If there is one narrative to anchor what often feels like a plotless 2012 campaign, it is media disillusionment. Reporters feel like both campaigns have decided to run out the clock with limited press avails, distractions, and negative attacks, rather than run confident campaigns with bold policy platforms or lofty notions of hope and change — leaving the media with little to do but grind along covering the latest shallow, sensational item of the day.
“Until the candidates restore joy, it’s impossible for us to be joyful,” NBC News senior White House correspondent Chuck Todd told POLITICO. “The campaigns are trying so hard to manipulate us, to work the refs, to withhold access. If these candidates were comfortable, the campaign might be joyful to cover.”
Todd also bemoans the fact that the campaigns aren’t talking about the economy, so the press corps can’t either.
I say horseshit to all that. My diagnosis of Todd’s existential ennui is based on a couple of factors. First, he’s sad because the Republican lying shows that they have absolutely no respect for the press, and it’s Republican respect that the DC press has always craved. Second, the limited access to actual live candidates makes clear the stenographic nature of the Chuck Todds of the world. It really does hurt deep down when some reporter from the NBC affiliate in Toledo or Wilmington is more likely to sit down with Romney or Obama than the senior White House correspondent. Hopefully this little Politico piece, and maybe a good cry into his softest pillow, will get Chuck back on track and he can do his fucking job without further whining.
I want it back
Good lawd, they really have no concept of journalism at all, do they?
Just last month, Chuck Todd had a lengthy sit down with Romney that NBC packaged into a documentary and chopped up to show on NBC Nightly News. You know what I learned from Todd’s interview? Bupkis. Todd is sounding awfully whiny in that piece.
Covering a political campaign is supposed to be joyful? I don’t want to sound like a cranky old man, but that seems like the wrong adjective to strive for.
a lot ofsome MSNBC people, but Chuck Snod is near the bottom of the sea, just above lawyers and below whale shit. He is a sanctimonious, self-important nunce who really thinks he is wired in. Add the occasional visit from Fineman, the ever-present Touretty Tweety, and that grinning fool Alex Wagner and you have some lame shit. If it weren’t for Bashir, Rachel, Schultz and most importantly Lawrence O’Donnell I would never watch this cable channel, a genetic aberration between Microsoft and NBC.
GODDAMMIT, THE GENERAL ELECTION IS ONLY JUST STARTING, YOU FUCKING WANKERS!
sorry, just had to get that out of my system. Carry on.
Chuck Todd et al. have just witnessed a train wreck of a GOP convention after months of abuse from Romney and his team, and their conclusion is that both sides do it. Right.
I’m starting to think that they aren’t paying any fucking attention to the Dems at all, and are just making shit up themselves.
We all seek joy in our jobs. Stenography is so much more joyful than actually working and thinking. Republicans lie. The press enables. What could be easier. Democrats demonstrate it’s a lie, the press says both sides do it. The press makes no Republican enemies.
If Chuck Todd ever did his job, he’d lose all his Republican friends and never get a “press avail” again as long as he lived. Let’s discuss Chuck’s problem the day after we see a Charlie Pierce interview with Romney or Ryan.
Is it just me or does C. Toad have his head stuck up his ass even further then he used to?
I weep. (I presume y’all know the origins of the band’s name.)
I don’t think the press in the old USSR was this subservient.
You know what might bring you joy, Chuck? Doing your job as a goddamn journalist.
The Republicans have told the media and its fact-checkers to kindly go fuck themselves. You can roll over and play dead, or you can nut up and refuse to be cowed.
What’s that? Passive-aggressive bitching in Politico? Ah, roll over it is. Thanks, asshole.
I think they should stop talking about themselves so much.
Also. Think up your own questions. Asking “are you better off than you were four years ago?” comes directly from a Romney press release.
Make up a question. Add value. I can read the question Romney wants asked on his website. Why would I pay for that?
Chuck Todd needs to go back to numbers-crunching. He’s in over his head.
“Booo HOOOOOO,” bawled Chuck Todd, crying tears of myopia. “Don’t the campaigns know that they’re supposed to tie the bib around our necks, make the airplane noises, and FEED US like the good little boys and girls we are?”
“How can we find information and gossip and research and facts without talking to PR flacks? It’s impossible to find a narrative with good imagery anymore in this country! There’s nothing to talk about!! BOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOO!!”
