Truth Isn’t Truth—But A Fool Is a Fool

Sitting outside and reading a book with a pot of coffee looks better and better when considering what the news of the day concerns.  No one could make this stuff up!

Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani was interviewed on Meet The Press by Chuck Todd.  Clearly the former New York Mayor was not sober.  He is known to drink heavily.

It was in the interview that he claimed “truth isn’t truth” when trying to explain why the Trump should not testify for special counsel Robert Mueller for fear of being trapped into a lie that could lead to a perjury charge.

“When you tell me that, you know, he should testify because he’s going to tell the truth and he shouldn’t worry, well that’s so silly because it’s somebody’s version of the truth. Not the truth,”

“Truth is truth,” Todd responded.

“No, it isn’t truth,” Giuliani said. “Truth isn’t truth. The President of the United States says, “I didn’t …”

A startled Todd answered: “Truth isn’t truth?”

Giuliani: “No, no.”

Todd said: “This is going to become a bad meme.“


Does Franklin Graham Approve Of Trump’s “Sleeping Son-Of-A-Bitch” Remark?

Last summer a school teacher from north of Madison passed our home–and being the conversationalist many know me to be–was invited to chat for a while.   She told me of how the middle-school students in her classrooms were more rude and boisterous than classes in the past.  Boys acted out more–felt it their right to do so.  She assessed the matter of having to do with President Trump and his bad behavior on a national stage.

Last night Trump was taking his rudeness to a whole new level while at a rally for a congressional Republican in a district that Trump won overwhelming in 2016.   That Trump even needed to be campaigning for the seat says everything one needs to know about the fate of the GOP in the mid-terms.

It was on that stage where Trump stated he had always been tough on North Korea and recalled an interview he did on “Meet the Press” in 1999 as evidence.  He then mocked the NBC show’s current host.

“Meet the Press, a show now headed by sleepy-eyes Chuck Todd,” Trump said. “He is a sleeping son of a bitch, I’ll tell you.”

It was more than just another Stalin-like approach to freedom of the press that Trump is noted for—and which history proves is the case.  This time Trump proved that he is seriously on the other side of the divide when it comes to manners, common-sense, decency, and family values.

The crowd at the rally loved his comment.  But we all are aware of the type who supports Trump.

So what do the mouthpieces of the GOP–especially from the evangelical wing–think about the language of their president?  How do they defend Trump’s language which I suspect they would not–and should not–allow at the dinner table?

How are teachers to expect certain conditions in a classroom when a president sets a most awful example on live television?

Meanwhile Todd was preparing response to the bile from Trump.

“I bring my kids up to respect the office of the presidency and the president,” Todd told NBC News 4 in Washington, D.C. “I don’t allow them to say anything negative, ever, about the president.”

“It creates a challenge to all parents when he uses vulgarities like that,” he continued.

Todd followed up with that line of questioning when Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin appeared on the show and said the president’s policies are more important than his use of “vulgarities.”

“He’s using these vulgarities in the context of a campaign rally, and obviously, there were a lot of funny moments on that rally,” Mnuchin told Todd.

“So is that acceptable?” Todd shot back. “So you’re saying that’s acceptable behavior for the rest of the administration too?”

Mnuchin responded: “This is something that is at a campaign rally. And the president likes making funny names.”

Later in the interview, Todd asked Mnuchin what he would suggest parents tell their children about the president’s behavior and his penchant for spouting obscenities.

“I’ll be with my kids this morning, and I’ll be focused on them on what the president is doing to protect the United States, its citizens, and more importantly its economy,” the Treasury secretary said.

“So he’s not amoral – don’t worry about his values, don’t worry about him as a role model,” Todd said.

Tom Brokaw, a former anchor of “NBC Nightly News,” took to Twitter to defend his Peacock network colleague.

“Pres Trump at a Penn rally calls my colleague and friend Chuck Todd a ‘sleeping SON OF A BITCH.’ Really classy. Explain that to your children,” Brokaw wrote Saturday evening.



