Over at Fox, the network’s media reporter Brian Flood, with an assist from Joseph A. Wulfsohn, headlines the story this way:
Chuck Todd labeled worse than CNN’s Jim Acosta by Jonathan Turley after airing out-of-context McEnany clip
‘If an ill-considered tweet is a venial sin for Acosta at CNN, this is a mortal sin for Todd at NBC,’ he wrote
The story says this:
George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley blasted NBC News’ Chuck Todd for airing an out-of-context clip of White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, saying his decision was even more egregious than a similar move by CNN’s Jim Acosta.
“If an ill-considered tweet is a venial sin for Acosta at CNN, this is a mortal sin for Todd at NBC. This was no careless tweet, but an airing made long after the false account was flagged during the CNN controversy,” Turley wrote.
The now-finally-reported facts about the McEnany statement are these. The president’s press secretary, discussing the president’s belief that kids have to get back to school — and physically in school — this fall discussed the science involved in a decision. Her full statement was this:
The science should not stand in the way of this, but as Dr. Scott Atlas said — I thought this was a good quote, “Of course, we can do it. Everyone else in the Western world, our peer nations are doing it. We are the outlier here.” …
The science is very clear on this. For example, you look at the JAMA pediatric study of 46 pediatric hospitals in North America that said the risk of critical illness from COVID is far less for children than the seasonal flu. The science is on our side here. We encourage localities and states to just simply follow the science. Open our schools.
Clear as a bell, yes? Not if you are CNN’s Jim Acosta, who tweeted out this:
The White House Press Secretary on Trump’s push to reopen schools: “The science should not stand in the way of this.”
Say what? What Acosta did, by deliberately cutting off her statement, was turn McEnany’s words into the exact opposite of what she said. Acosta got called out for it, as he should. But that was days ago. The false tweet had been corrected by the press secretary herself, the full statement inserted — again — into the public record.
Yet right there on NBC on Sunday was Meet the Press host Chuck Todd doing exactly what Acosta had done — except using seriously edited video. Turley took note, as reported by Fox:
“Chuck Todd on Meet the Press decided to play the misleading clip not once but twice on Sunday. It was not just running an overtly misleading clip but defiantly doing so after other journalists have challenged the erroneous impression left by the clip,” Turley wrote on Sunday. “The misleading quality of the clip clearly was not the problem but the appeal for Meet the Press.”
Turley wrote that Todd’s decision was even worse than Acosta’s.
“As bad as that incident was, it is not nearly as bad as Chuck Todd ignoring the controversy and the correction to repeatedly air the same misleading quote,” Turley wrote.
“NBC was fully aware that the clip was not just misleading but that it conveyed the opposite of what actually was stated in the press conference,” Turley added. “Todd shows clip of people denying the need to wear masks and says that Trump is just ignoring the risks to push to open schools. He then shows the clip of McEnany that is edited to cut off her reference to scientific data, making it sound that she was saying that the science was not important. The clip was played a second time later in the show.”
What in the world in the world is going on at Meet the Press and with NBC?
The Wall Street Journal’s Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. understands the problem exactly, writing it this way in the immediate wake of the mainstream media’s abysmally untruthful coverage of President Trump’s Mt. Rushmore speech, bold print for emphasis supplied:
So we return to a signature astonishment of our age. After almost four years in office, Mr. Trump has not managed to damage his own reputation (as any libel lawyer will tell you, he had no reputation to damage). He has done less damage to his office than you might think for the simple and obvious reason that people distinguish Mr. Trump from his office.
Seemingly effortlessly, though, he has incited people and institutions that do have something to lose to wreck their own reputations: The FBI, CNN, our universities, etc.
This is a perfect illustration of what Chuck Todd and NBC just did with that McEnany editing game.
Perhaps even more astonishing is the idea they would do it — and think they would not get caught doing it.
Ya can’t make it up.