If you checked into political Twitter over the weekend, it was hard to miss.
And you didn’t even have to be looking for it.
Progressives seemed to be mercilessly pummeling moderator Chuck Todd — during and after this week’s “Meet the Press.” A glance at the trending topics raised a eyebrow, for sure: I caught the name of the show’s former host, the late, beloved NBC News icon, Tim Russert, trending. Bad news.
As usual, it’s important to remember that Twitter is not real life. Many of those giving Todd a hard time were the blue check progressives like Adam Parkhomenko and similar, lefty folks who, as Fox News pointed out, didn’t like one sliver of Todd’s interview with Trump administration adviser Peter Navarro:
Move over Chuck Todd. Jonathan Swan just showed us how it’s done as he effortlessly shut down Trump’s lies. No one will ever replace Tim Russert but it’s time to give #MeetThePress to someone worthy! https://t.co/hzbszhTUuA
— lorili (@hedahunter) August 9, 2020
Them: The Jonathan Swan interview will change how the trump administration is covered.
(One week later)
Chuck Todd: Welcome. Today Peter Navarro is gonna pee on me while lying to all of you. It’s gonna be fun!
— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) August 9, 2020
On the heels of that dust-up-that-wasn’t appeared a story hewn out of a parenthetical point NY Times columnist Ben Smith made in his Sunday piece titled, “How Pro-Trump Forces Work the Refs in Silicon Valley” — on media platforms as varied as Forbes and the Daily Beast. They splashed headlines about Todd’s employer, NBCUniversal, possibly considering replacing him on MTP with MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace — whose afternoon show just took over Todd’s daily, 4 p.m. timeslot. (He’s now on at 1 p.m.) To Fox News’ credit, the alleged story only merited a 31-word paragraph in their story about the left’s reaction to Todd’s Sunday interview.
The entire mention is one (albeit lengthy) paragraph in the Smith piece:
(The old establishment referees are now barely important enough to target, but they’re still embroiled in an internal debate over whether to try to hold onto a vanishing nonpartisan center. Some of those questions are playing out right now at NBC, where progressive prime-time hosts drive ratings on cable, but where the executive suite favors Nicolle Wallace, a former communications director for President George W. Bush and a Never Trump Republican. Two people familiar with the conversations told me that the NBCUniversal chief executive, Jeff Shell, had floated the notion of elevating Ms. Wallace to take over the prestige Sunday morning show “Meet the Press.” An NBC executive said the current host, Chuck Todd, “has led the Sunday news-making and ratings battles for five years at the helm of ‘Meet the Press’ and will continue to do so.”)
Even Forbes (and the Beast) were forced to note in their coverage that Todd’s not going anywhere, both writing some version of the following:
An NBC executive told The Times Chuck Todd “has led the Sunday news-making and ratings battles for five years at the helm of Meet the Press and will continue to do so.”