NBC's Chuck Todd Tries To Blame Trump for Samantha Bee's Sick Attack


Who’s responsible for Samantha Bee’s remarks that Ivanka Trump is a feckless — well, you know? That should be a very easy question: Who uttered the remark?

There you go. That’s the end of the conversation right there. Samantha Bee said it, Samantha Bee (and, well, her writers) are responsible. Right?

Well, not so much for NBC’s Chuck Todd, host of “Meet the Press.” Oh, no. To him, Donald Trump is responsible for Bee’s attack on the first daughter — and every obscene comment that gets made by a famous person during Trump’s presidency, apparently.

And how did he manage this feat? His “tone,” of course.

On Thursday’s “MTP Daily” on MSNBC, Todd began by saying that “there’s no defending Samantha Bee,” right as he launched into a defense of her, according to Newsbusters.

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“There’s no defending Samantha Bee and yet it’s hard to ever empathize with President Trump when they’re asking, you know, for empathy since he torches people all the time too,” Todd said.

Interestingly enough, Trump was neither the target of nor the person who delivered the sexist slur, but he’s the one entirely responsible for someone going on a scripted show and using it.

“But at the end of the day, I mean, you know, it’s like — how is it that the president is not responsible for this tone? You know, you can’t help and say it starts at the top,” Todd said.

Do you think that Donald Trump is responsible for Samantha Bee's remarks?

He regularly berates and mocks the looks of any of us. I’ve been one. And so when he expresses, I can’t believe they said that about me, it’s hard to feel sorry for him.”

When challenged by National Review writer Ramesh Ponnuru, who said that his remarks don’t “land to the extent that nobody in our culture is adhering to the old standards of civility,” Todd disagreed.

“No. Apparently only Donald Trump is allowed to cross a line,” Todd said. “It is interesting to me. Everybody else in our society has been punished for things Donald Trump doesn’t get punished for. Roseanne Barr, he has said statements that many people have found racist, he hasn’t paid a price. Roseanne Barr has paid a price.

“He’s used vile, awful, ugly language, he didn’t pay a price. Samantha Bee is paying a price. Everybody else pays a price for the same behavior, not him.”

Again, this language was not delivered at Trump. Furthermore, much like Barr couldn’t use the excuse of being under the influence of Ambien as an excuse for racism, I don’t think that Bee can use the excuse of being under the influence of Trump.

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Also, exactly when did Trump cross these lines? I don’t remember the c-word being pulled out by Trump in front of a campaign audience the way Bee did on live TV. I don’t remember him tweeting out racist stuff about Valerie Jarrett. I don’t remember any of these things, or anything close to these things. He called Chuck Todd “sleepy-eyed.” That’s what Todd’s whining about, really. And nobody at NBC has ever, ever berated or mocked the looks of Donald Trump. Ever.

Another thing that Todd uses to buttress this line-crossing argument is that the White House has “yet to condemn Roseanne’s language” in spite of the fact they’ve said Bee ought to be fired. This is fascinating, inasmuch as I didn’t know that a) Roseanne is a member of the first family like Ivanka is or that b) the president is obligated by strictures of the office to make official remarks on every famous idiot who tweets something racist.

Todd’s argument here is prima facie absurd inasmuch as it holds the president responsible for literally any untoward comment made in public discourse during his presidency; “You can’t help and say it starts at the top,” after all. Yet, Todd is not a moron — which means I don’t think he’d be embracing this preposterous logic if it didn’t come from a place of intense enmity toward the president, as well as total sympathy toward anyone who’s willing to attack him or those around him, no matter how ugly their attack may be.

Let’s be clear: Bee is responsible for her horrifying comment. Bee and her writing staff are the only ones responsible for her horrifying comment. It doesn’t matter if Barr said something worse earlier in the week about something totally unrelated. It doesn’t matter whether what Barr or Bee said was worse. It doesn’t matter if Barr said anything at all. Offensive public vulgarity is in no way a contest.

Furthermore, the president has nothing to do with the “tone” of any of this. The president does not have to come out and condemn a comedian who has no relation to him when she says something offensive on Twitter in order to condemn another comedian when she says something offensive about his daughter on her show.

The president does not have to applaud the firing of the former comedian in order to call for the firing of the latter comedian, who has been handed neither suspension nor termination by her employer for her remarks. The president is obligated to do none of this, and it doesn’t reflect poorly upon the president if he chooses not to.

Samantha Bee is 100 percent responsible for what she did, and 100 percent deserving of whatever criticism she receives in the media. Trump is 0 percent responsible for what other people say, no matter what his “tone” may be. How hard is this to understand? Hard enough, apparently, that one of the most well-known newsmen in America can’t grasp it.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture