The fact that NBC News is the loving parent company of the rabidly left-wing MSNBC has not yet led to the broadcast news organization becoming a pariah among Republicans.
If you believe NBC News political director Chuck Todd, the reason this is still the case is that GOPers are grateful that he required the people under his supervision to show up and always follow the Republican presidential ticket around during the 2012 campaign, even though most other news organizations eventually decided to stop following around the party's vice presidential nominee, Paul Ryan.
According to an interview that Todd gave to the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, he did so in part because he had “a chip on my shoulder” because of the reputation that NBC has accrued thanks to the openly partisan broadcasting of MSNBC:
The network was the only one paying for a . . . five-person team to cover Ryan for the duration of the race even though their correspondent, Ron Mott, would go days on end without making an appearance on network television.
NBC Political Director Chuck Todd said one reason for their expensive decision to cover both Romney and Ryan was that his network was “feeding four entities”—NBC, MSNBC, CNBC and Telemundo—in addition to MSNBC.com. He needed the manpower.
Todd also brought up the nakedly liberal leanings of MSNBC, the cable channel that broadcasts his political show every morning. “I had a chip on my shoulder,” Todd said, saying he did not want the news side of the network to be accused of “half-assing coverage” of Romney.
“It’s funny because if you talk to the Ryan people, they’re all like ‘Yep, NBC was always here,’” Todd said. “We have this one editorial page, shall we say, of our network that was a constant thorn in the side of Republicans. They just needed to know that NBC News was serious about making sure we were there every time.”
It may indeed be the case that Todd was trying to compensate for something but if you believe that was the only reason NBC was interested in obsessively covering Paul Ryan, you might want to reconsider your investment in ocean-front property in Missouri.
Given that MSNBC has become a de facto 527 for Democrats, is it any wonder that NBC News was willing to follow Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney around like opposition tracker? Not at all. Especially when you consider that MSNBC host Al Sharpton was found to have begun one-third of his first six weeks’ programs by shouting out “Hey Republicans!” and then launching into extended-length attacks on them. Every television show needs B-roll to run in the background while the host talks. On MSNBC, the hosts need the clips to play while they inform viewers of the latest proof that conservatives really do eat babies and murder puppies.
Of course, MSNBC never limited itself to just muted video recordings of Romney and Ryan. Instead, it made a regular practice of deceptively editing them to make the Republicans appear to say things they didn’t.
Maybe instead of worrying about the chip on his shoulder, Chuck Todd should reconsider the donkey in the room—his continued association with a propaganda channel that makes North Korea’s media look good by comparison.