Chuck Todd has made a concerted effort to talk to conservative media outlets since he took over as host of NBC’s “Meet the Press.” In September, he characterized an interview with Breitbart — during which he was asked repeatedly about liberal bias in the press — as “a step in the rehabilitation of my business.”
Now that he’s promoting a book that promises to provide a “gripping account of Obama’s White House tenure,” Todd is going back to those same sources, and being asked the same questions.
The “rehabilitation” and book tour continued this week with an interview on Newsmax TV with Steve Malzberg, who asked Todd several questions about the coverage of Obamacare adviser Jonathan Gruber by the evening newscasts.
Gruber’s remarks have provided the latest confirmation of media bias for many conservatives, who have probably received most of their information on the issue from likeminded sources like Fox News.
Todd dismissed the lack of Gruber coverage on the nightly news, characterizing the furor over his unearthed remarks as a “political story.”
But toward the end of the interview, Malzberg highlighted another clash of mainstream and conservative news coverage when he brought up the October report in the New York Times on the discovery of thousands of chemical weapons in Iraq that injured several service members.
When Malzberg repeated the conservative spin on that revelation, Todd was there to check him.
“Is Bush vindicated at all with these findings that chemical weapons have injured scores of troops in Iraq?” Malzberg asked.
“The implication was mushroom clouds,” Todd said. “I don’t think so.”
Todd said that the boosters of the Iraq War clearly were referring to nuclear weapons when they warned of “weapons of mass destruction,” but Malzberg thought this was too narrow of a definition.
“If they found chemical weapons is what I’m saying, that doesn’t vindicate Bush at all?”
“I don’t think it vindicates him,” Todd said. “I don’t.”