There Still Can Be Civility In Politics

I will let the words from NBC’s Chuck Todd tell the story we need to hear.

After covering the craziest and most dispiriting presidential race of our lifetimes, last night’s gubernatorial debate here in one of the other key contests of 2016 was a reminder that politics can be much more civil. The debate between incumbent North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) and challenger Roy Cooper (D), which was moderated by one us, produced clashes over the state’s anti-LGBT law HB2, the state’s economy, health care, policing, voting rights, and even Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. And guess what: There were no below-the-belt insults, no conspiracies, and no pants-on-fire falsehoods. Indeed, at the end of the debate, both McCrory (the state’s governor) and Cooper (the attorney general) pledged to work together in helping North Carolinians affected by Hurricane Matthew’s aftermath. It was all a jolting reminder of what American politics can be — and usually is.

Chuck Todd’s Suit Slacks

Fashion critic?

Perhaps today.

Watching a recorded  edition of Meet The Press left me wondering if what I had witnessed was really the case, or not.  With a rewind it was most clear that something was not quite right with Chuck Todd’s suit slacks.

Standing up and giving a report on the 2016 poll results from various states alerted all viewers that Todd was wearing too small of slacks for his suit.  The were first of all way too short and also too thin in the legs.

So one has to wonder if coffee was splashed on his good pair or they ripped.  But there was just no way to not notice that what he wore were ill-fitting and looked awkward.

Todd could have just hosted by sitting for the entire show.

Jon Stewart As Anchor For ‘Meet the Press’?


Totally insaneYet this was what was pondered.

New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman reports that NBC News executives tried to hire comedian Jon Stewart to host “Meet the Press.”

Before choosing Chuck Todd, the show’s current moderator, “NBC News president Deborah Turness held negotiations with Jon Stewart about hosting Meet the Press, according to three senior television sources with knowledge of the talks,” Sherman reports. “One source explained that NBC was prepared to offer Stewart virtually ‘anything’ to bring him over. ‘They were ready to back the Brinks truck up,’ the source said.”

An NBC News spokesperson declined to comment for Sherman’s piece, and James Dixon, Stewart’s agent, did not respond.

Appointing a comedian to one of the most coveted jobs in political journalism may seem implausible, but Turness was desperate for a fix. With the show consistently ranking third behind ABC’s and CBS’ Sunday offerings, she had considered changing the name and even canceling it, sources previously told POLITICO. That Turness was considering such diverse and radical options right up until the end tells you just how uncertain she was about the appropriate solution.

WOW–just wow!

Chuck Todd Ratings First Week In New Job Look Good

Not a bad way to start a new job.

Audiences meeting Chuck Todd for the first time liked what they saw, as “Meet the Press” won in viewers and the A25-54 demo in Todd’s debut September 7.

“Meet,” which featured an exclusive interview with President Obama as well as a return of the press as a prominent part of the show, saw its first win in either category since February, besting #2 CBS’ “Face the Nation” by +219,000 viewers. “This Week” ranked third; “Fox News Sunday” fourth, and Univision’s “Al Punto” fifth.

Compared to the same week last year, “Meet” was up +11% in viewers and +19% in the demo. “Fox News Sunday” saw the most total viewer growth, up +20%, while down -13% in the demo. “Face the Nation” was down -3% in viewers and flat in the demo. “This Week” was down -9% in viewers and flat in the demo.

Pleased With How Chuck Todd Starts New Era At “Meet The Press”

Last evening I watched the recorded morning broadcast of Meet The Press with Chuck Todd as the host for his first show.   There was no doubt that he had an ‘A’ list interview and I felt the questions and tone to be direct in relation the issues of the day.  There was no missing the fact that the first one posed to President Obama was about whether the nation was being prepared for war.  Quite a way to start a new era on this Sunday morning’s news program.

