NBC’s Chuck Todd Repeatedly Airs Clip Previously Denounced As Misleading And Wrong

Chuck Todd

We recently discussed the false tweet sent out by CNN’s White House reporter Jim Acosta that mocked White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany for saying that “the science should not stand in the way of this.”  That quote was artificially clipped to leave the diametrically opposite impression from what actually said.  The clip suggests that McEnany was dismissing science when she was actually highlighting scientific work supporting the position of the White House.  While Acosta later sent out another tweet noting the real meaning and his colleague Jake Tapper corrected the false narrative on the air, Chuck Todd on Meet the Press decided to play the misleading clip not once but twice on Sunday. It was not just running an overtly misleading clip but defiantly doing so after other journalists have challenged the erroneous impression left by the clip.  The misleading quality of the clip clearly was not the problem but the appeal for Meet the Press.

Todd has previously had to apologize for misleading clips.

In Thursday’s briefing, McEnany repeated President Trump’s call for children to go back to school in the fall.

“The science should not stand in the way of this, but as Dr. Scott Atlas said — I thought this was a good quote, ‘Of course, we can do it. Everyone else in the Western world, our peer nations are doing it. We are the outlier here.’ The science is very clear on this. For example, you look at the JAMA pediatric study of 46 pediatric hospitals in North America that said the risk of critical illness from COVID is far less for children than the seasonal flu. The science is on our side here. We encourage localities and states to just simply follow the science. Open our schools.”

As noted earlier, she is clearly citing the science as supporting the position of the Administration. However, Acosta clipped the statement to make it sound like McEnany was dismissing the relevance of science:  “The White House Press Secretary on Trump’s push to reopen schools: ‘The science should not stand in the way of this.’”


The quote was McEnany referring to a scientific study and, right after the line quoted, McEnany said “The science is very clear on this.” She then two lines later added “The science is on our side here.” The entire quote was McEnany raising a scientific study that supports their position.  It is akin to a McEnany saying “National security is not relevant because the Defense Department report supports this policy” only to have Acosta tweet “The White House Press Secretary: “National Security is not relevant” in White House policy.

Tapper stood by the facts over the narrative when his colleague CNN’s chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta repeated the same false narrative that McEnany was having an “alternative facts kind of moment.” Tapper responded: “If I could just say, Sanjay,. I think she was just trying to say that the science shouldn’t stand in the way because the science is on our side. I don’t know that all of the science is on their side- and certainly, this White House, their respect for science knows bounds, let’s put it that way, but I think that’s what she was getting at.”

As bad as that incident was, it is not nearly as bad as Chuck Todd ignoring the controversy and the correction to repeatedly air the same misleading quote. NBC was fully aware that the clip was not just misleading but that it conveyed the opposite of what actually was stated in the press conference. Todd showed a clips of people denying the need to wear masks and stated that Trump is just ignoring the risks to push to open schools.  He then showed the clip of McEnany that is edited to cut off her reference to scientific data, making it sound that she was saying that the science was not important. The clip was played a second time later in the show. Unlike Acosta, Todd did not later even add the fact that McEnany continued on to cite the scientific support for the policy.  He just left the misleading clip without any clarifying context.

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If an ill-considered tweet is a venial sin for Acosta at CNN, this is a mortal sin for Todd at NBC. This was no careless tweet, but an airing made long after the false account was flagged during the CNN controversy.  It is another example of how the echo-journalistic model not only undermines the faith in the media but actually undermines the effort to fully inform the public on the pandemic. Rather than focus on legitimate questions about the Administration’s efforts, Todd instead knowingly played a false gotcha clip.

I have previously criticized Todd for omitting facts that did not fit an attack on the Administration as well as his repeated disparaging comments on Trump supporters.  These is a fundamental change in the media where such shaping of facts to fit a narrative is now commonplace. Indeed, it is essential to maintain an echo-journalistic model.  The result however is the lost of reliable sources to unbiased news. Many disagree with this President and this White House, but they still want to receive an accurate account of what is being said and done in Washington. Instead, they are given news tailored to the preference of hosts who see facts as the a type of clay to be shaped into a preferred image for public consumption. There comes a point where you are not long informing but indoctrinating the public.

I was hoping that Todd would return to the earlier clips to offer some context to show that the clip was the opposite of what McEnany clearly meant. However, the show ended without any context, clarification, or correction.  This week, many of us praised Chris Wallace for correctly challenging President Donald Trump for misstating the position of Joe Biden on defunding the police.  Biden’s comment on shifting funds was widely defended in the media as not meaning that he would support the more radical calls to defund the police.  Journalists objected that the statement was taken out of context in the interview. I agreed with that objection. Yet, those same voices in the media are silent on this false account against the White House and Todd went further in replaying the clip twice on the air.

