August 25, 2009

It appears Chuck Todd didn't take too kindly to Jeremy Scahill's drubbing he received on Real Time the other night. From Glenn Greenwald:

According to Scahill (via email), Todd approached him after the Maher show and the following occurred:

Right as we walked off stage, he said to me "that was a cheap shot." I said "what are you talking about?" and he said "you know it." I then said that I monitor msm coverage very closely and asked him what was not true that I said on the show. He then replied: "that's not the point. You sullied my reputation on TV."

Media stars are so unaccustomed to being held accountable for the impact of their behavior -- especially when they're on television -- that they consider it a grievous assault on their entitlement when it happens.

Check out the entire post where Glenn's got much more on some similar events going on lately besides just his own dust up with Chuck Todd. Joe Klein got into it with Aimai of NoMoreMisterNiceBlog who happens to be I.F. Stone's granddaughter. Glenn and Marcy Wheeler had an ongoing feud with Marc Ambinder of The Atlantic. And now we've got Scahill and Todd's back and forth on Real Time.

Glenn summed all of this up much better than I could ever hope to:

Todd's condescending responses illustrate the same point as the above episodes with Klein and Ambinder: in the eyes of Beltway mavens, those who warned about and worked against the radicalism and lawbreaking of the Bush administration are the fringe, crazed, out-of-touch radicals. While Todd was fiddling around with pretty colored maps and fun polling games, Scahill was courageously investigating one of the most corrupt, dangerous and lethal private corporations in the world, yet it's Todd who understands and must solemnly explain the hardened realities of politics to Scahill, the confused and silly Leftist.

There's little question that when people look back at this period in American history, it will be difficult to comprehend what happened in the Bush era -- and especially how we blithely started a devastating war over complete fiction, while simultaneously instituting a criminal torture regime and breaking whatever laws we wanted. But far more remarkable still will be the fact that, other than a handful of low-level sacrificial lambs, those responsible -- both in politics and the establishment media -- not only suffered no consequences, but continued to wield exactly the same power, with exactly the same level of pompous self-regard, as they did before all of that happened. Looking back several decades or more from now, who will possibly be able to understand how that happened: the almost perfect inverse relationship between one's culpability and the price they paid for what they unleashed?

In fairness to Chuck Todd, he was not one of the ones out there cheerleading for the war and I really liked him when I'd see him on C-SPAN's Washington Journal about every morning when he was working for The Hotline. He's a numbers guy. He was one of the best in the business at reading and sorting through the numbers on how our elections were going to turn out. I don't think coming to MSNBC however, has been good for Chuck Todd.

And now he's on there with the rest of them repeating the narrative of how terrible for the Democrats it would be if any investigations are allowed to happen, and if anyone from the Bush administration is held accountable. It's all politics to Chuck.

Here are my thoughts on that. One of the reasons it would be turned into a game of politics is because Chuck Todd and the rest of the beltway media would report it as such, instead of a legal matter. What Chuck Todd is relaying is what the Republican Party would like to see happen if the Democrats or this Department of Justice goes after the law breaking. It would be the choice of those in the media to validate the Republicans' sniping, which would inevitably follow (and already has for that matter), or to dismiss them as playing partisan politics in order to cover up law breaking for political gain.

Of course since the media was part and parcel in allowing the atrocities of the last eight or nine years, that's never going to happen.

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