During Wednesday night’s debate between Virginia gubernatorial candidates Terry McAuliffe and Ken Cuccinelli, moderator Chuck Todd (of NBC News) closed the debate by pressuring both men on the question of whether or not the Washington Redskins should change their name because “it is offensive to a lot of Native Americans”:
In a ranking of voter priorities, my guess is that in the current economy, the name of the Washington Redskins probably ranks somewhere below another media obsession: gun control — which also polls somewhere around hangnails and shelf paper.
To his credit, Todd has always been very open on Twitter to addressing criticism, and this morning I asked him about this. Here is his full reply:
@NolteNC it was the last question and there was 15 seconds left… I view them as “let’s see how they think on their feet” Qs
– Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) September 26, 2013
Todd’s reply might make more sense if Todd hadn’t selected last night’s Redskins debate moment as one of the very few clips he chose to highlight Thursday on his MSNBC show, “The Daily Rundown.”
Nobody except a few activists with out-of-whack priorities and the elite media cares about the name of a football team. But by injecting what the media would like to be a controversy into a high-profile debate like this one, it makes it seem as though the non-troversy is alive and bigger than it really is.
It is the left-wing media that want the Redskins’ name change, not anyone else — and certainly not anyone in Virginia currently looking for a job. Todd went hard after Democrat McAuliffe over his spending plans and refusal to put a price tag on them. So my complaint isn’t about bias. But this racially-charged question also seemed designed to trip someone up, which would only serve to distract from the very same issues the media always claim they are so desperate to focus on.
And had McAuliffe said he wanted the name change and Cuccinelli disagreed, I think we all know that the last four weeks of this campaign would have involved the media Todd Akin-ing the Republican by moving the conversation to “extremism,” “racism,” and “insensitivity.”
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC