Chuck Todd: Hillary Clinton series ‘total nightmare for NBC News’

August 8, 2013

Give some credit to the NBC corporate family: Employees apparently feel quite comfortable going on the air and criticizing their own company. Yesterday, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough drew a frenzy of equivalency between Fox News and MSNBC. “It is exactly the same,” said Scarborough about MSNBC essentially serving as a liberal counterpart to Fox News.

This morning, more in-house media criticism ensued. Chuck Todd, NBC News’s chief White House correspondent, ripped the move by NBC’s entertainment people to launch a miniseries on Hillary Rodham Clinton starring Diane Lane.

This is why this miniseries is a total nightmare for NBC News, because … 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 it is going to be if it comes out. But there’s nothing we can do about it. And we’re going to only own the negative, whether it’s negative because the Clinton people are upset that it’s too tough on them or negative because the Republicans think it’s this glorification of her. No matter what, only we are going to own it because 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.’

Todd is most certainly dead-on correct. We journalists love our firewalls. They enable some of us to do news, others to do opinions, others to do miniseries on major political figures. But no one outside of our hive knows or cares how we wall ourselves off from one another.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.
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Erik Wemple | August 7, 2013