Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Chuck Todd Tells Jeremy Scahill "That Was a Cheap Shot" -- "You Sullied My Reputation on TV".

Towards the end of this video (around about 6.44), Jeremy Scahill turned on a comment which Chuck Todd had previously made, in which he referred to any attempt to hold the Bush White House accountable for their war crimes, as "political catnip" and "cable catnip".

The most impressive part of this entire video for me, speaking as a non-American, is the round of applause Scahill gets when he states:

"How can Secretary Clinton go to Kenya and say, 'We need to have accountability for past crimes' there, when we can't hold our own torturers accountable here. President Obama says, 'Let's look forwards not backwards.'

You prevent future torture by prosecuting past acts of torture."
That round of applause gave me great hope that there are a group of Americans - even if they are not Americans usually invited on to TV to talk about how they feel - who realise the importance of the principle which Scahill is expressing.

Apparently Chuck Todd was furious with him when they walked off stage.

Glenn Greenwald:

According to Scahill (via email), Todd approached him after the Maher show and the following occurred:

Right as we walked off stage, he said to me "that was a cheap shot." I said "what are you talking about?" and he said "you know it." I then said that I monitor msm coverage very closely and asked him what was not true that I said on the show. He then replied: "that's not the point. You sullied my reputation on TV."

Media stars are so unaccustomed to being held accountable for the impact of their behavior -- especially when they're on television -- that they consider it a grievous assault on their entitlement when it happens.

It really is astonishing how outraged these people are when anyone calls them on their sycophancy, and the way they instantly adopt that patronising tone which implies that the person questioning them somehow does not understand how "the real world" works.

This was evident in Ambinder's reaction to the recent news that Bush was, indeed, using terror alerts for political gain. He came out with an argument which basically stated that he was right even though he was wrong, because who could possibly trust those nasty left wingers:
I still think that some journalists were right to be skeptical of the doubters at the time. I think that some journalists were correct to question how they arrived at the beliefs they arrived at.
Glenn Greenwald sums up this mindset:

Todd's condescending responses illustrate the same point as the above episodes with Klein and Ambinder: in the eyes of Beltway mavens, those who warned about and worked against the radicalism and lawbreaking of the Bush administration are the fringe, crazed, out-of-touch radicals. While Todd was fiddling around with pretty colored maps and fun polling games, Scahill was courageously investigating one of the most corrupt, dangerous and lethal private corporations in the world, yet it's Todd who understands and must solemnly explain the hardened realities of politics to Scahill, the confused and silly Leftist.

There's little question that when people look back at this period in American history, it will be difficult to comprehend what happened in the Bush era -- and especially how we blithely started a devastating war over complete fiction, while simultaneously instituting a criminal torture regime and breaking whatever laws we wanted. But far more remarkable still will be the fact that, other than a handful of low-level sacrificial lambs, those responsible -- both in politics and the establishment media -- not only suffered no consequences, but continued to wield exactly the same power, with exactly the same level of pompous self-regard, as they did before all of that happened.
I used to wonder how any self respecting TV reporter could invite Bill Kristol on to their show, as the man is literally wrong more often than he is right.

But, listening to Chuck Todd, I realise that it doesn't matter if they are wrong. That's not their job. Their job is to sit there and painfully, dutifully and, most importantly, - seriously - give out the reasons as to why anyone who doesn't agree with their establishment line is a wild eyed leftie not worth listening to.

Hat tip to Crooks and Liars.

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