First Clinton, then Fiorina: Yesterday morning, on Meet the Press, Chuck Todd interviewed Candidates Clinton and Fiorina.
If what we saw is the best he can do, then heaven help our poor sub-standard grossly incompetent nation.
How bad was Todd’s performance? Below, you see his first question for Candidate Clinton, just as delivered, word for word.
This is actually what he said. As best we could tell, this was supposed to be English:
TODD (9/27/15): Let me start with a piece of sound, it’s Meet the Press. This is what you said on Meet the Press seven years ago about transparency.To watch the whole interview, click here.
CLINTON (videotape): I want to have a much more transparent government and I think we now have the tools to make that happen. I want to have as much information about the way our government operates on the Internet. So the people who pay for it, the taxpayers of America, can see that.
TODD: A year later, Clintonemail.com. This server—started private server.
Had every government agency had did what you did at the State Department, there would be a lot of information that wasn’t in the public. Do you see that now as a problem as far as the public is concerned?
“Had every government agency had did what you did at the State Department, there would be a lot of information that wasn’t in the public?”
We swear to God, that’s what he said. We’ve edited the official transcript to make it more accurate. We think we’ve presented the sentence structure to reflect what was actually said.
Everybody gets tongue-tied now and again, but this was Todd’s first question of the entire program! Clinton went ahead and gave the same first answer she would have given had her host managed to ask a coherent question about this topic, which begs for clarification.
All in all, Todd did a very poor job formulating questions about this murky topic, which begs for clarification one way or the other. By the way, how well did Todd prepare himself? We were struck by this highlighted question:
TODD: I guess what I’m trying to figure out is, if you said in March that the e-mail system began in March of ’09 yet but we have the same e-mail address popping up in January, explain that discrepancy.Has Todd been watching too much Morning Joe? He seemed to think that Clinton created the private server from scratch when she got the job at State.
CLINTON: There was a transition period. I wasn’t that focused on my e-mail account, to be clear here.
TODD: Let me stop you there. You say you weren’t focused on it. Except this seemed to be— To put an e-mail server at your house is not a—it’s a complicated thing.
CLINTON: Yes, but it was already there. It had been there for years. It is the system that my husband’s personal office used when he got out of the White House. And so it was sitting there in the basement. It was not any trouble at all. I know there are a lot of people who are questioning that, but the fact is that it was there. I added my account to it.
This doesn’t affect the charges which have been made, correctly or otherwise, about Clinton’s email practices. But does Todd have any idea what he’s talking about?
Todd managed to ask one coherent question about the email matter, concerning Clinton's possible interest in foiling FOIA requests. When Clinton gave a fuzzy answer, he didn’t follow up.
Later in the interview, Todd revived the traditional Meet the Press practice of playing tape of past statements by his guest to make her look like a flip-flopper.
Last week, he didn’t play any videotape of Candidate Trump’s years of grotesque birtherism. Yesterday, he helped us see that Clinton, like a string of major Dem pols from President Obama on down, holds a different position on same-sex marriage today than she did in 2004.
Last week, Todd ran and hid from Candidate Trump. He revived The Ghost of Russert Past when faced with Candidate Clinton. And when he interviewed Fiorina, his performance was that much worse.
Todd started with a series of bungled questions about the anti-Planned Parenthood tapes. At the last GOP debate, Fiorina made a gross misrepresentation of the now-famous tapes.
Since then, she has aggressively, weirdly doubled down on her glaring misstatements.
Like others before him, Todd asked Fiorina if she was willing to cop to the truth. Once again, her answer was puzzling, peculiar:
TODD: Let me start right in with the Planned Parenthood situation. At the debate, the most recent debate, you described the following scene, claiming it was on a tape, “a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.” Since then, when asked about the claim, your campaign has attacked Planned Parenthood. But there is no tape. There is no evidence that the scene you described exists. Are you willing now to concede that you exaggerated that scene?Fiorina proceeded to launch an attack on Planned Parenthood, introducing new misstatements while changing the subject from past misstatements about the videotape.
FIORINA: No, not at all. That scene absolutely does exist, and that voice saying what I said they were saying, "we're going to keep it alive to harvest its brain," exists as well. Here’s the thing. Yesterday—
TODD: So you saw that moment on the tape?
FIORINA: —I was at a football game—
TODD: You saw that moment on the tape?
FIORINA: Yes, and I would challenge Planned Parenthood. Here’s the deal...
To watch the full interview, click this.
Todd tried, several more times, to make her address the question of the videotape. At the point we highlight below, she turned him into a puddle:
TODD: But you are ducking the specific of this question. And I guess I’m trying—Fiorina thundered further against the Post. Defeated, Todd gave up.
FIORINA: I’m not. I am not—am not ducking—
TODD: A Washington Post editorial is calling it a full-fledged falsehood, Ms. Fiorina. They're saying that it doesn’t excuse your mistruths. They say they understand you have a deeply held belief on abortion but that you're exaggerating this specific claim.
FIORINA: No. Well, first of all, the Washington Post also claims that I’m lying about being a secretary, so let’s get real. I mean I don't even know how to deal with that. I was a secretary part-time to put myself through college and full-time after I graduated. The Washington Post gave me three Pinocchios for claiming that I was a secretary. So honestly, I don’t think the Washington Post has a lot of credibility here...
Citizens, can we talk? Presumably, Todd is paid a seven-figure salary. Does he have a telephone in his office? Access to the Net?
If so, he could have called Fiorina’s campaign and asked them to specify where the footage in question can be seen. After that, he could have played the videotape and watched the farking footage himself!
Lazily, incompetently, Todd didn’t bother with that. Instead, he fell back on what the Washington Post had said about the videotape. This let Fiorina denounce the Post as a gang of liars—liars who are presumably filled with liberal bias and hatred for the world’s children!
By now, the analysts were crying and softly consoling themselves. We turned to them and delivered a verdict:
“Had every Sunday host had did what he did at Meet the Press, there would be a lot of information that wasn’t in the public!”
No really! That’s what we actually said!