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NBC News’ Chuck Todd came under heavy fire for airing what many called out as a deceptive video clip of Attorney General Bill Barr discussing the Michael Flynn case.
The “Meet the Press” host was slammed on social media, called out by a Justice Department spokesperson and even had President Donald Trump demand he be fired following an admission of the edit by the network.
DOJ spokesperson Kerri Kupec blasted the “deceptive editing” in a tweet calling out how Todd presented the clip of Barr speaking about dropping Flynn’s case, adding a transcript of the commentary.
“Very disappointed by the deceptive editing/commentary by @ChuckTodd on @MeetThePress on AG Barr’s CBS interview,” Kupec, director of communications and public affairs for the Department of Justice, tweeted.
Compare the two transcripts below. Not only did the AG make the case in the VERY answer Chuck says he didn’t, he also did so multiple times throughout the interview. pic.twitter.com/PR1ciceMmE
— KerriKupecDOJ (@KerriKupecDOJ) May 10, 2020
“You brought up Bill Barr. Peggy Noonan, I want you to listen to this Bill Barr answer to a question about what history will say about this. Wait until you hear this answer. Take a listen,” Todd said during a panel discussion on the broadcast on Sunday, leading to a clip of CBS News’ Catherine Herridge interviewing the attorney general.
“When history looks back on this decision, how do you think it will be written?” Herridge asked Barr referring to the decision to drop the DOJ case against the former national security adviser.
“Well, history is written by the winners, so it largely depends on who’s writing the history,” Barr replied with a laugh.
“I was struck, Peggy, by the cynicism of the answer,” Todd said after the brief video clip. “It’s a correct answer. But he’s the attorney general. He didn’t make the case that he was upholding the rule of law. He was almost admitting that, yeah, this is a political job.”
But what Todd did not show, or explain, was that Barr’s reply was cut short in the clip.
He had gone on to say: “But I think a fair history would say it was a good decision because it upheld the rule of law, it upheld the standards of the Department of Justice, and it undid what was an injustice.”
Today on Meet The Press, @chucktodd wildly took context out of an answer AG Bill Barr gave about his decision to drop the case into Gen. Michael Flynn.
I cut Todd’s segment along with Barr’s full answer together. Look at how blatantly dishonest this is. pic.twitter.com/tODOEwL48V
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) May 10, 2020
The “Meet the Press” Twitter account responded to Kupec, saying it had “inadvertently and inaccurately” cut Barr’s comments.
“You’re correct. Earlier today, we inadvertently and inaccurately cut short a video clip of an interview with AG Barr before offering commentary and analysis. The remaining clip included important remarks from the attorney general that we missed, and we regret the error,” the show wrote.
You’re correct. Earlier today, we inadvertently and inaccurately cut short a video clip of an interview with AG Barr before offering commentary and analysis. The remaining clip included important remarks from the attorney general that we missed, and we regret the error.
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) May 10, 2020
Kupec also noted in a follow up tweet that Barr had explained the decision in detail in the rest of the CBS interview.
Also, no mention by Todd that the AG spent a large portion of the CBS interview explaining the legal reasoning supporting the request for dismissal. The full transcript has been available on CBS’ website since Thursday night, including the answer NBC aired in its edited form. https://t.co/R1c4HEcZi9
— KerriKupecDOJ (@KerriKupecDOJ) May 10, 2020
A short time later, Trump tweeted that “Sleepy Eyes Chuck Todd” should be fired, responding to a tweet by The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway who said their tweet “in no way covers the error.”
“He knew exactly what he was doing. Public Airwaves = Fake News!” the president added, tagging the official Twitter accounts for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and its chairman, Ajit Pai.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 11, 2020
No on-air apology was made by the NBC show or Todd, but many took to Twitter slamming the deceptive edit and the show’s admission.
“Chuck Todd knew there was more to this clip. He aired it anyway,” Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk tweeted. “We don’t have a media in this country anymore.”
Inadvertently strikes again! https://t.co/45qsvfyprh
— Cernovich (@Cernovich) May 11, 2020
On air apology please https://t.co/EVU68f0SUw
— Tim Pool (@Timcast) May 11, 2020
You knew FULL WELL you were slandering Barr and broadcasting FAKE NEWS.
You were HOPING you wouldn’t get caught.
— David Wohl (@DavidWohl) May 11, 2020
We don’t call you FAKE NEWS for nothing!
NBC: Nothing But Crap.
— Mark Dice (@MarkDice) May 11, 2020
You misspelled “oops, caught us.”
— NH (@TwoQuoque) May 11, 2020
I don’t think inadvertently means what you think it means.
It does not mean on purpose.
— Penthouse Sidebar (@drfessel) May 11, 2020
— The Doctor (@KmMalvey) May 11, 2020
Isn’t it weird how EVERY ONE of their “mistakes” ALWAYS go one way. And they seriously wonder how they are labeled liberal hacks? The disingeniousness is truly breathtaking.
— CDB (@quietnolonger) May 11, 2020
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