With a  taped segment for an interview we have not yet seen a full panel of journalists questioning a guest, and that is going to be interesting to see how it will be once again achieved on this program.  I am a fan of Todd and like his style of communicating along with his analytical skills so his pick for host was most welcome.  I suspect those who have differing ideas will view him more positively in time.

The New York Times weighed in with some encouraging comments as well on the Todd’s first show.

Meet the Press” is one of the few remaining news programs for adults, delivered in plain English. Mr. Todd may still be the substitute teacher, but he looks like he could quickly master the class.

Even though he lost weight and gained a tan for his debut on Sunday, Mr. Todd doesn’t look like other anchors. For one thing, he has a goatee and speaks in a direct, conversational manner, without punchy diction or pomposity.

His questions to President Obama were succinct and pointed, but Mr. Obama is not a rewarding guest in a one-on-one interview. He tends to give long, meditative and atonal answers that wear down listeners. Mr. Todd was respectful, not fawning or fake-fierce, and he challenged some of the president’s assertions.

He showed Mr. Obama a chart of his 2014 State of the Union goals — immigration reform, tax overhaul, a minimum-wage increase, etc. — and only one had a check mark: aid to Syrian rebels. “A lot not accomplished here,” Mr. Todd said, later noting, “That was with a Democratic Senate.”

Mr. Todd, an electoral savant hired by Russert to be NBC’s political director in 2007, has lots of on-air experience, but he still is pretty high on the nerd spectrum. Fortunately, he speaks English, not Washingtonese. Discussing Mr. Obama’s hopes for Congressional approval for his plan to combat Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the terrorist group, Nia-Malika Henderson, a reporter for The Washington Post, noted that the president said he was seeking a Congressional “buy-in.” Mr. Todd then added, “By the way, ‘buy-in’ really is funding.”

Meanwhile Politico reports that NBC is hoping to make the program what it once was–something I have stressed, too.

In selecting Todd as moderator, the NBC News brass is gambling on the belief that a Sunday morning public affairs show can still set the national agenda, as it did under the late Tim Russert. The payoff, they hope, is that Todd can once again make “Meet the Press” a dominant force in American politics and — though they’d never admit it publicly — effectively erase the nightmare that was Gregory’s final year as moderator. (Todd and Gregory haven’t talked since the latter’s ouster, Todd said.)

New-Old Look For “Meet The Press”

It is fair to ask why I get all excited–or bent out of shape–when it comes to Sunday morning news shows on the networks.  I take hard opinionated positions on these shows for two reasons.

First, from my late teenage years to this very past weekend they have been a part of my life.   I have a very regulated routine on Sunday mornings that is different than any other day of the week.   I even have a special coffee cup for Sunday!

Over the decades I watched the legends such as David Brinkley with his crusty wit use his most distinctive voice and agile mind to spark conversation with guests.   I was challenged to think about contrary opinions with the likes of George Will.  I watched as much for style as content when Tim Russert, who gave a higher meaning to being meticulously prepared, grilled his guests and demanded with repeated questions that an answer be provided.  And of course there is the institutional memory of Bob Schieffer and the gentlemanly way of asking a tough question that completes any Sunday.

The second reason these shows matter is that they always have felt like the on-air version of the Sunday papers.  Bigger, meatier, and more substantive than the weekday fare.  The thematic events of the week should be fleshed out on these programs, and if the show is doing what it was placed on the air to achieve there will be mention of it in the Monday morning newspaper.  That is how I came to know and love these programs.

So I was mighty pleased to hear that Meet The Press is not only moving forward with a new host, Chuck Todd, but also reverting back in time to a look and feel that made the program must-watching for a wide segment of the nation.

As announced by NBC News the show will “include adding a regular panel of journalists who will question guests, something of a return to the venerable show’s original format.”   This can be a great idea once again with the right journalists and proper tone set by Todd.

Over the past few years Meet The Press has slid from first place to third in the ratings, but with an emphasis on newsmakers and getting to the issues that need a conversation the show can again be at the top of the rankings.