Topic: Media Research Center
Why would Republican appear on the "mainstream" Sunday shows? You could wonder after Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) was disgusted by moderator Chuck Todd's "very biased opening" segment on Meet the Press, and Todd openly fought with him and wouldn't let him finish a point as Johnson tried to tell him what he should ask John Brennan later in the show. Brennan received gooey sympathy.
Todd moaned and groaned and then said “I have no idea why Fox News conspiracy propaganda stuff is popping up on here. I have no idea why we’re going here." When Johnson said this is why people hate the media, "This is not about the media! Senator Johnson, please!!” As in "please stop criticizing the heroic press."
Johnson began: "your setup piece was --you know, typically, very unbiased [sarcasm]....Before I started answering all the detailed questions, let me just talk about why I'm pretty sympathetic with what President Trump has gone through. You know, I'm 64 years old. I have never in my lifetime seen a president, after being elected, not having some measure of well wishes from his opponents. I've never seen a president’s administration be sabotaged from the day after election. I -- I've never seen -- no-- no measure of honeymoon whatsoever."
And then he started talking about FBI lovers Peter Strzok and Lisa Page texting about how they keep Trump from being elected. The networks have barely touched Strzok and Page.
Todd unleashed the Fox News dig, and angrily insisted "Can we please answer the question that I asked you instead of trying to make Donald Trump feel better here that you're not criticizing him." Johnson said "I'm trying to lay the groundwork...of your very biased opening."
Todd also said "I understand that a way to avoid answering a question is to attack us in the press. I'm well aware of that...And that doesn't work." Johnson said "You set this thing up totally biased. I could never really get into the full narrative. "
Then Todd turned to liberal Democrat Sen. Chris Murphy, who's used to softball interviews. Murphy was allowed to uncork long 180-word answers without Todd interjecting. Then Todd complained to Murphy, like they were teammates: "We have a major problem here. I mean, the-- the comfort level that the senator had to character assassinate the show and us-- in this-- in this bizarre, personal way I think shows you where we're headed. What do we do?"
So what went wrong here?
1) Graham never proves Johnson's assertion that Todd's opening was "biased" because he never quotes the opening.
2) Heputs words in Todd's mouth by claiming he really meant to say "please stop criticizing the heroic press." Can Graham read Todd's mind? Is there an ESP division at the MRC?
3) Graham praises Johnson for "talking about FBI lovers Peter Strzok and Lisa Page texting about how they keep Trump from being elected," but he didn't mention that, as others have pointed out, it had nothing to do with Todd's question: "Again, what Todd is asking here is for Johnson to further explain his own quote about 'wincing' at the suggestion that military aid might be linked to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's willingness to investigate Joe Biden. This isn't some sort of "gotcha" question. Johnson said it! And recently!"
4) Graham engages in more purported mind-reading by claiming without evidence that Todd's "we" was in reference to "teammates" Murphy and himself. Apparently, Graham has never heard of the "editorial we" or any other common use of the word.
Of course, Graham is not being paid to be a good media critic -- just one continually on the attack.