Liberal commentators and celebrities have dog-piled NBC host Chuck Todd for having the audacity to speak out against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
On his show, “Meet the Press,” Wednesday, Todd took issue with the New York Democrat’s recent comments likening U.S. migrant shelters to Nazi concentration camps. He said the two are “not comparable in the slightest” and accused Ocasio-Cortez of doing a “tremendous disservice” to migrants by distracting from the actual humanitarian crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Todd noted that amid backlash to Ocasio-Cortez’s Instagram video rant on Monday, she has “tried to make a distinction between concentration camps and Nazi death camps.”
“Fair enough,” he said. “But congresswoman, tens of thousands were also brutalized, starved and ultimately died in concentration camps, camps like Dachau.”
The host also criticized other Democrats, such as House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler of New York, who he noted “have been reluctant to condemn her remarks” because “they don’t want to get criticized on Twitter.” He went on to bemoan growing U.S. partisanship, which he said is even worse among Republicans.
“Are we really so ensconced in our political bubbles, liberal versus conservative, that we cannot talk about right versus wrong anymore?” he said. “Some things are bigger than partisanship, or at least they used to be.”
Chuck Todd versus Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Ocasio-Cortez and her supporters seemed to disagree.
The congresswoman lashed Todd on Twitter soon after the segment aired. She accused him of putting the word “Nazi” in her mouth and of ignoring the “human rights abuses” happening at the migrant shelters.
Well, @chucktodd – the fact that you slipped in “Nazi” when I never said that is pretty unfortunate.
Almost as unfortunate as the fact that you spent this whole time w/o discussing DHS freezers, “dog pounds,” missing children, & human rights abuses that uphold use of this term. https://t.co/1eNuW1ZR0f
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 19, 2019
However, Ocasio-Cortez stopped short of repeating her explicit – and clearly false – denial to CNN earlier in the day that she was even thinking of the Holocaust when she made the concentration-camp comments. Never mind that she called President Donald Trump “fascist” and authoritarian,” and vowed “Never again.”
Twitter-active liberals from the overlapping worlds of media, activism and Hollywood rushed to help their hero bury Todd.
Vox host Carlos Maza, who recently took issue with being called a “lispy queer,” complained: “Genuinely one of the most shameful @chucktood segments I’ve ever seen.” He accused Todd of caring “more about semantics than humanity.”
Genuinely one of the most shameful @chucktodd segments I’ve ever seen.
This is what happens when you treat “neutrality” as a virtue — you end up with journalists who lack the moral courage to name evil when they see it, and who care more about semantics than humanity. https://t.co/KYkxH3yPTZ
— Carlos Maza (@gaywonk) June 20, 2019
Activist Ricky Davila claimed to find it “sickening to the core” that Todd would “just blatantly lie about what AOC said to justify his own ignorance.”
What a find sickening to the core is seeing MSNBC allow @chucktodd to literally add “Nazi” next to “Concentration Camps” and just blatantly lie about what AOC said to justify his own ignorance. What a disgrace he is to true journalism.
— Ricky Davila (@TheRickyDavila) June 20, 2019
Woke “Superbad” director Judd Apatow went full Jewish grandmother on his fellow tribe member, scolding: “Shame on you @chucktodd. Lives are being destroyed.”
— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) June 20, 2019
“Parks & Recreation” actor Adam Scott offered a broader media criticism, before chiding, “really dude?”
This is crazy—an all-too-frequent example of @chucktodd using his airtime to discuss a process story while side-stepping the core issue. Downplaying the atrocity of these camps to try and make a point (sort of) about semantics…really dude? https://t.co/FeYWt39Q9n
— Adam Scott (@mradamscott) June 20, 2019
Shareblue writer Oliver Willis accused Todd of being tough on Ocasio-Cortez after remaining silent when Trump made derogatory remarks about Mexicans and women. Willis apparently missed Todd’s tough coverage of both those issues, which was lauded at the time by Vox immigration reporter Dara Lind.
.@chucktodd when trump called mexicans rapists, when he said black teens should be executed, when he bragged about groping women, when he pushed for a muslim ban: *crickets*
chuck todd when @AOC called out our treatment of migrants: "HOW DARE SHE"
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) June 19, 2019
Meanwhile, on the right, pundit Stephen Miller was among those surprised to find themselves impressed by Todd.
Jesus, Chuck Todd actually committed journalism. Can we get a welfare check on him? https://t.co/oE4Mi9yntq
— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) June 19, 2019
The parties over?
Liberals’ reaction to Todd’s truth-telling would seem to underline his point about out-of-control partisanship, and suggest that he failed to take his criticism far enough.
Analysts on both the left and right have lately argued that America’s growing political polarization is not the fault of the political parties. In fact, the parties have been in longterm decline, with their functions increasingly being taken over by other actors, including the media.