On Sunday, the host of NBC’s “Meet the Press” read a letter on the air comparing people of faith to believers of “fairy tales.”
Chuck Todd made the comparison while he and two guests — editors from The New York Times and The Washington Post — were talking about conservative voters’ support of President Donald Trump, despite each respective newspapers’ fact-checks about the Republican leader’s oft-challenged claims.
The 47-year-old anchor described the letter, published almost a year ago in the Lexington Herald-Leader, as a “fascinating attempt” at trying to explain why some people, particularly those who adhere to a religious faith, support Trump.
The letter read in part:
Why do good people support Trump? It’s because people have been trained from childhood to believe in fairy tales. … This set their minds up to accept things that make them feel good. …The more fairy tales and lies he tells the better they feel. … Show me a person who believes in Noah’s ark and I will show you a Trump voter.
After he finished reading the letter, Todd told Times editor Dean Baquet, “This gets at something, Dean, that my executive producer describes as, ‘Hey, voters want to be lied to sometimes. They don’t always want to be told hard truths.’”
Here’s the thing, Todd is right that voters don’t mind being lied to — at least we have a high tolerance for it, if the falsehoods are coming from politicians we like.
But to make his point, it was wrong for the NBC host to pluck out of obscurity a letter disparaging people of faith and belittling those who believe in the biblical account of the flood, which includes not only Christians but Muslims and Jewish people, too.
This is not the first time Todd has stepped into this kind of trouble. Last year, he posted a strange tweet on Good Friday — the day commemorating Jesus’ death on the cross, paying the price for the sins of humanity — arguing people can be “good” any day of the week if they are willing to show “a little selflessness.”
He seemed to miss the point of Good Friday entirely.
And he missed the mark once again over the weekend.