President Trump upset the media greatly at a rally in Pennsylvania, where he enthusiastically mocked NBC's Chuck Todd as a "sleeping son of a b——." Retired NBC anchor Tom Brokaw tweeted: "Really classy.
"Explain that to your children."
On "Meet the Press" the next day, Todd tried to shame Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin about Trump's contempt for a free press by asking him, "When (President Trump) uses vulgarity to talk about individuals, what are they supposed to tell their kids?"
Todd told the local NBC station, News4: "I bring my kids up to respect the office of the presidency and the president. I don't allow them to say anything negative, ever, about the president. ... it creates a challenge to all parents when he uses vulgarities like that."
That would make Todd the most hypocritical father in Washington. He says everything negative about the president. He warned that Trump had a "lame-duck presidency" on the "brink of collapse" ... two months in to the presidency. He called Trump's attacks on the press "un-American" and asked, "Could (Russian President) Putin have asked for anything more?" Then, "Free Press Chuck" denounced the conservative media as Trump's "Kool-Aid orbit." He even compared Trump's election to the 9/11 terrorist attack.
President Trump should not have used that language. No president should. But save us the lectures, please. Anyone watching television knows that curse words — like "SOB" — are commonplace in front of children, whether it's broadcast, cable or streaming, late night or early evening. Today's "Son of a b——!" is yesterday's "Damn!" and last week's "Darn!"
Liberal media elites feigning shock at the utterance of curse words in front of The Children is ridiculous. The hypocrisy here is immense — and shameless.
It would be nice if NBC and all the other TV networks would air less vulgarity. Then it would be reasonable to grab the smelling salts and call out Trump for his inappropriate language.
Oh, and speaking of hypocrisy, where are the Tom Brokaws and Chuck Todds of the world when Democrats curse? Take Hillary Clinton, who appeared on BBC's "The Graham Norton Show" to plug her why-she-lost book last year. When talking about Trump's inaugural speech, she said, "And it was reported that George W. Bush, as it ends, says, 'That was some weird s—-.'" Laughter and applause erupted, and host Graham Norton replied, "And it was." No one fell on a fainting couch.
The Chuck Todds don't even blink when Democrats curse at ... Chuck Todd! They all laughed when then-President Obama made a video for the 2016 White House correspondents dinner in which Todd reported that Obama would become "couch commander" after leaving office. "F—- you, Chuck Todd," Obama responded in the video.
Did Todd explain that skit to his kids? You think he doesn't keep a copy of that video for future generations of the Todd family? Vulgarities don't matter when the press is laughing alongside their heroes. It's not the words that matter. It's the contempt.
One reason Trump's ridicule resonates with voters is the media's arrogant lie about being nonpartisan voices of Truth. Two days before Trump cursed about Todd, Todd gave a speech at a media awards dinner and unloaded a whopper.
He said: "One thing we're not is the opposition. We've never tried to be part of the political debate, but people want to drag us into it. We shouldn't take the bait. We're simply a voice of truth."
The media have "never tried to be part of the political debate"? A "voice of truth"? That's a Levi's factory of pants on fire. Explain that to Todd's kids, since their mother operates a direct-mail firm for Democrats like Sen. Bernie Sanders — who paid her firm almost $2 million in the 2016 race.
In his speech, Todd even proclaimed, "Transparency is the new objectivity." But he never tells viewers about his wife's business when he interviews Sanders on "Meet the Press" (he has 17 times since the start of 2016). Todd apparently thinks the rest of us are sleeping SOBs.
L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center. Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org.