Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Chuck Todd, Misleading

Sometimes the line between analyst and pundit, journalist and advocate is blurred, as Chuck Todd demonstrated on Hardball on August 18, 2009 when NBC News' Political Director argued about health care reform:

When you actually give them the president‘s plan, a majority approve of it, when you lay it out.

Except that the President himself doesn't have a plan, which Todd nearly acknowledges- indirectly- when he suggests a moment later that the White House is arguing "maybe the co-ops is going to be able to...." (emphasis mine).

This was prefaced by a remarkable comment:

This fight over the public option. And I‘ll tell you where the White House‘s head is. They‘re frustrated because they believe, actually, the left—the people that are most up in arms on the public option don‘t understand what they‘re even for when it comes to the public—every—when you ask some groups on the left, What‘s the public option, they each give you a different definition.

Does Todd actually believe that some unnamed people on "the left- the people that are most up in arms on the public option don't understand what they're even for when it comes to the public (option)?" Or is that his perspective?

Todd seems to be pulling a fast one. He prefaces his remark by appearing to attribute the criticism to the White House- "I'll tell you where the White House's head is." He concludes by claiming what is clearly his own opinion- "so the White House is trying to preach patience here and saying, "Hey, hold on a minute. Maybe the co-ops is going to be able to..." (at which time he's cut off by Matthews).

Todd contends also "the White House is trying to preach patience here." Preaching patience, as we all know, is what serious, mature adults do toward children. However, Todd seemingly is unaware, as CNN reported on July 23:

The announcement by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada goes against President Obama's stated timetable for the House and Senate to turn out bills by the August break.

In response, a senior administration official said Reid's announcement does not change Obama's timetable, with the president still wanting House and Senate votes before the upcoming recess.

It's easy to attribute this as a biased approach in favor of the President and against the Democratic House or the left blogosphere (Todd is sufficiently vague so as to leave uncertain whom he is slamming by inference.) Or, perhaps, it's just irresponsible reporting. Or maybe both.

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