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Chuck Todd Used Deceptively Edited Clip to Falsely Claim Barr Admitted Flynn Decision Was ‘Political’

Chuck Todd Used Deceptively Edited Clip to Falsely Claim Barr Admitted Flynn Decision Was ‘Political’

“Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd left out key comments from a Thursday interview U.S. Attorney General William Barr did, remarks that undercut the argument Todd tried to make against him.

The mainstream media and Democrats went absolutely bonkers last week after the Justice Department announced on Thursday that they were dropping the case against former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Naturally, critics of the decision claimed that it was a political move and rushed to call for an investigation into the DOJ’s handling of the case.

On Sunday, NBC News “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd had on a panel of guests to discuss the issue. During the segment, Todd referenced an interview DOJ Attorney General William Barr did with CBS News senior investigative correspondent Catherine Herridge last Thursday in which Herridge asked him how he felt history would judge the decision:

Herridge: In closing, this was a big decision in the Flynn case, to– to say the least. When history looks back on this decision, how do you think it will be written? What will it say about your decision making?

Barr: Well, history is written by the winner. So it largely depends on who’s writing the history. But I think a fair history would say that it was a good decision because it upheld the rule of law. It helped, it upheld the standards of the Department of Justice, and it undid what was an injustice.

Keep Barr’s answer in mind as you read (and then watch) what Todd said to political commentator Peggy Noonan about Barr’s remarks:

CHUCK TODD: You brought up Bill Barr. Peggy Noonan, I want you to listen to this Bill Barr answer to a question about what will history say about this. Wait until you hear this answer. Take a listen.

[BEGIN TAPE] HERRIDGE: When history looks back on this decision, how do you think it will be written?

BARR: Well, history’s written by the winners. So it largely depends on who’s writing the history. [END TAPE]

CHUCK TODD: I was struck, Peggy, by the cynicism of the answer. It’s a correct answer. But he’s the attorney general. He didn’t make the case that he was upholding the rule of law. He was almost admitting that, yeah, this is a political job.

Notice what he left out? This entire sentence from Barr: “But I think a fair history would say that it was a good decision because it upheld the rule of law. It helped, it upheld the standards of the Department of Justice, and it undid what was an injustice.”

A lot of conservatives noticed, including Daily Caller’s Greg Price, who put together a video contrasting Todd’s version of Barr’s remarks versus what Barr said in full. Watch below and pay special attention to Todd’s facial expressions. He looks like the cat who ate the canary. He’s really proud of himself here, and clearly believes he’s caught Barr in an admission that supposedly proves the media and Democrats were right about the alleged “political” nature of the decision all along:

Barr’s spokeswoman Kerri Kupec posted Todd’s comments and what Barr actually said next to each other. She characterized it as “deceptive editing/commentary,” which is putting it mildly:

Several hours after “Meet the Press” aired, Herridge herself tweeted out the interview segment, presumably to correct the record:

On Sunday evening, the “Meet the Press” Twitter account responded to Kupec’s tweet by making this claim:

It’s unclear whether Todd runs the account, or someone else. Todd has his own Twitter account, which he hasn’t tweeted from since May 5th as of this writing.

They “regret the error” so much that the only place you can find their admission is in reply to Kupec’s tweet. That reply only shows up on MTP’s “replies” link on their Twitter feed – which you actually have to click on to see. Also, I searched on the MTP website and could not find an acknowledgment of their “error” anywhere.

Fox News veteran journalist Brit Hume mentioned in a tweet the possibility the “error” was intentional:

I’m not inclined to believe this was an innocent mistake, especially when you consider the fact that Barr literally said what Todd said he didn’t say seconds after the comment about history being “written by the winners.”

Also, consider the fact that the Barr/Herridge interview happened three days before that episode of MTP. So Todd and his staff had plenty of time to watch/read the full interview. There’s just no reasonable excuse for why this happened. And at this point, even if Todd does go on air later this week issue a mea culpa, it will too late. The damage has already been done.

Which, come to think of it, was probably the whole point.

— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —


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Lucifer Morningstar | May 11, 2020 at 9:15 am

Well, then Barr needs to get off his fat lazy ass and call them out for the deceptive edit and make it perfectly plain what the complete quote should have been. And he should demand a correction from Todd. But I doubt he’ll do that and the liberals will get away with their lies once again.

    Yes. And this, I think, shows that Trump’s tactics, however unpresidential they sometimes seem to be, are the only way to fight this battle. Barr’s office issues the standard denunciation, NBC issues the standard response, and then it’s all forgotten, but the damage is done, and this will be used against our side for years to come. On the other hand, a Trump-ian response would include something bombastic, which the press would cover because they think it makes him look bad, but by covering it many more people will learn about the original falsehood.

