lifetime seen a president, after being elected, not having some measure of well wishes from his opponents. I've never seen a president’s administration be sabotaged from the day after election. I -- I've never seen -- no-- no measure of honeymoon whatsoever."
And then he started talking about FBI lovers Peter Strzok and Lisa Page texting about how they keep Trump from being elected. The networks have barely touched Strzok and Page.
Todd unleashed the Fox News dig, and angrily insisted "Can we please answer the question that I asked you instead of trying to make Donald Trump feel better here that you're not criticizing him." Johnson said "I'm trying to lay the groundwork...of your very biased opening."
Todd also said "I understand that a way to avoid answering a question is to attack us in the press. I'm well aware of that...And that doesn't work." Johnson said "You set this thing up totally biased. I could never really get into the full narrative. "
Then Todd turned to liberal Democrat Sen. Chris Murphy, who's used to softball interviews. Murphy was allowed to uncork long 180-word answers without Todd interjecting. Then Todd complained to Murphy, like they were teammates: "We have a major problem here. I mean, the-- the comfort level that the senator had to character assassinate the show and us-- in this-- in this bizarre, personal way I think shows you where we're headed. What do we do?"
SEN. CHRIS MURPHY: I think our only choice now is to take this to the American public. And, you know, ultimately, these members of the Senate want to get reelected. And as you have seen public opinion shift very quickly. As you see more Republicans go into the bunker, like that-- and the president go deeper into trying to get more countries to interfere in our elections, I think public opinion will change. It is true. The president seemingly can shoot somebody in the middle of 5th Avenue and Republicans won't care. I don't think--
CHUCK TODD: Do you feel powerless--
MURPHY: --people want that.
TODD: Do you feel powerless?
MURPHY: No, I don't feel powerless. I mean, listen, I feel like this is a moment where patriots need to step up and try to save this country.
If Johnson was going to get "personal" with Todd, he would have brought up Todd working for Tom Harkin's presidential campaign, or his wife's Democrat direct-mail fundraising business, or the couple's 2015 dinner party at their home for Hillary Clinton's campaign communications director.