When we seek to evaluate the media’s lack of fairness in dealing with the President, we have to consider Chuck Todd’s interview with his lawyer Sunday on ‘Meet the Press’. Rudy Guiliani was explaining the danger of the perjury trap to Todd, but all Todd wanted to do was badger Guiliani into expediting the President’s meeting with Robert Mueller.
Todd got a nasty soundbite out of it by twisting the former mayor’s words.
‘TRUTH IS TRUTH’ IF MUELLER GETS TO MAKE THE DECISION
Clearly on the side of pushing Trump into testifying, Todd was relentless in his suggestion that Guiliani, not Mueller, was holding up a possible interview. At one point, Todd tried to say if the President’s telling the truth, he should just submit to the interview, because “truth is truth”.
Guiliani responded, ” No, it isn’t truth. Truth isn’t truth”, meaning there is Comey’s version and Trump’s version of what the truth is. The perjury trap doesn’t rely on truth, the prosecutor gets to decide who to believe and what the truth is.
If Mueller, a friend of Comey’s, believes Comey’s version and not Trump’s, then he ensnares Trump for lying, regardless of truth. It doesn’t in this case matter if the President is telling the truth.
That is how perjury traps work. It doesn’t matter what the truth is. Mueller gets to decide.
To suggest all that matters is the truth is absurd in this case. The perjury trap does exist. The truth is always the prosecutor’s truth and it might not be the truth.
Todd then put his head in hand and laughed mockingly, saying, “truth isn’t truth? Mr. Mayor, do you realize, what, I, I, I—”.
In other words, Todd was taking the mayor’s retort literally and out of context to give the media another week of soundbites.
A perfect example of how some in the media will treat this followed the interview.
THE MEDIA’S SOUNDBITE
Yamiche Alcindor, White House correspondent for the PBS News Hour, sat on the ‘Meet the Press’ panel following the interview. Picking up on Todd’s cues, she said, “The idea that truth isn’t truth is going to go down as this White House’s legal strategy.”
She talked about the length of McGahn’s interview being a concern for the President, but went back to the distortion of Guiliani’s statement, saying it was equal to Conway’s ‘alternative facts’ meme.
“Going back to Rudy Giuliani’s interview, you said the headline, I think the headline is truth isn’t truth. As soon as he said I thought, ‘Man, Chuck Todd really does these things really well,’ because the last time it was Kellyanne Conway saying, ‘Alternative facts.’ I think the idea that truth isn’t truth is going to go down as this White House’s legal strategy. And I should say this president’s legal strategy.”
The ‘alternative facts’ comment was taken out of context as was this. The transcript and the clip are included for you to judge. Tell us what you think. Do you agree or disagree?
THE TRANSCRIPT OF THE KEY SECTION
RUDY GIULIANI: Yes, each time, by 3 or 4 days, so we could write a letter in response. They have taken 2-3 weeks to get back to us, so what I have to tell you is, look, I am not going to be rushed into having him testify so that he gets trapped into perjury. And when you tell me that, you know, he should testify because he’s going to tell the truth and he shouldn’t worry, well that’s so silly because it’s somebody’s version of the truth. Not the truth. He didn’t have a, a conversation —
CHUCK TODD: Truth is truth. I don’t mean to go like —
RUDY GIULIANI: No, it isn’t truth. Truth isn’t truth. The President of the United States says, “I didn’t — ”
CHUCK TODD: Truth isn’t truth? Mr. Mayor, do you realize, what, I, I, I—
RUDY GIULIANI: No, no, no—
CHUCK TODD: This is going to become a bad meme.
RUDY GIULIANI: Don’t do, don’t do this to me.
CHUCK TODD: Don’t do truth isn’t truth to me.
RUDY GIULIANI: Donald Trump says I didn’t talk about Flynn with Comey. Comey says you did talk about it, so tell me what the truth is.
CHUCK TODD: Don McGahn might know.
RUDY GIULIANI: If you’re such a genius, John McGahn — Don McGahn doesn’t know. If that’s the situation —
CHUCK TODD: Ok.
RUDY GIULIANI: …they have two pieces of evidence, Trump says I didn’t tell them and the other guy says that he did say it, which is the truth? Maybe you know because you’re a genius.
TWEET OF THE DAY
— Tony Shaffer (@T_S_P_O_O_K_Y) August 19, 2018