Chuck Todd does not get it. Once he becomes the news in this manner he has failed as a journalist. A few days ago Alison Lundergan Grimes was interviewed by the Louisville Courier-Journal editorial board. They asked her whether she voted for President Obama in 2008 and 2012. She justifiably refused to answer.
The talking heads and pundits claimed she was not prepared for the question. The lack of sophistication of the traditional media is astounding. It was evident that she was prepared for the question and she intended not to answer it. It was evident that her team likely thought the downside was worse if she answered.
Chuck Todd in another case of irrational verbal diarrhea said that her answer "borders on disqualification." One wonders how not answering an inconsequential and silly question borders on disqualification yet he never said such on the various substantive lies and misstatements by Mitch McConnell (e.g, implying that Kynect is not Obamacare, etc.).
For anyone who had any doubts, in a subsequent debate, Alison Lundergan Grimes again refused to bite. She said she had a right to the privacy of the ballot box. Those talking heads and pundits who in unison thought she was unprepared realized it was a strategy, a strategy most thinking political observers saw right away.
Some believed Alison Lundergan Grimes would be better off simply coming clean by saying she voted for President Obama. Others believed there was no upside. In fact, she denied Mitch McConnell's team a sound bite that would have been replayed ad naseum in a state where President Obama is less popular than dog meat. In a low-information, sound-bite driven society, denying that sound bite was likely the better move.
Of course it was only a good move if the traditional news media did not become the pawn of the Republican Party. It turns out Chuck Todd's sound bite was better than any sound bite Alison Lundergan Grimes could have provided. He became the news. He gave Mitch McConnell a sound bite from a supposedly neutral person that stated his opponent disqualified herself.
How does Chuck Todd respond to this journalistic mistake? He blames the candidate. "I think that is one of those situations where she invited this on herself," Chuck Todd said. "It feels like she had a lot of consultants whispering in her ear, 'Whatever you do don't give Mitch McConnell a line for a TV ad.'" Alison Lundergan Grimes did her part. Chuck Todd failed as a journalist. He became the news. He gave Mitch McConnell a line for a TV ad.
Chuck Todd has allowed his mouth to run ahead of his brain for some time. One would think with his increased responsibility he would have matured into more of a journalist. Unfortunately he seem to have gotten substantially worse.