    When the press will lie about anything and everything, perhaps the only way to fight is to manipulate them into covering the stores that need to be seen.

    You’re assuming the media wouldn’t deceptively edit any response by Barr himself. And just so you know the DOJ did issue a response, which will receive 1/1000 the attention, if that, of the original journalistic fraud, like always.

    Excuse me? He has done exactly that:

    Barr’s spokeswoman Kerri Kupec posted Todd’s comments and what Barr actually said next to each other. She characterized it as “deceptive editing/commentary,” which is putting it mildly:

      fast182 in reply to Milhouse. | May 11, 2020 at 2:29 pm

      But Barr’s response is insufficient given our current times. The press will cover it quietly and then let it fade into oblivion. As OwenKellogg-Engineer pointed out above, Trump’s response (calling for Todd to be fired, and inserting the FCC into the equation) will generate far more press, and spread the knowledge of Todd’s deception to a much larger audience.

“You’re correct. Earlier today, we inadvertently and inaccurately cut short a video clip of an interview with AG Barr before offering commentary and analysis.”

So once again we are left to contemplate the statistical probabilities that 100% of the “errors” and “inadvertent mistakes” are always in the left’s favor and always against the Orange Man. If we flip a coin, its 50/50 on landing heads. But after thousands of flips, if its 100% heads, well, you know it could make one wonder…

    lichau in reply to rangered. | May 11, 2020 at 4:37 pm

    Well said. I will buy this “inadvertent ” billionaire when I see examples of them twisting the other way. Never happens.

    randian in reply to rangered. | May 11, 2020 at 7:30 pm

    Even the apology is deceptive. It doesn’t actually say what they missed, and the clip itself hasn’t changed, so the uninformed viewer is left to wonder what they’re talking about, and very likely won’t bother trying to find out.

I didn’t see the interview, but I can imagine that Peggy Noonan just sat there and smiled like the execrable Never – Trumper she is.

Paul Bahlin | May 11, 2020 at 9:33 am

I feel bad for Catherine Herridge. She’s a great reporter, one of the very best. It’s sinful that editors cut up her very fair work, into pieces that paint her like one of their hacks.

    MTED in reply to Paul Bahlin. | May 11, 2020 at 9:59 am

    I wonder what drove her from Fox to CBS.

      MAJack in reply to MTED. | May 11, 2020 at 10:14 am

      Herridge’s departure was a major loss for Fox. She is top shelf.

        fast182 in reply to MAJack. | May 11, 2020 at 10:58 am

        New Fox isn’t like the Old Fox. The handful of old school evening personalities are still there, but they are merely masking the news division’s decent into CNN territory.

        Fox Business is much better these days.

      Paul Bahlin in reply to MTED. | May 11, 2020 at 10:44 am

      Their ‘straight’ news side is unwatchable. They’ve taken the fair and balanced schtick to the point of absurdity, where progs can spout outright lies without being challenged by ‘modercators’ who say ‘thank you very much, see ya’

        Virginia42 in reply to Paul Bahlin. | May 11, 2020 at 10:48 am

        Todd is an a** with ears. Always has been. As for Fox, I stopped watching a while ago when they discovered their soft spot for liberal agitprop. Not much news left on the networks or cable.

Chuck literally proved Barr’s point.

2smartforlibs | May 11, 2020 at 9:54 am

If you can read you know the DOJ was weaponized under the Regime and Jug ears himself was involved in it all. The IG report, Mueller the 302s it all proves my point.

AG Barr’s answer was good. The AG wants to find a path that delivers justice in relation to Durham investigation and the actions of the cabal that tried to take out PDJT, while also attempting to protect the institution of the DoJ.

Every time the MSM and establishment folks are presented with an opportunity to frame his actions fairly they seem to choose selected edits instead. At some point the AG will realize that no matter how much he wants the establishment and the MSM to play by the old standards of being willing to tell the truth even when it harms one’s own political/policy preferences, those days of honest collegial competition in the market place of ideas are gone.

The political arena has become a blood sport war to the knife style of competition for power. In many ways this is regrettable, in another way it is preferable because our enemies have been forced to reveal their true nature by their actions. We know who they are. They cannot remain hidden any longer.

Everyone who pays the slightest bit of attention can see this. For those of you who think the truth remains obscured for some, then engage with them. Tell these folks what you see but do so in a non confrontational style with the ‘happy warrior’ approach. Those who can be convinced will be influenced, those who are our enemies will never be convinced.

