Fresh from spreading #FakeNews about who President Trump targeted with insults about intelligence on Sunday, moderator Chuck Todd kick off his Meet the Press interview with Missouri Senator Roy Blunt (R) by badgering him about the President’s attacks on the press and refusing to acknowledge that the media does, in fact, put out fake news.
After introducing Senator Blunt to his viewers, Todd quickly jumped to a tweet President Trump put out earlier that morning saying that the press “purposely cause great division & distrust. They can also cause War! They are very dangerous & sick!” “Sometimes I try to ignore his attacks on the press. But this morning he seemed to go a bit overboard with this tweet,” Todd told Blunt before asking for his opinion.
Blunt tried to appease Todd by talking about the pleasant interactions he had in the media on Capitol Hill, but Todd was more interested in stoking fear of the President and out of control Trump supporters. “But at some point, calling -- when you call a group of people you otherwise him the way he's doing with the press, calling them sick, sort of dehumanizing them. It makes violence against the press easier to rationalize for some. That's the concern that many news organizations have right now,” he asserted.
The Senator reminded Todd that there were plenty of people on cable news that were spewing terrible thing about the President as well. Todd shot back with a silly question about if two wrongs made a right. “I don't think so, but there's a lot of in-depth psychology that goes on on some news stations every day too,” Blunt noted.
And the Senator was right. Earlier that day, Todd himself was pushing a suggestion at the President only insulted the intelligence of African-Americans. But a simple search of Trump’s insults brought up a list of numerous instances where he clearly had insulted the intelligence of white journalists and politicians. That’s not to mention CNN’s obsession with questioning the President’s mental fitness for office.
“How do you convince the President that this is bad rhetoric, that this is dangerous rhetoric, not just bad decorum,” Todd continued to whine. Blunt argued that the President had a point and that the “middle of the road news” he grew up with didn’t exist anymore. “Well, I would respectfully disagree there particularly on this show,” Todd huffed.
To prove his guest wrong about journalists doing “in-depth psychology” of the President, Todd again brought up his false assertion that the President reserved insults of intelligence to African-Americans. “Are you concerned that the President is defining the GOP as anti-black,” Todd smeared.
“Well, the GOP is not anti-black and when you look at what's happening in the economy and lots of other places,” Blunt pushed back. As the Senator tried to address Trump’s attacks on California Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D), Todd interrupted to push his nonsense claim again. “It’s always with an African-American when he questions intelligence,” he falsely declared.
“I don't think always. I mean, look at what he said about his various opponents in the Republican primary. It's not always,” Blunt expertly retorted. Unable to refute his guest’s facts, Todd quickly turned to suggestions that the Republican base was made up internet conspiracy theorists.
The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:
Meet the Press
August 5, 2018
10:36:46 a.m. Eastern
CHUCK TODD: Sometimes I try to ignore his attacks on the press. But this morning he seemed to go a bit overboard with this tweet. I want you to get you to respond to it. “The fake news hates he saying they are an enemy of the people only because they know it's true.” But said in all caps. “I am providing a great service by explaining there to the American people. They purposely cause great division and distrust. They can also cause war. They are very dangerous and sick.” Senator Blunt, I know this is not your point of view. I'm not -- but at what point is this rhetoric to the point where it should stop in your mind?
SEN. ROY BLUNT: Well, it's not my point of view. You know, I see the media -- the press every day in the Capitol walking through -- to my office, to the floor, lots of questions. Generally, really good questions. I do think there's so much news out there it's harder to focus in if you're a part of the media than it may have been at one time. And if you watch TV every day, you could find some things you -- on various news channels you found objectionable and probably not to be true. The President's rallies people seem to respond to that.
TODD: But at some point, calling -- when you call a group of people you otherwise him the way he's doing with the press, calling them sick, sort of dehumanizing them. It makes violence against the press easier to rationalize for some. That's the concern that many news organizations have right now.
BLUNT: Yes, but you could certainly find people on the news saying things about the President that are not appropriate either in terms of the --
TODD: Do two wrongs make a right here? I mean the President of the United States is the leader of the free world.
BLUNT: I don't think so, but there's a lot of in-depth psychology that goes on on some news stations every day too.
TODD: I'm -- I'm not condoning that. But I guess does -- so that's the -- so the president should go ahead -- because he doesn't like a blogger that shows up on cable television that night?
BLUNT: Even the president and his daughter disagree on this topic, and, you know, it's not the way I would approach this. I think not the way you and I would approach it.
TODD: I guess the question is how do you convince the President that this is bad rhetoric, that this is dangerous rhetoric, not just bad decorum?
BLUNT: I think the President really believes that a lot of the news is not accurate.
TODD: Do you believe that?
BLUNT: You could certainly -- there's a vast variety of how the same news is reported. So somebody is not -- that middle of the road news that people my age grew up with is no longer the news.
TODD: Well, I would respectfully disagree there particularly on this show. But I want to ask you to respond to something else. Pete Wehner, longtime Republican speechwriter, he tweeted this about the President and his constant attacks on African-American acts including athletes like LeBron James.
And he tweeted this: “Trump's made the same criticism of black athletes, black journalists and black members of Congress,” referring to Maxine Waters, “he attacks their intelligence. His racist appeals aren’t even disguised anymore. The closest figure in modern national politics to Trump? George Wallace. Trump now defines the GOP.” Are you concerned that the President is defining the GOP as anti-black?
BLUNT: Well, the GOP is not anti-black and when you look at what's happening in the economy and lots of other places. You know, when he says things like “low I.Q” about somebody, Maxine Waters --
TODD: It’s always with an African-American when he questions intelligence. That's what makes a lot of people uncomfortable with what he's doing.
BLUNT: I don't think always. I mean, look at what he said about his various opponents in the Republican primary. It's not always, but it's -- I think you've got to be more careful in our society about what you say about people that are different than you.