Chuck Todd: 'Drudge-driven Journalism' Not the 'Proper Way' to Decide What's News
NBC White House correspondent Chuck Todd, at right in a file photo, has been a leading critic of what he now has dubbed "Drudge-driven journalism," perhaps better described as journalism emanating from somewhere outside of Old Media's newsrooms and television studios. "I just don't think that that's the proper way for us to decide what's news," he told Mediaite's Tommy Christopher of the Drudge Report's influence and agenda-setting ability.
"There's no worse crime in journalism these days than simply deciding something's a story because Drudge links to it," he added. Apparently he still feels that NBC and its Old Media counterparts are qualified and capable of deciding what is and is not a story.
Which begs the question of where Old Media has been on numerous stories of late that surely the American people consider news, but the MSM did not. Chuck Todd himself decreed that the Van Jones truther story was unworthy of the media's time.
Surely most Americans believe that having a Marxist, black nationalist, and wacko conspiracy theorist in charge of doling out $80 billion in federal funds is a story worth covering. Drudge agreed. Todd did not. Is he simply complaining that Americans don't share his view of what constitutes news?
And as long as Todd is complaining about "activist journalism" that "creates controversies that don't exist", perhaps he should save some disdain for the New York Times. The Times did, after all, run a story on then-presidential candidate John McCain's alleged affair with a lobbyist without a shred of hard evidence. The story was bogus, but the Times had certainly created a controversy--one that hadn't been there before.
The point is that journalism is journalism, regardless of its source. The Drudge Report is no more guilty of creating false controversies than the New York Times or other major media outlets (has everyone forgotten Dan Rather?). Neither is the Times any less a bastion "activist journalism" than Drudge.
Todd knows that he and his counterparts in Old Media are the ultimate arbiters of what constitutes news. That is a powerful position, and not one readily relinquished--especially to a (gasp) conservative.