Make a list of your family, friends, coworkers, neighbors and acquaintance who you believe could be convinced and do your best to do that. Don’t waste your time and effort on the true believers that belong to our opponents. Stay positive and take the actions to make a difference. The facts are on our side.

    txvet2 in reply to CommoChief. | May 11, 2020 at 8:51 pm

    “”AG Barr’s answer was good.””

    And Todd’s edit was unconscionable. Any guess as to which one will survive the next thousand days?

      Milhouse in reply to txvet2. | May 12, 2020 at 2:21 am

      What is the commonly accepted definition of the verb “to swiftboat”? What is the correct definition?

Chuck Todd is a pathetic (and way overpaid) partisan hack who couldn’t polish Tim Russert’s shoes.

OH Deplorable | May 11, 2020 at 10:25 am

Chuck Turd, what a smarmy lying little weasel.

This is a good illustration of the old saying, “A half truth is the blackest sort of lie.”

I’d say that this incident could damage the credibility of the so-called mainstream media, but the MSM has no credibility to damage.

Dantzig93101 | May 11, 2020 at 11:08 am

“Naturally, critics of the decision claimed that it was a political move and rushed to call for an investigation into the DOJ’s handling of the case.”

Loyal Americans can learn something from the Communists and the deep staters: They never, ever stop attacking until their target (America) is destroyed.

They never worry about criticism, honesty, or consistency: they just attack, attack, attack. It helps that they have near-total control of news media and social media, but they’d still keep attacking even if they didn’t. That needs to stop. Tweets and tough talk won’t do it. Patton would know how, and he wouldn’t have worried about being nice to his enemies.

I didn’t think that my opinion of the media could go any lower–this proves I was wrong.

Over time honest errors will balance it self out, when all these errors go the same way every time it is no longer an error but a true attempt at deception.
When someone like Herridge, who has built a reputation based on fair reporting, has to go out and defend her own work, you know how far you have fallen.

OwenKellogg-Engineer | May 11, 2020 at 12:03 pm

“We’re sorry we got caught driving the bus that we threw you under.”

“inadvertently” (snerk) The sad part is the leftists who follow Todd like rats behind a piper will believe the story *even* if faced with the real full video.

“Well… Barr really meant to say what Todd showed. The rest is just crap for the Fox news zombies to believe. Todd has the *TVUTH*”

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | May 11, 2020 at 1:10 pm

Does anyone but Hillary Heads watch Chuckie -the Fraud?

buckeyeminuteman | May 11, 2020 at 1:36 pm

I can’t believe many people actually NBC or Meet the Press. The damage in terms of what viewers heard will be minimal. The damage caused by the media’s constant lying though is unfathomably large.

Whatever. The old saw that Barr quoted is wrong in the first place. The winners only get to write history in those venues where the winners control the media. That’s not the case in the “free world”, where the left always controls (the bulk of) the media and the narrative.

someoneintx | May 11, 2020 at 1:57 pm

Chuck Toad most likely meant, and prepared if not rehearsed, to say “…he didn’t _lead off_ with making the case that he was upholding rule of law” – but he flubbed it, and it came out without the “lead off with” qualifier, and it just came out as “…he didn’t make the case…”

This was the more insidious intent – it would have driven the same misleading emotional point home to the drooling NPCs that get their programming from the leftmedia, but at least he would have been able to hide behind the patina of technical accuracy.
But he flubbed it and got hammered. And he can’t admit this is why, because although it has the benefit of being true, it would more clearly expose the game.

This is Nothing But Crap

Barry Soetoro | May 11, 2020 at 3:18 pm

Not an error. An obvious play to advance the coup.

Sorry, but I have to ask: Why is this news?

Does a wild bear s_it in the woods? Is rain wet? Can fish swim?

Of course they selectively edited Barr’s remarks, and of course it wasn’t a mistake. And of course, they don’t regret it for a moment.

What NBC did is like what you see on one of those courtroom dramas on TV. While “questioning” a witness, one of the attorneys goes off on a long soliloquy to make some point. Meanwhile the opposing counsel is screaming “Your honor, your honor, I object!” And the judge is banging his/her (their?) gavel into smithereens.

You know how it works. The attorney finally stops, and the judge firmly says to the jury, “The jury will disregard defense counsel’s remarks.” Yeah, right.

The remaining clip included important remarks from the attorney general that we missed, and we regret the error. Yeah, right.

    Milhouse in reply to tiger66. | May 12, 2020 at 2:24 am

    Does a wild bear s_it in the woods? Is rain wet? Can fish swim?

    Ah, but is the Pope Catholic? Not such an easy question, is it?

The Friendly Grizzly | May 11, 2020 at 5:33 pm

There is just something on trustworthy about somebody who wears a “fashionable “, “scruff” beard style. They look like they’re trying to be something that they really aren’t.