CJR Profiles Chuck Todd, The Man Who ‘Might Be the Busiest Politico on Television’

By Alex Weprin Comment

At last night’s MSNBC “Lean Forward” launch party (look for the full write-up later) MSNBC president Phil Griffin told TVNewser that of all the talent lined up for election night, the one with the most challenging evening will be Chuck Todd.

Todd, who anchors “The Daily Rundown” on MSNBC and is also political director for NBC News, will be making regular appearances on both the broadcast and cable network throughout the night.

In a lengthy profile, Columbia Journalism Review profield the man who “might be the busiest politico on television.”

The juiciest bits involve Todd’s back-and-forth with Salon.com columnist Glenn Greenwald. Greenwald has long been a critic of inside the beltway journalists–of which he counts Todd–accusing them of not being adversarial enough to those in power:

“For me, the thing journalists should want to do more than anything else is be adversarial to people in political power,” Greenwald told me over the phone from Rio de Janeiro, where he spends much of his time. “It’s the same journalists who see objectivity as their guiding star. And yet they’re willing to depart from that when they feel safe doing so—typically when they’re mouthing Beltway conventional wisdom or the consensus of the powerful officials they are supposed to be covering.”

On Todd, he adds: “Beyond that, he does nothing but repeat every outlaid media cliché that is whispered to him by the political officials he covers and the media friends who he has. That’s what he is and what he does.”

Obviously, Todd disagrees. “I think for Glenn and others, those of us in the prominent journalism assignments will always be viewed skeptically because we don’t cheerlead or we don’t advocate their beliefs,” he told me later in an e-mail. “We also have constraints that I wish we didn’t have, including the issue of being a business so we can’t delve as deep into some policy debates as many of us would like, because someone has decided it’s not good for ratings. I do believe we do our best at NBC and MSNBC to figure out how to keep pushing the envelope on this front.

The entire profile is worth a read.