436 thoughts on “NBC’s Chuck Todd Repeatedly Airs Clip Previously Denounced As Misleading And Wrong”

  1. “John repeats his purposefully ignorant talking points again after being corrected here numerous times.”
    A “correction” is actual facts that refute a claim – it is not naked assertions.

    You have not cited any facts regarding anything. When you make arguments all they are theses vagaries like “universal retirement” without ever addressing that your nebulous words refer to a concrete reality that runs completely at odds to your claims.

    A real correction – is with facts, logic reason – you have never done that.
    But you have ACTUALLY been corrected – pretty much universally.

    The only wilfull ignorance is yours.

    Go read some Orwell – not his dystopias – though you should read those to. But his writing about writing.
    Use simple clear words. State what you mean clearly with out distorting the meaning of words.

    If you ever learned to write clearly, to eliminate the adjectives and stick to facts, your thinking would be improved dramatically.

    “The 2008 crash was a financial system crash”
    Nope, it was the consequence of the collapse in value of housing stock.

    You can not inflate the value of any asset class by trillions of dollars, and then re-adjust global wealth down by trillions of dollars without having a recession that will rush through much of the rest of the economy.

    Actually go bother to read Dodd Frank – it did absolutely nothing to address anything you claim is a cause – because the democrats who concocted it were not stupid, they knew dam well what they were selling was nonsense.

    “It was not a garden variety recession as he pretends.”
    Every single recession is subtlely different from every other.

    The 1929 Depression and the 2008 recession share the fact that they were both based on an asset bubble bursting – all recessions are monetary rather than fiscal, and all are the consequences of misallocation of assets.

    The 1980 recession was nearly as deep, and occured under much worse circumstances – overall it wa sFAR worse than 2008.
    The misery index was through the roof, Double digit interest, double digit inflation, double digit unemployment.

    Any pretense that Obama dealt with anything nearly as bad is nonsense.

    As to the 1929 depression – Hoover is falsely painted as conservative – I would note that FDR called Hoover a socialist.
    Every single New Deal program had its foundation with Hoover. The 1929 recession never needed to turn into the great depression.
    That was a consequence of disasterous fiscal and monetary policy by Hoover, and Mellon and FDR,

    While the great recession was caused by the Fed – like the great depression – Bernanke did not do nearly so badly, nor did Obama.
    Though BOTH failed – they just did not fail so catastrophically as in 1929.

    There is no reason that the 1929 crisis could not have been a recession/depression much like that of 1921.
    There is no reason that the 2009 recession needed to have an interminably weak and slow recovery.

    Comparison to 1929 are not helpful to you. They are damning. Hoover and FDR were failures. As was Obama.

    “Further, if he wants to compare our recovery to others, he needs to look at how the rest of the developed world recovered. We and Germany recovered the fastest”
    The entire world was FORCE to follow our lead – the US Dollar is the reserve currency of the world, it is outside of the power of any nation of the world to impliment monetary policy at odds with that of the US and survive long.

    “sustained it while those countries which tried the “austerity””
    Again word salad gobbledy good – the countries that purportedly implimented “austerity” did not.
    Nor is austerity the correct response. The correct fiscal response for govenrment is lowering taxes and government spending dramatically.
    The correct monetary response is more complex. If we could get government entirely out of money supply the market would resolve recessions properly – or more likely they just would not occur. All recessions are monetary.

    “approach that the GOP here encouraged”
    The only rational thing that can be said regarding republicans is their cluelessness is less than democrats.
    You do not seem to grasp that I am not republican. And the fact that republicans are less bad than democrats does not make them good.


    So your cite politifact – which is not credible about anything on a claim that is just ludicrously stupid.
    The 2008 recovery was unarguably the worst in US history except for the great depression.

    “The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, an international group that tracks global growth, said Thursday that the United States is making one of the strongest comebacks in the developed world.”

    Ah, yes – we should beleive government and government groups when they pat themselves on the back.

    “The Great Recession began in late 2007”
    So you are accepting that the great recession is more than the “financial crisis” – BTW it began in 2006.

    “the U.S. economy has rebounded through robust monetary policy support”
    You do understand that monetary policy is the FED ?

    “and the well-timed expansion of fiscal policy,”
    No one beleives that – not even the OECD.
    By keynesian standards the ARRA was too little and to late.

    Regardless, it proved the fundimental criticism of keynesian stimulus – it was more disruptive than beneficial, It was a sledgehammer to drive a finish nail. It was not even targeted at the correct part of the economy – in fact it damaged the weakest part of the economy.

    ARRA was on net significantly negative – and we had a long drawn our recovery as a results.

    You can quote whoever you want – you can not alter the fact that the recovery was ridiculously weak.
    That is self evident – we all lived through that. The US experienced 1.8% average growth for 8 years. Europe did even worse.

    “Output has surpassed its pre-crisis peak by 10 percent,”
    Even 1.8% growth compounds over time.
    The pre recession peak was 14.7T today it is 21.5T.
    Even the USSR had economic growth – it was just weaker than the rest of the world.

