After preparing us weeks ago, this past Sunday, we saw Chick Todd sign off on “Meet The Press” for the last time. He has been pushed aside to make way for Kristen Welker to take over the mantle of the show, an inglorious exit that is due to Chuck taking the venerated program to new lows. It has been nine years of “Mr. Todd’s Mild Ride,” and in that time, he took the #1-rated Sunday program he inherited and turned it into an inconsequential program, finishing well behind in the ratings.
This matches the move made last year when the iteration of “MTP Daily” was shunted to the upstart and little-regarded streaming platform NBC News NOW. This was a result of Todd also becoming a drain on the dayside lineup, as frequently “MTP Daily” would be the only show on MSNBC’s daytime schedule to fall behind CNN in the ratings. As such, we felt something of a retrospective was in order to celebrate the tenure of Todd sinking the longest-running show on television.
Chuckles has made a name for himself as a deeply partisan voice, made all the more amusing by his knee-jerk defense against charges of bias in the press. That said, there are countless examples of this partisan side from Todd, so instead, I wanted to cite those examples of mental futility we have been treated to over the years. Here are some of our treasured memories from Chuck’s attempt to be treated as a serious journalist.
We start off with one of our favorites. The host, as part of his perpetual defense of Joe Biden, attempted to suggest that Biden suffered the worst reaction to an election victory in the history of our nation. In speaking with Andrea Mitchell about this topic, Todd actually said that Biden experienced more resistance to his winning an election than Abraham Lincoln. “Lincoln’s election was more accepted. I was just thinking about that. Even the Civil War, we did not disagree with the passing of power.” When Lincoln was elected, members of Congress resigned, some states formed a defensive army, and before Lincoln was inaugurated, the nation was split into two parts, with seven states seceding and forming their own government.
In a sweeping move to impugn both Trump voters and the religious right, Chuck brought up religious aspects that many Americans believe, likening them to fairy tales, and then went to the conclusion that when it comes to Trump supporters, “Hey, voters want to be lied to, sometimes.”
Chuck Todd plucks a Letter to the Editor to make the point that voters want to be lied to…especially numbskulls who believe fairy tales like Noah’s Ark. If it’s Sunday, it’s contempt for religious people. pic.twitter.com/l022cz8p9l
— NewsBusters (@newsbusters) December 29, 2019
After the Uvalde school shooting, he tried to pin this on Republicans who “think the 2nd Amendment is almost a religious tenet.”
When the Uvalde shooting took place he tried to blame it on Republicans making gun rights a religious experience – after, for some reason, bringing up Abbot bussing immigrants to D.C. pic.twitter.com/t4hzF1Bte9
— Lie-Able Sources (@LieAbleSources) September 15, 2023
After Joe Biden stripped away many of the immigration policies put in place by Donald Trump, he caused a humanitarian crisis at the southern border. His administration literally flung open the gates when it halted construction on the border wall, demanded stretches of it be taken down, and sued the state of Arizona to remove the makeshift wall they put in place using shipping containers. Despite his actions, Todd tried to claim the current crisis is the fault of the prior administration, though it had no such influx as we are seeing today. “This is what it looks like now with Republicans, that they’re almost rooting for a problem so they can walk away from it.” Huh?!?!
In a discussion with candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, Chuck tried to say that having more genders than just Male and Female (the “gender spectrum” as he called it) was scientifically proven. He then challenged Ramaswamy on his adherence to there being just two genders, to which the candidate was unwavering. The only thing sillier than Todd’s false scientific claim is his doing so with a man who has a degree in biology from Harvard University.
Chuck Todd gets a dose of reality from Vivek Ramaswamy… pic.twitter.com/HNC3GpyFbi
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) May 1, 2023
On the topic of Biden’s lagging approval numbers, Chuck excused away the president as not responsible. No, it was all Donald Trump’s fault. How? Well, Biden needed to conquer COVID and get past his predecessor, except he has failed to do both. “His two big promises were to get Covid behind us and to get rid of Donald Trump. Covid’s not behind us and Donald Trump’s still lurking. It’s not his fault, but is that why we’re in this no-man’s land here for him?”
This, we need to explain to Mr. Todd, means that Biden has failed at these goals, and thus, the fault lies with him.
The “Meet The Press” crew attempted to bring on the show Representative Dan Young of Alaska. Young’s former spokesperson had to respectfully inform the show the Congressman would be unavailable, on account he had passed away three months prior. Now, it might be excusable as an oversight due to being uninformed, but that is eclipsed by the fact that Rep. Young had been honored when he passed away – with a segment on “Meet The Press.”
Chuck had criticism of Ron DeSantis placing a curriculum in Florida schools to teach about the evils of communism. Just pause to consider: Chuck has a problem with teaching that communism is bad. “I went to Florida public schools,” he declared. “We were taught this. It was called history. It just seems like a weird politicizing—you know he’s going out of his way to politicize something,”
Does it make sense to say he had been taught this about communism, but when DeSantis suggests the very same thing, it is now a problem? But further, his complaint was to say that DeSantis is “politicizing” the topic – a politician suggesting that political classes should teach about a political system is…somehow political…?!
To close out, we have a tidy tidbit from Tim Graham over at Newsbusters.
As mentioned, Todd is a vociferous denier of media bias. (He once even laughably said, “There is no editorial view on any of these newscasts on MSNBC in the daytime.”) Yet despite all his Chris-Cilliza-level of pleading that a media bias does not exist, we have this contradictory commentary from Democrat fundraiser Kristian Denny Todd:
Cable news is not about reporting the news — and again, we can have a conversation about what that means, ‘the news,’ but they just parrot what their viewers want to hear. So, is that still news? Are these people allowed to call themselves journalists? I don’t know.”
Salient and accurate words. To see them being delivered by Chuck Todd’s wife – someone with an intimate knowledge of the topic – makes it all the more valid.