In yet another glaring example of the Trump-era iteration of “news” reporting, NBC News host Chuck Todd provided his analysis of President Trump’s State of the Union Address before he actually gave it, blasting the president’s attempt to “heal” and “unite” as the “theater of the absurd.”
The heavily cynical, textbook definition of “bad faith” “reporting” was caught by the folks over at NewsBusters.
With the shamelessly mocking chyron “‘COMITY’ CENTRAL: SOTU THEATER OF THE ABSURD?” screaming at viewers below him, the “Meet the Press” host slammed Trump’s speech before he had the chance to give it, saying it was “shaping up to be a night of absurdist theater.” It is “absurd” because of his attempt to promote “bipartisanship, unity and compromise,” Todd explained.
“‘Absurd’ because the White House says the President’s address is going to be about bipartisanship, unity, compromise,” said the partisan host (partial transcript via NewsBusters). “They say it’s going to be a night of ‘comity,’ with a T. They really used that word. ‘Absurd’ because literally, as the White House is telling reporters about how the President is going to rise above partisanship tonight, the President is tweeting about a ‘human wall.’ Then, he mocks Chuck Schumer. And, of course, Festivus begins and he airs grievances about the midterms.”
And Todd wasn’t done, not even close. Some other reasons Trump’s speech is/will be “absurd”: because Trump supposedly engineered “himself” the 35-day government shutdown, the Democrats apparently having nothing to do with it, according to Todd’s “reporting.”
It’s “absurd” because Trump is considering declaring a national emergency over the border since the Democrat-led Congress refuses to take action to address the humanitarian crisis (about which an overwhleming percentage of SOTU viewers agreed with Trump, by the way).
“Absurd” because “Nancy will be seated behind tonight,” said Todd, in perhaps the most revealing of his comments about why the idea of bipartisanship was “absurdist theater.” Rather than hitting Pelosi for her own overtly partisan behavior, however, Todd, like the shutdown, put it all on Trump: “A constant reminder of his failed midterm message that Pelosi party of crime abetting arsonists,” he said.
What also made Trump’s bipartisan and uniting speech he hadn’t given yet “absurd,” said Todd, was Trump’s “ongoing feud with the intel community, countless investigations into him, his staff, his campaign, his business, and even now his inauguration.”
NewsBusters’ Nicholas Fondacaro also points out that Todd was so proud of his “theater of the absurd” theme that he brought it up a few hours later when talking to his likewise partisan colleague Lester Holt.
While Todd clearly hated Trump’s SOTU preemptively, a vast majority of those who actually waited to watch it before forming an opinion approved. Both CNN and CBS News found that over three-quarters of viewers approved of Trump’s SOTU, with CNN finding that nearly 60% viewed it “very positively” while another 17% viewed it “somewhat positively.” CBS found that a strong majority of viewers also agreed on Trump’s big agenda items, including 72% of viewers agreeing with him on the need to reform immigration, 71% agreeing that there’s a crisis at the border, and 74% agreeing with his handling of troops in the Middle East.