“Meet the Press” was once a “Sunday staple” for me. However, after Tim Russert passed, hosts who followed in his footsteps lacked the courage to adopt Mr. Russert’s “60 Minutes” style. He refused to allow what I call “political bullshit.” He challenged every guest who he believed was lying or telling half-truths.
Today’s moderator is Chuck Todd. I always respected Mr. Todd as a journalist, but on “Meet the Press” he allowed his guests to redirect the subject for political gain.
This past Sunday Mr. Todd found his manhood. One of his guests was Republican Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin. As he has for the last three years, he made a weak attempt to defend Trump’s illegitimate presidency. The first two days of impeachment hearings revealed evidence more damning than I believed it would be. Johnson is either in denial or desperate to retain control of the senate.
When Johnson learned of the infamous phone call, he said he ‘winced.’
“What I also know is when I sprung that on President Trump in my August 31st phone call,” Johnson said on Meet the Press, “he completely denied there was any kind of arrangement—Ukraine had to do something before he released that funding.”
Johnson went on to further claim that during that late-August call with Trump, the president was “already leaning towards providing that funding on August 31” before grousing about the delay being made public.
“My guess is that if this never would have been exposed, that funding would have been restored and our relationship with Ukraine would have been far better than it is today,” the Republican senator declared.
“Again, you seem to blame this on everybody but the president,” Todd snapped back, prompting Johnson to retort: “I’m not blaming everybody else!”
“You are! You are blaming everybody else for the reason why we’re in this situation other than the president,” the NBC anchor exclaimed. “Isn’t the president’s own behavior, which raised all of these yellow and red flags, isn’t that why we’re here?”
So what did Johnson do? He followed his fuhrer’s lead, claiming to be sympathetic towards Trump because he has been “tormented by the media.” And of course he defended his efforts to impeach Hillary Clinton prior to the 2016 election based on her over-reported use of a private e-mail server; a tactic which contributed to Ms. Clinton’s losing the Electoral College.
Although Todd did not attack another fake-Republican to the extent I would have preferred, he discovered at least a modicum of courage. He will never be Tim Russert; no one could be. However, as a critic of the mainstream media I am always pleased when a television journalist cries “bullshit.” This is the only function of the ‘fourth estate.’
Op-ed by James Turnage (“The Truth Lives Here”)
Image courtesy of DonkeyHotey
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