“Wait, I just got a great idea for a story.”
Oh gawd, call the waaahmbulance…
Hard to see how Chucky can “do his f*cking job” until he reaizes what it is. A step in the right direction is this apparent statement that there are loads he won’t swallow “joyfully.” But man, that’s a pitifully small step.
Chuck Todd is a cancer. I saw him last night on the news claiming that the Dems were “caught off guard” by GOP “are you better off…” blather. Caught off guard? Really? It wasn’t inevitable? He and his corrupt, filthy elitist press (they ain’t “Mainstream”) just want to manufacture narrative. I hope his goatee gets aids.
Morning Joe audience this morning looked like he had transported them from Tampa. I spotted one token Black person.
I guess this means that hopes for ABL and John crashing his show are not good.
I wonder how many of the aspirations to be courageous, truth-telling journalists were based upon politicians bringing you — said aspiring journalist — joy?
The stage tears of a sock puppet not being fondled enough and fed boilerplate to regurgitate joyfully. Heysus Haploid Maria, what a limp dish-clout of theoretical DNA.
I enjoyed Todd when he was doing wonky numbers stuff. I worry that MSNBC will turn smart kids like Ezra Klein and Chris Hayes into full-blown Villagers eventually, and they’ll be ruined for useful work.
The weirdness of separating ‘fact checking’ from ‘reporting’ needs to be emphasized here. Todd isn’t interested in facts, policies, numbers– there are other people who deal with that stuff for a living, that’s not his job. For Todd, it’s all about how he feels— and if he’s having a sad, well, that’s the real news and that’s what he’s going to report.
Joyful !?! WTF? How about just being competent? I wonder if anyone has informed the candidates that they were supposed to bring joy to the hearts of reporters.
And also.. if Todd thinks he can compete with Lucinda Williams, he should guess again.
What they are finding out is that they cannot manufacture an narrative or a controversy anymore because people in Washington which includes the President, don’t want to talk with them anymore. I mean, its obvious the respect for them is gone and its understandable the respect for them is gone. Their are two types of reporters, REAL reporters who actually go out to investigate the people’s opinions, not cultivate them with narratives. Reporters who talk DIRECTLY with people in the way politicians do and should. The ones who spend their days researching for information, coming up with accurate stories to convey to the public.
Then there is the Chuck Todd Category, where one goes from doing excellent research into one field which gains him notoriety, to being pushed into a job that he has not trained for, prepared for, or thinks the title of the job should put him in the front of the line above everyone else.
Chuck Todd knows that the problem is not that its a boring campaign, but that people are relying more on local reporters and social media more because the public trust in national news is down and that national news has done NOTHING to alleviate that distrust. And he, like the rest of the media are now rebuking President Obama because he aided in changing the way people received their news.
Instead of waiting on their every beck and call, the President goes around them to local media, talk shows, social media and entertainment shows. This is why many had that bitchfit when President Obama went on Entertainment Tonight and was asked more pertinent questions there than Todd could ever dream of. It annoys and angers them how much it has changed.
f space that
Anybody notice that the old “are you better off” question has blown up over night ? All of a sudden its the only thing I see on TV running up to the DNC.
@jnfr: I don’t see it happening to Hayes. I don’t think Brokaw and Matthews had watched or dealt much with Chris Hayes till last week and you could see there was newly discovered respoect there. Brokaw esp. almost seemed shocked at how smart Hayes is.
I know I am going to be the exception here, but I don’t think Chuck Todd’s that bad. Maybe its because I remember him from CSPAN, but he’s no Gregory or Tapper. He’ll never be a Fox news host.
Lucinda Williams prop, early in the day, for the win.
Gonna stop reading MSM headlines this week, to look for my joy.
NYTimes and LA Times have their “Democrats in Disarray” stories up.
This after a Republican convention that gave no bounce, a hallful of ecru to eggshell delegates (however MoDowd put it), and a special surprise guest who trash talked to a chair.
Not gonna click. Not even curious what WaPost is saying this morning.
Our reporters need to get out more!
Are we better off?
Did the Republicans ever do ANYTHING to help the middle class through the Great Recession?
People I know that I would have pegged as Republicans are telling me — unasked — that they’re supporting Obama this year.
And no one is holding their nose to do it.
