Donald Trump consistently hits the media as spreading fake news. He effectively criticizes the media painting it as the enemy of the people. Chuck Todd recently added fuel to the fire.
Politifact - “A clip played by NBC host Chuck Todd cut important context from Attorney General William Barr’s interview with CBS News, leaving the impression that Barr spoke only in political terms about his move to drop charges against former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
On ‘Meet the Press,’ Todd played an abbreviated quote from Barr’s May 7 interview with CBS News' Catherine Herridge, in which Barr was asked how history would view his decision to reverse course on a prosecution that had already produced a guilty plea.
‘He didn’t make the case that he was upholding the rule of law,’ Todd said after the clip. ‘He was almost admitting that, yeah, this is a political job.’
But Todd’s description of Barr’s remarks was wrong. Barr did say he believed he was sticking up for the rule of law — and he said it immediately after the clip Todd presented was cut off.”
If you watch the CBS report there is enough in Barr’s quotes to support an argument that Barr may be doing a political job. However, Todd made it look like he was twisting the interview for Todd’s political purposes supporting Todd’s view that Barr was doing a political job instead of upholding the rule of law. This is unfortunate because if you listen to Barr’s interview with CBS and another interview with NPR it gives enough context to prove that Barr may be using the rule of law to hide political motivations.
Todd, however, made it look like a gotcha moment by not presenting the Barr statements in context and in their entirety.
Here is what Barr said including what Todd left out - "Well, history is written by the winners. So it largely depends on who's writing the history. But I think a fair history would say it was a good decision because it upheld the rule of law, it upheld the standards of the Department of Justice, and it undid what was an injustice." (quote as reported by Politifact)
Todd did apologize.
Here is Todd’s apology for his mistake as reported by Politifact.
“Todd apologized for the error during the May 12 edition of MSNBC’s ‘Meet the Press Daily.’
Todd said his team did not deliberately omit Barr’s complete remarks or edit them out. They saw only the ‘CBS Evening News’ version of the clip, and they did not check for a full transcript, he said.
‘The second part of the attorney general’s answer would have put it in the proper context, and had I seen that part of the interview, I would not have framed the conversation the way I did, and I obviously am very sorry for that mistake,’ Todd said.”
In this instance, Todd deserved the criticism Trump gave him.
“Sleepy Eyes Chuck Todd should be FIRED by "Concast" (NBC) for this fraud…He knew exactly what he was doing." Trump on Twitter
Trump loses credibility for the way he worded the criticism, but in this instance Trump had what appeared to be justifiable reasons for making his Tweet.
“If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.”
― Mark Twain