Chuck Todd aired a racist video featuring all black shooters on Meet The Press, and in the face of a mounting public backlash refused to apologize.
Before the video aired, Todd tried to deflect away the obvious problem with what he was about to air, “The circumstances you are about to see are very different from the racist violence in Charleston. In this case, the inmates are African American that you’re going to hear from. But their lessons remain important. We simply ask you to look at this be a colorblind issue, as about just simply gun violence. Dan Slepian put these folks alone in a room with a camera. And asked them to do something unique, talk to their 12-year-old selves. What would they say now that could’ve made them put down the gun that ended a life and landed them in prison?”
If the video does not represent the circumstances of the events in Charleston, why air the video? It appears that Todd and NBC News were trying to create controversy. They had to have known that by airing a video featuring all black shooters days after a white person shot nine African-Americans, they were asking for a severe public backlash.
In a statement, after the video aired, Todd said:
We’ve gotten a lot of feedback about the gun video we showed on Meet the Press today. Some were upset it only featured African-American men talking about their regrets of pulling a trigger. All of the men in the piece volunteered to be a part of the video and the larger project it is a part of.
But the last thing we wanted was to cloud the discussion of the topic.
The original decision to air this segment was made before Wednesday’s massacre. However, the staff and I had an internal debate about whether to show it at all this week. When we discussed putting it off, that conversation centered around race and perception – not the conversation we wanted the segment to invoke.
We decided against delaying the segment because we wanted to show multiple sides of what gun violence does in this country. We thought the issue of gun violence in our culture and society was an important conversation to continue — too important to put off for another week. The consequences of gun violence should not be hidden.
As I say to all audiences, Meet the Press should make all viewers uncomfortable at some point or we are not doing our job. I hope folks view the gun video as a part of the conversation we should all be having and not the totality of it.
It looks like Todd aired this video to get some publicity for Meet The Press. There is no other reason, with the exception of insular inside the Beltway stupidity, to air that video on this day.
By featuring all black shooters, the video fed into the racist stereotype that white people don’t engage in gun violence. The statistics tell us that white people make up 69.2% of the arrests for crimes, and 90% of school shooters are white men. More whites are arrested for violent crimes than blacks, but African-Americans are arrested at a higher rate than white people.
Chuck Todd and NBC News engaged in racist media stereotyping, and instead of apologizing, he defended his vile decision.
As the nation heals from another act of violence by a white male mass shooter, Chuck Todd fanned the flames of racism to get himself a little publicity, and he doesn’t even have the guts to apologize for his shameless manipulation.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association