But yeah, taking direction from Romney/GOP talking points to frame the Democratic convention. That’s some heavy lifting. Why they get the big bucks.
@arguingwithsignposts: Yes chuck. Some of us who aren’t political analysts for a living actually would like short campaigns and more time spent discussing the issues. Instead, the second the votes ate tallied, well get non stop coverage from you on 2016, wanking off for every exploratory committee or hint of one in your quest for a plot.
Chucky T can definitely go fuck himself. if he did his damn job and told the truth about the Republicans, he’d be busy until 2014. but, since he won’t do his fucking job, he can go jump off a bridge somewhere.
Here: Joy. It’s a dish-soap, readily available in a cheerful happy yellow. Play with the bubbles. Apparently once sponsored soap operas so you can get your daily pre-digested narrative allowance.
Boo fucking hoo. Shorter Chuck Todd: “Why won’t politicians continue to not let us do our jobs the way we want to not do our jobs.”
G-Zeus! I can’t believe I just realized Chuck Todd’s journalism strategy for ‘both sides do it’: Whenever Romney does something, just attribute it to ‘both campaigns.’
Romney is secretive because he doesn’t release his tax returns the way his own father said it was patriotic to do? CHUCK TODD: ‘Both campaigns are more secretive than any in history.’
Romney makes crazy tone-deaf mistakes like hiring old Clint Eastwood at the last minute to perform his own un-vetted surrealist play? CHUCK TODD: ‘The tone of both campaigns isn’t connecting to what people out there feel.’
Who would’ve thought objective journalism is just a matter of extra plurals?
“Are you better off than you were four years ago?”
Let’s talk about four years ago.
Y’all can come up with your own damned links.
YOU ARE THE FUCKING REFS, CHUCKY. DO YOUR FUCKING JOB, ASSHOLE.
Culture of Truth
It’s amazing that he doesn’t see what an amazing opportunity this is. This should be the media’s big moment!
In 1984 Reagan carried 49 states. To me that would be joyless to cover as a journalist – inevitable outcome, a sunny campaign with little controversy. This campaign is chock-full of juicy opportunities to make news, inform viewers, go behind the scenes, blast that bubble of manipulation! Sheesh!
Culture of Truth
It’s interesting that the media has decided the storylines in advance.
– Bill Clinton’s speech will be a problem for Obama.
– Joe Biden is a problem for Dems.
– The jobs numbers will overshadow the President’s speech.
via Andrea Mitchell, Director of the Office Political Pre-Crime
People still know who Murrow was. History ain’t been written yet.
I just shake my head when I hear so-called journalists saying that the candidates aren’t talking about the economy when Obama does it eveyr chance he gets.
The “are you better off” questioning by Republicans is going to blow up in their faces. There is no question but that the country is better off.
It is just amazing how the librul MSM is already all negative about the DNC when it was all positive about the RNC. My head is doing a lot of shaking lately.
Oh Chuck, you had me at Goodbye to all that.
Sounds more like he wants to go Christmas caroling than covering a campaign.
I heart you, mistermix.
Looks like the Republicans aren’t the only ones who have amnesia regarding Bush’s two terms. Most of the media did a thorough job of discrediting themselves during those years.
There are other good reasons why the campaigns are stand-offish with the press. The Republicans don’t give a crap because they know that they’ll get a pass or, at worst, an invocation of “both sides do it.” The Dems know that they’ll just get fucked.
Todd and those like him have been making this bed for a long time. It is unseemly when they whine about having to lay in it.
The Moar You Know
Me, I’m on a news boycott. Anything national, I ain’t reading it. I canceled all my newspapers last year and got rid of the cable. If you invite me to your house you best have some football, nature documentaries, or Cartoon Network on, because otherwise I’m turning off your TV. Or I’m leaving.
It’s all fucking lies.
When Todd is ready to do something about that state of affairs, and stop lying for his political patrons, I’m willing to listen to his butthurt. Not one second before.
@The Moar You Know: I started that regimen after the 2004 elections. I get more informative and incisive news about what’s going on in this country from the Guardian and the BBC than I ever did from any national news outlet here, and more in-depth political news/analysis from the blogs. Somehow I’m always the best informed of any group I’m in, though I do miss out on faux issues and pop trends. C’est la vie.
