Meet the Press Apologizes After DOJ Spokesperson Accuses Broadcast of ‘Deceptive Editing/Commentary by Chuck Todd’

By A.J. Katz 

Meet the Press apologized to the Department of Justice yesterday after the broadcast appeared to omit important context in airing a comment made by U.S. attorney general Bill Barr.

The apology came on the show’s Twitter account after a Department of Justice spokeswoman accused MTP moderator Chuck Todd of “deceptive editing/commentary” concerning Barr’s recent interview with CBS’ Catherine Herridge defending the department dropping the case against former national security advisor Michael Flynn.

On Sunday morning, Todd covered the Flynn news and noted the president’s big tweetstorm. At one point he brought up part of what Barr said to Herridge:


HERRIDGE: “When history looks back on this decision, how do you think it will be written?”

BARR: “Well, history is written by the winner. So it largely depends on who’s writing the history.”

Todd remarked that the comment was incredibly cynical, adding, “He was almost admitting that, yeah, this is a political job.”

However, the second part of Barr’s answer was not shown during the broadcast: “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 it was a good decision because it upheld the rule of law, it upheld the standards of the Department of Justice, and it undid what was an injustice.”

The apology:

Perhaps it was just an editorial oversight. However, many conservatives jumped to the conclusion that the broadcast deliberately cut the clip to cast the attorney general in a bad light.

This became easy fodder for the president, who sent out a whopping 108 tweets/retweets on Mother’s Day, a number of which focused on criticisms of Todd and Meet the Press.

Trump, who has made roughly 18,000 false/misleading claims since his presidency began in January 2017, even called for Todd to be taken off the air, tagging the FCC in the process. This won’t happen for myriad reasons, one of which being that Pai has gone on the record as saying that content on a show is beyond the commission’s scope of authority when determining licenses, which are of stations, not networks.