NBC's Todd Clips Anderson Cooper: 'Maybe He Wasn't Following the Campaign'

Is MSNBC becoming Catfight Central? A few days ago I noted this epic dust-up on the cable network between conservative radio talk show host Melanie Morgan and feminist Naomi Wolf. Today's "Morning Joe" brought more fireworks of a feline variety, as NBC News Political Director Chuck Todd took some serious swipes at Anderson Cooper and his hosting of last night's CNN/YouTube presidential debate.

NBC NEWS POLITICAL DIRECTOR CHUCK TODD: I thought the questions were good, it was a good candidate forum. The downside was that the moderator [Anderson Cooper] missed opportunities to create a debate. That was my one frustration. Obama tried to take a shot at Hillary about being a Johnny-come-lately when it comes to withdrawal from Iraq, and it just disappeared, the attack disappeared. Obama's way of attacking Clinton sometimes is soft; he softpedals his attacks. Maybe Cooper didn't see it; maybe he needs to be hit with a sledgehammer, but he just immediately went to the next question.

Hmm, what would a Freudian say about Chuck imagining Cooper being hit with a sledgehammer?

View video here.

But it got worse. Surely the most fundamental criticism that can be made of a newsman is that he doesn't follow . . . the news.

MORNING JOE HOST JOE SCARBOROGH: So how did Anderson Cooper do last night?

TODD: Look, I think he was fine as a traffic cop and he did well and he kept the thing moving. But I think we found out he doesn't, maybe he wasn't following the campaign, or whatever, but I thought he missed moments that create a debate.

R-e-o-w-w-w!

My two cents say Anderson was OK. He did, for example, hold Hillary's feet to the fire, questioning her repeatedly till she conceded she opposes sending troops to Darfur. I'd give higher marks to Cooper than to Chris Matthews, who put in a manic performance when he moderated an earlier GOP debate.

It takes at least two cats to stage a catfight. So . . . will Anderson fire back, defending his performance? Stay tuned.

Contact Mark at mark@gunhill.net



Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.