@Culture of Truth: Of course, we all remember the important stories going into the 2008 convention: Hillary delegates ready to revolt; Bill Clinton about to go rogue in his speech. And, of course, immediately after: the choice of Sarah Palin energizes the GOP ticket. Getting it wrong is by now a tradition.
Ooooh, my least favorite Lucinda song, but a great post title.
Shorter Chuck Todd: In the darkness, entertain us/Here we are now, entertain us/I feel stupid and contagious
@mai naem: Agreed about Hayes. There’s been no evidence that he can be spoiled that way.
@Citizen_X: The real problem is that, lacking all self-awareness, they don’t feel stupid and contagious.
@SteveinSC: Actually it’s no longer jointly owned by Microsoft and NBC – it’s all owned by NBC now.
@SteveinSC: Actually it’s no longer jointly owned by Microsoft and NBC – it’s all owned by NBC now.
@kay: Gawd, I was in airports yesterday and it was all Wolf Blitzer, all the time, asking this question over and over. The man was never very smart, but he’s shedding brain cells at an alarming rate.
Chuck Todd is Murray from “Flight of the Conchords.” Never seen them together.
This whole thread is giving me joy. I’ve been calling CT a phony for years. Again, he waz a music major who never graduated. And he feels he can sit down with O and Mrs. O with their multitudinous Ivy degrees and talk policy? All he can do is gossip. Even at stats he fails because he can only chart village chatter. NBC will dump after this election.
Whiner circle jerk. That’s what the Village is. I cannot believe I ever actually liked Chuck Todd.
Has the national political press covered anything but the “shallow sensational item of the day” during the last 4 presidential campaigns? C’mon, MoDo is their hero and role model, for crying out loud.
I don’t understand the link between “bold” policy, “lofty” rhetoric, and a “joyful” campaign at all. It seems like to Todd they should all be connected because they would all show confidence, and a confident campaign is more fun to be around, or something. I don’t know about the rest of you, but IMHO the Obama campaign is acting rather confident.
Chuck Todd was really good as the dumb man’s Nate Silver. He was diligent enough to do the research and recognize the demographic importance of a shift in poll numbers in upstate counties in a bellwether state.
But he got promoted beyond that and his knowledge of the minutiae is rapidly fading. He hasn’t replaced it with insight into philosophy of political movements, or diligence in uncovering the ways in which he is being lied to while the lies are happening.
I think while he was the numbers guy he saw other reporters coasting on their Bush reporting, and wanted that sort of lifestyle. Now Bush’s “openness” with the press is gone(which was another sort of smokescreen because he never talked anything substantial but he did feed them well). Chuck is whining for a nirvana that he never was part of, that never actually existed.
Someone on the Obama team should buy him a champagne brunch and 10 minutes of complete non-substance where he’s only allowed to ask about the rules of Eastern European field hockey, then he’ll be happy. Maybe.
This. Why would Obama and other Dems talk to the asshole MSM when they know that what ever they say will be taken out of context, or manipulated to change the meaning.
So what they do is like Obama, go directly to the public through other means so that the MSM can’t lie about what they say. If the MSM would report news instead of opinion, and get rid of their super-inflated egos thinking that they are more important than the news, people might eventually regain some trust in them
@Ann Rynd: @Ann Rynd:
God, I hope so
pseudonymous in nc
The Peter Principle in action. He’s never worked on a presidential campaign in his new role before, and he’s just bullshitting. It’s strange to see the repercussions of Tim Russert’s death still working themselves out in public on NBC’s org chart: Gregory at MtP, Todd as senior WH guy, Russert Jr. inexplicably still on the NBC payroll. Three people out of their depth instead of one.
I’ll bet Todd’s ennui doesn’t stop him from cashing his paycheck.
Poor widdle Chuckie. If he wants a “joyful” career why doesn’t he open a candy store. Let someone else do the job, instead of whining that the campaigns aren’t entertaining him enough.
So, why doesn’t he quit? Jerk.
I think maybe if Chuck looks in West Memphis he has a better chance of finding his joy…
This is awful. What Todd is really complaining about is that the campaigns are pitching their appeals to a small fraction of low information voters on whom any particular media report is very likely to be lost. The NYT is at least trying to get beyond what the campaigns are doing with the Agenda feature, although I didn’t look at it yet.