Tom Brokaw has such a long history of saying "both sides" that when two cities are rocked by mass shootings in one weekend, he can't help himself but to blame the victims equally.
August 5, 2019

It's not hard to catch Tom Brokaw using the "both sides" trope to cover right-wing horror. He has a history of doing so, as one everyday blogger pointed out his morning:

But by far his most important function at NBC is as a face which octogenarian viewers will vaguely remember as credible, and will reliably stick to the Both Sides Do It party line regardless of the time or circumstances. Because at long last he only has that one, lonely thought whizzing around and around his brain at superconducting speeds.

Six years ago they thawed out Brokaw to appear on David Gregory's Meet the Press shit-show, and he literally could not wait two complete sentences before leaping to invoke the Great and Powerful "Both Sides Do It" lie:

TOM BROKAW: Well, I really think that, behind the headlines-- this is the Washington Post this morning, and it says that, "Obama seems 2014 as key to his legacy." What we have going on here, 18 months out, are both sides positioning themselves for trying to retain control on the Republican side of the House, and maybe even win the Senate; the president trying to build a legacy of some kind. There's a whole lot of politics in this, as there is in everything else. Kind of two villages, clashing with each other, who seem to occupy a separate universe.

Six years later, on Chuck Todd's Meet the Press shit-show, they trotted him out again:

TOM BROKAW: I really didn't think that you could widen the gap between the Beltway and the rest of the country any more, until this happened. And now, it's completely gone. I mean, you know, I told you earlier that I talked to these westerners who began by saying, "Like Trump, like his policies." Then, they said, "Wish he’d stop, wish he would stop tweeting all the time." Last time I talked to them, "He's a clown. I can't stand him. But it's still the policies that we believe in." But anywhere I go, Republican, Democrat, or Independent, "Why can't they talk to each other and find common ground?" Every community in America finds a way to build a new school or to do something about downtown. But here, we can't do it, because we breathe the same air. And it's toxic, in its own way, about what needs to be done and how seriously people take their very minute positions on something...

And then, holy moly, this...

TOM BROKAW: And a lot of this, we don't want to talk about. But the fact is, on the Republican side, a lot of people see the rise of an extraordinary, important, new constituent in American politics, Hispanics, who will come here and all be Democrats. Also, I hear, when I push people a little harder, "Well, I don't know whether I want brown grandbabies." I mean, that's also a part of it. It's the intermarriage that is going on and the cultures that are conflicting with each other. I also happen to believe that the Hispanics should work harder at assimilation. That's one of the things I've been saying for a long time. You know, they ought not to be just codified in their communities but make sure that all their kids are learning to speak English, and that they feel comfortable in the communities. And that's going to take outreach on both sides, frankly.

Which was so tone-deaf even for Brokaw that the media corporation that owns him made him apologize:

NBC's Brokaw apologizes for saying Hispanics should 'work harder at assimilation'

Brokaw's brain (not "Broca's Brain") is so far past its sell-by date that if NBC were merciful it would buy him a nice little pasture and stock it with a few head of cattle and a few garrulous wingnuts and put him out to it.

But media corporation are not built for mercy, or kindness, or fairness or justice. They are relentless profit-making machines and today they needed to squeeze one more Both Siderist mission out of this tired old man.

TOM BROKAW: [Donald Trump] lights the flame every day from the White House. Unfortunately, we are hearing it from the other side as well. They feel they have to adopt this language to respond. Then there are all these people in reaction to that. We cannot possibly keep track of all the social media in place right now and the people pumping this out.

I'd say that NBC should be ashamed of itself, but media corporations are not built for shame or remorse either.

Excerpted with permission from Driftglass

Can you help us out?

For 18 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We are currently migrating to Disqus

On May 14, 2022, we started migrating our comments from Insticator back to Disqus. During this transition period, some posts will have Insticator and some Disqus. For more information on the transition, as well as information regarding old C&L accounts, please see this post.

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.