Former Meet The Press host Chuck Todd showed up on his old show and blasted NBC News for hiring Ronna McDaniel in exchange for access.

Todd said as part of a panel after Kristen Welker interviewed McDaniel:

Let me deal with the elephant in the room. I think our bosses owe you an apology for putting you in this situation. I don’t know what to believe. She is a paid contributor to NBC News. She didn’t want to mess up her contract. She wants us to believe that she was speaking for the RNC the RNC was paying for. She has credibility issues. Is she speaking for herself? Is she speaking on behalf of who is paying her? Once at the RNC she did say that, I’m speaking for the party. I get that. That’s part of the job so what about here?

I will say this. I think your interview did a good job of exposing, I think, many other contradictions, and look, there’s a reason why there are a lot of journalists at NBC News uncomfortable with this because many of our professional dealings with the RNC over the years have been met with gaslighting and character assassination. So it is, you know, that’s where you begin here and so when NBC made the decision to give her NBC News’ credibility, you have to ask what does she bring to NBC News and when we make deals like this, and I’ve been at this company for a long time you do it for access. Sometimes it’s access to an audience. Sometimes it’s access to an individual and we can have a journalistic debate about that, and I’m willing to have that debate, and if you had told me we were hiring her as a technical adviser for the Republican convention that would be defensible.

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We’re talking to her, but let’s see what she does in interviews and maybe vet her with actual journalists and see if it’s a two-way, what she can bring to the network. So I do think, unfortunately, this interview is always going to be looked through the prism of who is she speaking for? I think you did everything you could do. You got put into an impossible situation, booking this interview and the rug was pulled out from under you and she’s paid to show up. It is unfortunate for the program and I’m glad you did the best you could and that’s why we are here to bolster.

Video of Todd:

Chuck Todd goes on Meet The Press and calls out NBC for hiring Ronna McDaniel for access, “What does she bring to NBC News and when we make deals like this, and I’ve been at this company for a long time you do it for access.”

— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) March 24, 2024

Chuck Todd caught a lot of justified criticism for his time at Meet The Press, but the one thing Todd was always honest about was that Meet The Press is access journalism, and he had to not be too tough on Republicans because they would threaten not to come on the show.

If Todd is correct, and Meet The Press booked the interview with McDaniel, and then NBC News announced that she was joining the network, journalistically, that is a terrible thing to do. If you notice, McDaniel wasn’t referred to as an NBC News contributor, which highlights what Chuck Todd was talking about. Why was McDaniel there? Was she speaking as the former RNC chair or an NBC News employee?

The entire situation is a disaster. For Chuck Todd to go on Meet The Press and hammer the network like he did, it is a sign that the internal backlash is large and growing.

There is one way out of this for NBC News, and that is to cancel the deal with Ronna McDaniel and apologize to the journalists, staff, and viewers of NBC News for their mistake.

Anything less is going to be a massive problem going forward for the network.

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