Skip to comments.MTP: Tom Cotton Schools Chuck Todd About Relying Too Much on Anonymous Sources
Posted on 02/26/2017 12:47:36 PM PST by Kaslin
Things arguably got a little embarrassing for NBC moderator Chuck Todd during Sundays Meet the Press, after Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton had to explain to him that the claims of anonymous sources should be taken with a grain of salt. Anonymous sources said Steve Bannon drove from the White House to the Department of Homeland Security to confront John Kelly, which we now know is not the truth, Cotton reminded Todd, Thats not like the tone of a conversation, thats someones physical whereabouts.
Cottons schooling of Todd came as the NBC moderator pressed the Senator on when the media could expect the Senate to call for a special prosecutor to investigate Russian ties to the Trump administration. What point is it in the best interest of the country to sort of take it away from elected partisans at this point, Todd wanted to know.
According to Cotton, Todd was putting the cart way before the horse. There are no allegations of any crime occurring, he explained to Todd, There's not even indication that there's criminal investigations under way by the FBI as opposed to counter intelligence investigations. He also tried to make it clear to Todd that as the FBI investigation progressed it would be up to Attorney General Jeff Sessions to make the call for a special prosecutor.
But before Cotton could finish his thought, Todd interjected reminding the Senator that he once called for a special prosecutor to look into the IRS for politically motived actions against Tea Party organizations. That's something that can be decided down the road, but right now there's no credible evidence of these contacts beyond anonymous sources in the media, Cotton clarified.
Todd About Relying Too Much on Anonymous Sources
And Ive got to tell you, anonymous sources can't always be trusted, Cotton quipped at the end of that thought. That didnt sit well with Told who defended the practice, noting, Anonymous sources are how we find out about a lot of scandal in this country. It was then when Cotton reminded Todd of the false accusations made about Bannons interaction with Secretary Kelly. The earlier point Cotton described was excellent, an observer could read into all sorts of body language and misinterpret the tone and motivation in a conversation.
Todd seemed befuddled as Cotton continued to caution about relying on such sources, You cannot credit stories that are based on anonymous sources. You should look into them especially if you're in a position of responsibility, but you can't simply credit them. Todd seemed to give up and moved on to talking about health care.
Todds pushing for a special prosecutor to investigate Trump came off as lusting for it to happen. Todd talked about it as though it was something that was going to happen as a matter of fact. Thats a narrative that the liberal media has been pushing for a while now. They even overlooked CNNs own reporting that when the FBI brief the White House on the investigation they said the medias reports were overstating the facts. Thats an important fact Cotton had to remind Todd of.
NBC Meet the Press February 26, 2017 10:37:51 AM Eastern
TOM COTTON: So Chuck, let's take the CNN article on face value. I'm not going to confirm or deny obviously anything in these stories because these leaks of classified information could do real harm to our national security, but let's take it at face value. So it says the FBI went to President Trump and Reince Priebus and said that reports of contacts between Trump associates last year and Russian intelligence officials were grossly overstated. Isn't it reasonable for the chief of staff to then say to the FBI director Well, are you going to say anything to correct the record on this since everyone is running around Washington making these allegations? I think that's a perfectly reasonable response. Now the FBI and other intelligence agencies have reasons that they don't go out and call balls and strikes on news stories because we don't want to let our adversaries know what we do know and what we don't know, or how we know it. But again, if you take everything in that story at face value I dont think theres that much alarming in it
10:40:39 AM Eastern
CHUCK TODD: And finally, I want to ask you about the Darrell Issa being open to a special prosecutor. What point is it in the best interest of the country to sort of take it away from elected partisans at this point? Whether it's a commission-- I know a select commission, outside commission or a special prosecutor. Where are you in that?
COTTON: Well, I think that's way, way getting ahead of ourselves here, Chuck. There are no allegations of any crime occurring. There's not even indication that there's criminal investigations under way by the FBI as opposed to counter intelligence investigations, which the FBI conducts all the time as our main counter-intelligence bureau. If we get down that road that's a decision that Attorney General Sessions can make at the time. But I think thats
TODD: Senators can call for it on their own. I mean, you called during your campaign against Mike prior. You called for a special prosecutor for the IRS. When does-- How does this Russia allegation, when does that rise to that level in your mind?
COTTON: Well, I think that's far down the road from what our inquiry might reveal in the Intelligence Committee or what the FBIs inquiries might reveal. That's something that can be decided down the road, but right now there's no credible evidence of these contacts beyond anonymous sources in the media. And Ive got to tell you, anonymous sources can't always be trusted.
TODD: Anonymous sources are how we find out about a lot of scandal in this country.
COTTON: Anonymous sources said Steve Bannon drove from the White House to the Department of Homeland Security to confront John Kelly, which we now know is not the truth. Thats not like the tone of a conversation, thats someones physical whereabouts.
TODD: I I I
COTTON: You cannot credit stories that are based on anonymous sources. You should look into them especially if you're in a position of responsibility, but you can't simply credit them.
TODD: Let me talk to you about healthcare.
That would be something new for them when it comes to reporting the news.
Poor Todd - He’s not getting nourished these days.
Or as Rush calls it. “Meet the Depressed”
That’s a good one
Schmuck Toad, owned once again... When will this moron learn to give up in the face of superior firepower?
3 kinds of anonymous sources
- There is no source at all. It is totally made up by the reporter (or more likely his editor/producer). I suspect this is over 50% of NBCABCCBSMSNCNNNPRPBSNYTWAPO anonymous sources.
- The media knows full well who the source is but wants to keep it secret. In some cases the reason the media does not want the source revealed is that the source is not credible. The source is remote from the story...for example the janitor in the adjacent building who exchanged gossip with the maid in the building that houses the subject. This might be 40% of anonymous sources.
- The media itself has no clue who the source is. The source is truly anonymous.
A good journalist will not go with a story unless independent corroboration is made. But the excuse is given that due to the pressure in the business to be first with a story, the media has no time to check the facts. The local media frequently gets PUNKED this way. Sometimes the national media is PUNKED also.
Up Chuck got shut down.
Pray America woke
Chuck Todd’s Goattee looks like what a Child Molester would wear!
I could totally make up a story, call the press and tell them that I have some trash on Trump, but I’ll only disclose it if they protect my anonymity, they’d run it, the rest of the media would pounce on it, and none of it would be true.
Most of these “anonymous sources” are probably the media, throwing out crap just to keep the people buzzing, to gain ratings, and to ask their “panel” what it all means. The traditional “headline readers” take it as fact, and spreads it around.
Play their game, sue them for slander/libel on every “anonymous” story.
Pre-cable when I would watch regular TV morning news, I always chuckled at Katie Couric’s famous:
“Some say ...”
“There are those who say ...”
She used one or both in nearly every interview. She NEVER identified who ‘some’ or ‘those’ were.
I would have responded: “So?” or “So what?” “There are those who think the moon is make out of green cheese.”
While in college, Todd worked for the 1992 presidential campaign of Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa).
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