MSNBC anchor Chuck Todd claimed on Wednesday that "there is no editorial point of view" on any of "MSNBC's newscasts in the daytime.”
Todd made the dubious assertion after Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh suggested MSNBC and other networks have a liberal bias when it comes to their coronavirus coverage.
- Fellow MSNBC anchor Katy Tur attempted to rebut Murtaugh in a lengthy monologue, prompting him to sarcastically thank her for “the speech.”
The reaction: Conservative commentators, like radio host Mark Levin, ridiculed Todd's pretension to journalistic objectivity.
MSNBC, home of obnoxious, dishonest, and truly dumb hostshttps://t.co/msP5cZUPCK— Mark R. Levin (@marklevinshow) July 16, 2020
Progressive activist and commentator Cenk Uygher called the notion "Hilarious."
.@chucktodd claims @MSNBC daytime programming does not have a point of view. Hilarious. Was it primetime or daytime where MSNBC hosts said Bernie would execute rich people in Central Park? Does it matter? Every comment or question on MSNBC could have been written by Nancy Pelosi.— Cenk Uygur (@cenkuygur) July 16, 2020
Here are a just few examples of Todd, Tur and other MSNBC newscasters appearing to display an "editorial point of view" in 2020.
1. March 3: Katy Tur is shocked that a Latino American is planning to vote for President Donald Trump.
Katy Tur evinced disbelief when a Latino man in east Los Angeles told her translator that his daughter would be voting to reelect Trump in 2020.
- "Por que?" she exclaimed.
The translator later struggled to explain to Tur on-air why a "stubborn" minority of Latino voters "still" support Trump — ultimately concluding it's because they're conservatives.
Latinos are going to vote for @realDonaldTrump.— Christian Martinez (@C_RMartinez) March 3, 2020
We aren't "stubborn." @realDonaldTrump's economy is working for all Latinos, unemployment is at a record low.
The American Dream is possible again. #LatinosForTrump pic.twitter.com/UycKS2S6Aw
2. May 28: Correspondent Ali Velshi reports that riots in Minneapolis are peaceful as a building burns down behind him.
"I want to be clear on how I characterize this. This is mostly a protest. It is not generally speaking unruly, but fires have been started, and this crowd is relishing that," said Velshi during a live broadcast from the city days after the death of George Floyd in local police custody.
"There is a deep sense of grievance and complaint here, and that is the thing. That when you discount people who are doing things to public property that they shouldn't be doing, it does have to be understood that this city has got, for the last several years, an issue with police, and it's got a real sense of the deep sense of grievance of inequality."
While Velshi downplayed the destruction, a liquor store and a smoke shop went up in flames in the background.
MSNBC reporter just now: "I want to be clear on how I characterize this. This is mostly a protest. It is not generally speaking unruly."— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) May 29, 2020
The guy is literally standing in front of a burning building in the middle of a riot. pic.twitter.com/IzCV6On4sF
Minutes prior, Velshi had covered rioters overrunning the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct and setting it ablaze as a crowd cheered, chanted and set off fireworks.
- Velshi also pointed out another nearby liquor store that rioters had burned.
MSNBC anchor Craig Melvin said earlier the same day on Twitter that the network's policy was not to use the word "riots" to describe the situation in Minneapolis.
3. June: MSNBC starts caring about Juneteenth once it becomes an anti-Trump talking point.
Juneteenth was mentioned an impressive 365 times on MSNBC in June 2020, according to an analysis by The Washington Free Beacon.
Many of the references concerned the outcry over Trump having scheduled a political rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on June 19, the date of the holiday celebrating the emancipation of the last U.S. slaves.
- Other mentions of Juneteenth on MSNBC related to the president's decision to delay the rally in deference to those who deemed the timing racially insensitive.
But MSNBC very rarely covered Juneteenth before it was championed by Trump's critics.
According to the Beacon, the word was uttered a total of just 30 times on MSNBC's airwaves during the previous eight Junes.
4. July 7: Medical correspondent John Fair issues a major correction about his reporting on his battle with COVID-19.
Earlier this month, after documenting his personal battle with COVID-19 on MSNBC over the course of several weeks, Dr. Fair announced on Twitter that he never had the disease after all.
- He said he had tested negative for the antibodies and that the illness that hospitalized him in May "remains an undiagnosed mystery."
My undiagnosed/suspected COVID illness from nearly 2 months ago remains an undiagnosed mystery as a recent antibody test was negative. I had myriad COVID symptoms, was hospitalized in a COVID ward & treated for COVID-related co-morbidities, despite testing negative by nasal swab.— Dr. Joseph Fair (@curefinder) July 7, 2020
Fair had broadcast from a New Orleans hospital bed on May 14, saying he suspected he contracted the coronavirus through his eyes on a crowded plane.
- He updated MSNBC viewers on his condition on May 18 and again on June 14, when he told "Meet the Press" it was the "worst I've ever felt."
- "I did not expect if I got COVID-19 that I would get that ill," he said.
5. July 9: Todd objectively reports that Trump "is trying to live in a pair of alternate realities."
Just last week, Todd delivered what he apparently felt was an impartial overview of Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic and his fight to prevent Congress from subpoenaing his financial records.
"This president is trying to live in a pair of alternate realities: one where he enjoys absolute immunity as president, and another where he has all but defeated the virus," Todd said on "Meet the Press."
WATCH: @chucktodd, back in the anchor chair for #MTPDaily, says Pres. Trump is trying to live in two different realities: “One where he enjoys absolute immunity as president, and another where he has all but defeated the virus.” pic.twitter.com/dX7f9bExB9— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) July 9, 2020
Two days later, on July 9, MSNBC announced its popular morning show host Joy Reid would be promoted to anchor of a new nightly show on the network.
- In its report on the move, The New York Times noted that Reid "rose to television fame as a sharp critic of President Trump and commentator on liberal politics and race."