During a roundtable discussion on Sunday’s Meet the Press, NBC’s Chuck Todd exposed the reason why he doesn’t hit back when interviewing political guests on his show: he’s protecting his job.
Ironically, it’s his job to ask the hard-hitting questions, but as he explained, if he offended guests, no one would come on the show, and thus there would be no job.
The roundtable included three comedians, including Lewis Black, who admired Todd’s ability to refrain from “barking” at guests during his show. Black said he would find such a feat impossible:
Black: I’ve watched you and everybody else, where somebody comes on — and I don’t know how you do it, because I’d be barking at them. Because they’ll sit there and go ‘blah, blah, blah’ and you sit there…
Todd: You know, we all sit there because we all know the first time we bark, it’s the last time we do the show. There’s something sometimes where it’s the last time you’re ever — all of a sudden, nobody will come on your show. Right? There is that balance sometimes.
Todd lamented the fact that comedy gets to do things journalists can’t — a sentiment shared by another one of Todd’s guests, comedian W. Kamau Bell.
Bell found it “weird” that left-leaning media is afraid to bark when Fox News does it all the time. Apparently, Bell has never watched MSNBC. Here is his statement:
Yeah, comedy gets to bark. But the weird thing is that Fox News also gets to bark. And I think sometimes the left-leaning media is afraid of barking. And so the comics — you see this on a lot of left-wing media — they will play a clip of ‘The Daily Show’ or they’ll play a clip of John Oliver and go, ‘Look at this guy barking! Anyway, back to a reasonable discussion. Even though I know that’s what I want you to believe, let me have the reasonable discussion.’ [laughs]
Perhaps Todd is correct that real journalism is detrimental to your job. Just ask Sharyl Attkisson.