GOP Strategist Nicolle Wallace Condemns MSNBC, Chuck Todd Over Network's Obsessive Christie Coverage

On the heels of an MRC study which found that MSNBC devoted 95 minutes on Monday night to the Chris Christie “bridgegate” scandal, GOP strategist Nicolle Wallace took the network to task for its over-the-top coverage of the New Jersey governor.

Appearing on Morning Joe on February 12, Wallace openly challenged Chuck Todd over the network’s coverage of “every teeny, minuscule, breaking non-news event” of the scandal, a charge that The Daily Rundown host seemed personally offended by and insisted that his show was not part of the MSNBC frenzy. [See video below.]

The segment began with Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough sarcastically asking Todd if “Christie had a pretty good day yesterday.” What ensued was an all-out screaming match between Wallace and Todd:

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Chuck, Chris Christie had a pretty good day yesterday, didn't he? 

CHUCK TODD: Okay. I mean, how do you define-the whole feeding frenzy thing?

NICOLLE WALLACE: Come on! Oh, my God! 

TODD: I guess it's a good day that what, that he didn't get, more indictments didn’t come in? He didn’t have more staff, I mean—

WALLACE: Oh my god! Wait, wait. Stop.

TODD: What’s your definition of a good day?

WALLACE: Rachel’s not on until 9. Chuck--

TODD: What’s that? No Nicole I just don’t…I just think…

WALLACE: Your legacy--

TODD: Hang on. We're doing feeding frenzy on somebody who-we're not actually like sitting back and-- we're overdoing it now. I think everybody's just trying to will him back into something.

As the fight continued, Todd appeared very defensive following Wallace’s accusations, and the MSNBC host insisted that “I'm not treating him as a presidential candidate in my mind right now. I think he's got to get through this mess.”  

After Todd attempted to defend the network Wallace continued to lecture Todd and the Morning Joe crew on journalistic ethics:

I can't think of a politician in either party who has remained more focused on his day job despite the fact that every single, you know, formerly objective of member of the political press is coming after him. And the fact that it doesn't at least warrant as much attention that he has a day like yesterday where he speaks more eloquently about income inequality, an issue that I think on your show you spent a good deal of time talking about is a nothing burger to you is to me something that should educate Governor Christie about the climate he’d face should he run for president.  

Wallace concluded her takedown of MSNBC by slamming the network once more:

Let’s make sure he knows that…Who cares what he is in your mind. But as a journalist you should cover a day like yesterday

Wallace’s eagerness to confront MSNBC’s coverage of the Christie scandal on its airwaves was a breath of fresh air and it clearly bothered Chuck Todd. When MSNBC’s own paid contributors start questioning the network’s over-coverage of an issue it becomes clear that MSNBC is more concerned with pushing their liberal political agenda than being an actual news network. 

 

See relevant transcript below.


MSNBC

Morning Joe

February 12, 2104

7:01 a.m. Eastern

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: And joining us from Chicago, former senior adviser to President Obama at director of the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics and MSNBC contributor David Axelrod. And in Washington NBC News Chief White House Correspondent and Political Director and host of "The Daily Rundown" Chuck Todd. Hello guys, good to have you on board this morning.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Chuck, Chris Christie had a pretty good day yesterday, didn't he? 

CHUCK TODD: Okay. I mean, how do you define-the whole feeding frenzy thing?

NICOLLE WALLACE: Come on! Oh, my God! 

TODD: I guess it's a good day that what, that he didn't get, more indictments didn’t come in? He didn’t have more staff, I mean—

WALLACE: Oh my god! Wait, wait. Stop.

TODD: What’s your definition of a good day?

WALLACE: Rachel’s not on until 9. Chuck--

TODD: What’s that? No Nicole I just don’t…I just think…

WALLACE: Your legacy--

TODD: Hang on. We're doing feeding frenzy on somebody who-we're not actually like sitting back and-- we're overdoing it now. I think everybody's just trying to will him back into something. 

WALLACE: Overdoing what? Oh, my God. So you have spent -- oh, okay. 

TODD: What have I spent? Nicole wait a minute. You hang on. No. What have I spent doing?

WALLACE: I haven't finished a sentence yet Chuck.

SCARBOROUGH: Let Nicole respond. Go ahead. Let Nicole respond.

WALLACE: So much time has been spent in the last four weeks covering every teeny, minuscule, breaking non-news event in the subpoenas of his—

TODD: Not on my show. 

WALLACE: Well, on the network on which you appear and I appear. But the fact that he had an event in front of Democrats and Republicans, former White House Chief of Staff I think it was, said he had a great performance yesterday. Republicans remain incredibly focused on everything he says and does because at the moment he leads the RGA and as a guy who is mired in the scandal, I can't think of a politician in either party who has remained more focused on his day job despite the fact that every single, you know, formerly objective of member of the political press is coming after him. And the fact that it doesn't at least warrant as much attention that he has a day like yesterday where he speaks more eloquently about income inequality, an issue that I think on your show you spent a good deal of time talking about is a nothing burger to you is to me something that should educate Governor Christie about the climate he’d face should he run for president.  

TODD: No, I just think it's -- I'm not treating him as a presidential candidate in my mind right now. I think he's got to get through this mess. 

WALLACE: Let’s make sure he knows that. Whatever. Who cares what he is in your mind. But as a journalist you should cover a day like yesterday. 

TODD: That's fine we did cover it. 

SCARBOROUGH: I'm glad I asked that question. Oh, my god!

TODD: I don't sort of get it. It was a weird question. Okay.

BRZEZINSKI: I want to show the bite. 

SCARBOROUGH: I don't think it was that weird of a question. We do that every day. If Jeb Bush says we club baby seals for three hours, we talk about it. 

Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center.