Dear Chuck Todd and MSNBC:
I was absolutely stunned when I read the following:
MSNBC host Chuck Todd said Wednesday that when it comes to misinformation about the new federal health care law, don't expect members of the media to correct the record.
During a segment on "Morning Joe," former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D) speculated that most opponents of the Affordable Care Act have been fed erroneous information about the law. Todd said that Republicans "have successfully messaged against it" but he disagrees with those who argue that the media should educate the public on the law. According to Todd, that's President Barack Obama's job.
"But more importantly, it would be stuff that Republicans have successfully messaged against it," Todd told Rendell. "They don't repeat the other stuff because they haven't even heard the Democratic message. What I always love is people say, 'Well, it's you folks' fault in the media.' No, it's the President of the United States' fault for not selling it."
I was apalled, but after a moment I decided that it explained an awful lot. I think I'd like to try to explain a few relevant facts to Chuck Todd. This isn't about whose job it is to sell their position. It's about whether or not you serve any function whatsoever.
At one time, Network News reigned supreme because there were three networks and most people couldn't get access to the public. Things have changed a bit, and almost every interest group out there has their own means of getting information to the public with or without the help of MSNBC.
Your statement suggests that you view your role as to be a sort of carnival barker, inviting various idiots to say whatever form of crazy they like, and it isn't your job to vet any of it for accuracy. If that's the case, why shouldn't I just turn off your network and get all my news from the internet?
The only value that you have to me over the various less known brands is if you attempt to fact check what people say. If you don't do that, you have no credibility advantage over any of the new media sources out there. The internet has the advantage that I can simply go look at it any time I like. I don't need to sit through commercials, and I can go find someone who likely is a better match for me anyway.
I used to watch MSNBC, but your absurd and rather offensive statement really was the last straw for me. The way you said it indicates a casual contempt for people like me who expect fact checking. I feel a similar contempt for your attitude.
I'm tired of the generally pathetic nature of so called journalism on television. These days most of the money goes to anchormen and most of the reporters who used to do the actual investigating are out of work. I would appreciate it if some of the budget allocated to hair spray products would be reallocated to fact-checkers and more reporters who go to the scene and bring us new information.
I occasionally watched Rachel Maddow, and whatever else happened to be on at the time. I think it's time that I just turned off the television. I'll leave you to your political process stories. I know you love them so.