Sunday morning during the “Meet the Press” panel discussion, host Chuck Todd had a question for columnist Peggy Noonan about U.S. Attorney General William Barr. Notable for its blatant dishonesty, the question is just the latest in a never-ending stream of lies and half truths created by the news media to condemn the Trump administration.
Todd asked Noonan to reply to a video of Barr being asked how history will judge the Department of Justice’s decision to drop its case against Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn after new evidence shows he was framed into purportedly lying to the FBI. Here you can see the deceptively edited version of Barr’s answer that showed on “Meet the Press” and the full answer Barr gave.
Today on Meet The Press, @chucktodd wildly took context out of an answer AG Bill Barr gave about his decision to drop the case into Gen. Michael Flynn.
I cut Todd's segment along with Barr's full answer together. Look at how blatantly dishonest this is. pic.twitter.com/tODOEwL48V
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) May 10, 2020
In the “Meet the Press” version, when asked how history will judge the decision, Barr merely says, “Well, history is written by the winners, so it largely depends who’s winning the history.” This leads Todd to infer that Barr is being cynical and all but admitting the decision was politically motivated. He even said that Barr did not defend the decision in terms of the rule of law.
That is a flat-out lie. The very next words out of Barr’s mouth, which “Meet the Press” viewers did not see because they were cut, belie that claim.
Barr says, “But I think a fair history would say that it was a good decision because it upheld the rule of law. It helped, it upheld the standards of the Department of Justice, and it undid what was an injustice.” This second part of Barr’s answer, in which he clearly states that history should look back well upon his decision, is at complete odds with the Todd’s absurd question to Noonan. And that part of the answer is not buried somewhere else in the interview. It is the very next thing Barr says.
It is always best, at least at first, in these instances to assume that the error was the result of incompetence or laziness. Todd or one of his producers saw the “history written by the winners” line and thought they had found an angle. But it is hard to conceive of a situation in which whoever pulled and created that clip did not also see the sentence in which Barr defended his move to drop the case. It is almost impossible to imagine that those words were cut for any reason other than to deceive viewers.
The irony of course is that Barr was making a joke when talking about history being written by the winners. He is laughing as he says it, and the joke is very much directed at just this kind of media hit job. Barr is basically saying that the decision is fair and just, but some in the chattering class will have their own nefarious version of events. Todd and his dishonest producers could scarcely have done more to prove Barr’s point.
Time and again, “errors” occur regarding not just Barr but the entire Trump administration. Last year this happened when Barr stated honestly that the FBI had “spied” on the Trump campaign. Barr made it clear that spying is often a legitimate part of the FBI’s job, but many in the media turned the statement into some rant about the deep state, which it obviously was not.
The curious thing about these “mistakes” is that they always seem to happen in one direction: the one that makes Trump and his administration look bad. It is frankly not credible to believe this could be the case with out at least an implicit bias at work, and at worst a conscious effort to be deceptive.
It is very hard to believe that the deceptive editing of this video was just an honest mistake. Even if it was, the steady drumbeat of mistakes by leftist media over the years, always to the discredit of the right, shows they have a problem they are not willing to fix. Members of the mainstream media get very upset when the president or anyone else calls them fake news. Well, Sunday on the “Meet the Press,” Chuck Todd fully embodied that description.