Everyone makes mistakes.
But not everybody owns up to them.
Some high-profile people have acknowledged their blunders over the years. I remember when David Letterman apologized to his wife and staffers in 2009 for his affair. He sat behind his desk and told everyone what happened and took responsibility. He was genuine, and that matters.
On the other hand, I also remember when Justin Timberlake apologized in 2004 after the infamous “wardrobe malfunction” with Janet Jackson during the halftime show of Super Bowl XXXVIII. He said he was sorry, but not sorry. Timberlake is likable and a talented entertainer, but he did not own up to what he had done in full.
Then there was this week, when NBC “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd gave a half-hearted apology for airing a snippet of U.S. Attorney General William Barr’s interview with CBS News’ Catherine Herridge.
Todd moderated a panel discussion after a clip was aired of Barr commenting on the case of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn in regard to the Department of Justice dropping charges against him.
“Well, history is written by the winners so it largely depends on who is writing the history,” Barr said.
Todd commented that the attorney general “didn’t make the case that he was upholding the rule of law. He was almost admitting that, yeah, this was a political job.”
The portion of Barr’s interview that did not make the cut was important. He had gone on to say, “I think a fair history would say it was a good decision because it upheld the rule of law,” which provided merit and justification to Barr’s previous sentence.
Today on Meet The Press, @chucktodd wildly took context out of an answer AG Bill Barr gave about his decision to drop the case into Gen. Michael Flynn.
I cut Todd’s segment along with Barr’s full answer together. Look at how blatantly dishonest this is. pic.twitter.com/tODOEwL48V
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) May 10, 2020
Department of Justice spokeswoman Kerri Kupec went on Twitter after the show Sunday and called out Todd’s journalistic antics as “deceptive.”
Compare the two transcripts below. Not only did the AG make the case in the VERY answer Chuck says he didn’t, he also did so multiple times throughout the interview. pic.twitter.com/PR1ciceMmE
— KerriKupecDOJ (@KerriKupecDOJ) May 10, 2020
To no one’s surprise, President Donald Trump wanted Todd fired.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 11, 2020
Later Sunday, “Meet the Press” admitted a mistake was made.
Todd did apologize, but not until Tuesday. Perhaps he was waiting for the corporate talking points to arrive.
In his apology — which aired on MSNBC, an outlet with a much smaller viewing audience than “Meet the Press” has — Todd passed the buck to CBS.
“We did not edit that out,” he said. “That was not our edit. We didn’t include it because we only saw the shorter of two clips.”
He went on to take some responsibility for his comments in an awkwardly edited video, saying, “I obviously am very sorry for that mistake.”
The media in general should hold themselves accountable and to a higher standard. NBC should have made the effort to obtain the entire interview and not simply edit what it wanted its viewers to see. It got caught.
If Todd is genuinely sorry, perhaps he should invite Barr onto “Meet the Press” and give the attorney general the entire show to set the facts straight on the Flynn case. No panels. No edits. Just Barr and Todd.
I used to find it alarming when the media made “honest mistakes” when it came to covering conservatives. But I’m used to it now. It’s part of their agenda.
Besides, isn’t it odd how all of the media’s “honest mistakes” always end up going in one direction? Why don’t they ever make a “mistake” that makes a conservative look good?
Perhaps it’s because they aren’t always mistakes.
I believe most of the mainstream media are biased against the Trump administration. It’s obvious if you have watched any of the news conferences with the president dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Many reporters have been vicious, offensive, rude and one-sided.
Their goal is to influence the audience to have a negative view of the administration in hopes that a Democrat will reclaim the White House.
Although the apology was delivered, it was overdue and lacked genuine sincerity. It was as if Todd and NBC just checked the box to appease some critics.
I remember when I interviewed New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte in 2009 after he admitted to using HGH to aid in post-surgery recovery. At the time he took it, it was not yet a banned substance, but he still came clean later and admitted he used it briefly. He took it to heal, not to gain an advantage, he told me.
Pettitte did not blame the person who injected it into his arm. He did not blame the manufacturer. He did not blame anyone but himself.
I could tell he was sorry for the incident. He looked me in the eye, and I saw regret. He also faced the New York media and said the same thing, and he asked for forgiveness.
His apology was heartfelt and genuine.
There were no edits. No agenda. No talking points. Just responsibility.
I did not see that in Todd’s response.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.