Chuck Todd had a chance to challenge incoming Trump chief of staff Reince Priebus on a contradictory answer about a potential Muslim registry, but instead the Meet The Press moderator bowed down to the new administration, and gave Trump a free pass.
According to NBC News, when incoming White House Chief Of Staff Reince Priebus was asked about a Muslim registry, he gave a contradictory non-answer, “I’m not going to rule out anything. But I we’re not going to have a registry based on a religion. But what I think what we’re trying to do is say that there are some people, certainly not all people, Chuck, there are some people that are radicalized and there are some people that have to be prevented from coming into this country. And Donald Trump’s position, President Trump’s position is consistent with bills in the House and the Senate that say the following: ‘If you want to come from a place or an area around the world that harbors and trains terrorists, we have to temporarily suspend that operation until a better vetting system is put in place.’ And when that happens, when a better vetting system is put in place, then those radical folks, or excuse me, they will not be allowed in, but then others will be allowed in. But only until that is done.”
Chuck Todd’s response to an answer that was obviously contradictory nonsense was to say, “I understand that,” and move on to the next question.
Todd might have been the only person in America who intentionally didn’t see that Priebus’s answer was complete BS.
The Meet The Press moderator had a chance to press the chief of staff of the incoming administration on an obvious dodge, and he gave him a free pass. The refusal of the mainstream press to challenge Trump and his surrogates on falsehoods and contradictions was one of the major journalistic failures of 2016 election coverage.
Now that Trump is going to be president, the American people should expect the majority of the media to behave as Chuck Todd did. Trump’s bullying and intimidation tactics towards the media worked. The corporate press is going to let Trump go unchallenged because they are terrified that if they cross the new president, they will lose access to him and his administration.
The mainstream press is clearly not going to hold the Trump administration accountable, which is why it will be up to non-corporate independent organizations, such as this one, to do the job that the Beltway media is signaling that they intend to shun.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and 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