NBC News Chief White House Correspondent Chuck Todd appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe today and called the planned NBC miniseries on Hillary Clinton a “total nightmare” for the news division.
Todd explained that while there is a wall between the entertainment and news divisions, even well informed people don’t understand that they operate independently and actually don’t like each other:
The two entities are sometimes at war with each other. I can’t tell you how many fights we’ve had internally about whether to cover … some live news event and those, you know, guys on the West Coast, they want to, you know, run some rerun of ‘Parks and Recreation’ or whatever because they’ll make money.
Todd then went on to describe the “nightmare” scenario:
This is why this miniseries is a total nightmare for NBC News. We know there’s this giant firewall, we know we have nothing to do with it, we know that we’d love probably to be as critical or whatever … if it comes out, but there’s nothing we can do about it and we’re going to only own the negative. People are going to see the peacock, and they see NBC, and they see NBC News, and they think, ‘Well, they can’t be that separate.
NBC and CNN have come under fire from both the right—which is concerned about a pro-Hillary bias before the 2016 election, and the left—which is worried that the films will provide fodder for the GOP and derail a potential Clinton presidential run in 2016.
Todd is right, to an extent. Each network has a news and an entertainment division that operate separately, at least on paper. But once viewers see a network logo, they don’t differentiate between the two, nor should they, as the networks have blurred the lines for years.
Besides, the real issue to conservatives is the political bias, not the matter of competing for the dollars to be earned or amount of air-time each division has. Anyone who watches primetime shows, like “30 Rock” or “Smash,” and even late-night shows, such as Jimmy Fallon or Saturday Night Live, knows that they are just as biased as their NBC News brethren. Harsh ridicule and criticism are reserved for conservatives, while liberal Democrats and their views on the issues are treated with kid gloves. Does anyone expect, for example, that the NBC mini-series on Hillary will accurately portray Hillary’s role in the Whitewater scandals of the Bill Clinton administration, or in the current Benghazi scandal?
If NBC actually does that, I’ll be the first to give them credit.