    “the OECD says”
    Rather than citing a bunch of govenrment ingroupers self congradulating themselves on a poor job – why don’t you make your arguments with facts rather than fallacious appeals to authortity ?

    The US recover was slightly better than most of the world – most of the world economy was much weaker BEFORE the recession.

    “income inequality has widened”
    Income inequality is a FAKE problem.
    We are not equal. We should not expect to do equally well.
    If you are done better – you shoudl be thankful – not jealous that others have done better.
    If you wish your own improvements to be better than they were – then you should do what it takes to improve them.
    You live in the land of oportunity – you can make of yourself whatever you want.
    But it is not handed to you.

    The entire income inequality meme is quite literally communist – it is the false assumption that we should benefit equally – regardless of our contribution. If you can not force us all to live in equal poverty then atleast all gains should magically be equal. Those who have done the most to create improvements should not benefit the most – because god forbid we should want them to continue to do so.

    Efforts to address “income inequality” are the stupidist most destructive thing that you can possibily do.
    By mentioning it all you do is demonstrate your own economic incompetence.

    “gains in educational performance have slowed”
    No – they stopped long ago. The left has been making education far more expensive and far worse for decades.

    “entrepreneurship is down”
    Of course it is – that is the direct consequence of your stupid fixation of income inequaltiy – entrepeurship is the manifestation of the fact that we are NOT equal. that some of us take great risks and that if those risks pay off we expect great rewards.

    “productivity is declining”
    Again because of your fixation on income inequality/

    “and public infrastructure spending is inadequate.”
    Absolutely false. ARRA was a masive and stupid infrastructure spending.

    “At the PIIE event, Furman agreed that the country needs “substantial investments” in roads, bridges and energy infrastructure. “We should do more,” he said.””

    Yes, god forbid that politicians should not want to constantly spend massive amounts on more infrastructure.
    Republicans, Democrats, Trump all agree on massive infrastructure spending.
    Fortunately we have not had that.


    There are few places you could cite that were more economically ignorant than NPR

    1. The financial crash or 2008 was caused by the housing bubble, but if not rebundled and sold on WS, not significant enough ($1.5 trillion in a $50 trillion plus market and $15 trillion economy) to cause a worldwide crash. John also avoids comparing the US rebound with others across the world after this event and is not really up to the discussion.

      1. “The financial crash or 2008 was caused by the housing bubble,”
        Nit as stupid as I thought.

        “but if not rebundled and sold on WS, not significant enough:”:
        Nope. Has nothing at all to do with it.

        “($1.5 trillion in a $50 trillion plus market and $15 trillion economy)”
        You numbers are wrong.

        It should be obvious to you because the original TARP failed.

        Bush’s program was that the Fed;’s would buy up all the distressed MBS’s.
        Problem was banks refused to sell.

        Why – because the government and the new Mark to market rules imposed in late 2007 were seriously flawed.

        The price of something is what a willing buyer and a willing seller agree to.
        If there is no voluntary agreement there is no price.

        MBS’s had collapsed to a value of .25/$ and as a result of MTM rules that meant nearly every major bank in the country could not meet its reserve requirements.

        But when government stepped in to buy the MBS’s – no one would sell. As the president of CitiBank publicly said – the housing bubble collapse did not result in homes in the US losing 75% of their value.

        EVERYONE knew that the value of every single MBS in the country would recover in time – and not even alot of it.
        CitiBank held onto all their MBS’s and eventually they were all worth full value.

        Banks in particular understand the time value of money.

        The only actual collapse was the collapse in value of housing.

        The collapse in the value of MBS’s was a regulatory failure of the stupidity of the new MTM rules.

        There are lots of other complexities to the financial crisis, but they do not alter the findimental issue – the core problem was monetary – malinvestment caused by easy money – with bad regulation driving that into housing.

        Secondary problems were cause by more bad regulation such as MTM and bad responses such as Paulson suspending short selling.

        Even AIG – the epicenter of everything – because they wrote the guarantees for most of the MBS’s strongly resisted government takeover and loans. The former CEO sued the federal government claiming they never needed a bailout.
        And ultimately he proved right – there were few actual claims against AIG – because ultimately all MBS’s were sold at or near face value.

        The core fincail crisis problem was not the MBS;s but the new accounting requirement that they be valued at the last price sold on the market. If a sellor will not sell for the price offered – the price is too low.

        ” to cause a worldwide crash.”
        The housing bubble was nearly worldwide. It was not a US unique event.

        Remember I told you that because the dollar is the worlds reserve currency, that the entire globe must follow the monetary policy of the FED.
        “John also avoids comparing the US rebound with others across the world after this event and is not really up to the discussion.”
        Because they are irrelevant.

        AS I said – US monetary policy dictates global monetary policy No matter how badly we do – all the rest of the world that is ensnared in US monetary policy will be unable to do better.

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