Chuck Todd talks 'Meet the Press's' future as TV's longest-running present marks seventy fifth anniversary
“Meet the Press” is marking a milestone 75 years within the making.
The NBC Sunday morning present — the longest-running TV program in historical past — celebrated its seventy fifth anniversary with a bash on the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery in Washington on Monday.
Chuck Todd, the present’s moderator since 2014, informed a packed crowd of lawmakers, journalists, and political insiders, “What I all the time wish to say about ‘Meet the Press’ is I hope you’re uncomfortable for 5 minutes each Sunday.”
“I hope one thing you hear, one thing that’s reported, challenges your views, as a result of we’re not right here to let you know what you wish to right here. We’re right here to let you know what you’ll want to hear,” Todd mentioned.
“I don’t cowl politics as I want it have been, I cowl politics as it’s,” he added, saying “arrows get thrown” at him by critics on each side of the aisle.
“Why do we’ve got politics within the first place? Now we have politics to settle disputes with out violence,” Todd, 50, mentioned.
“It’s OK to compromise. It’s OK to disagree. However in some unspecified time in the future, you bought to determine it out in order that we don’t resort to violence to get our manner. And I’ll be sincere with you, after I first acquired handed this baton, I by no means thought I’d should say that,” he continued.
“However sadly, politics has change into a bit pugilistic.”
A who’s who of Washington was seen mixing and mingling as basic clips from “Meet the Press’s” historical past — together with a 1959 sit-down with Cuba’s Fidel Castro, a 1963 interview with Martin Luther King Jr., and more moderen historical past when then-President Trump’s private lawyer Rudy Giuliani mentioned in 2018 that “fact isn’t fact” — performed on TV screens.
“Not each present has a seventy fifth anniversary, proper?” Betsy Fischer Martin, “Meet the Press’s” longtime former govt producer, informed ITK. “No present does — it’s the longest operating one!” she exclaimed.
Martin mentioned working Sunday mornings for thus lengthy, she nonetheless has some flashbacks to her weekends getting blown up by earthshaking and rundown-shattering headlines.
“If there’s breaking information on a Saturday evening at like 2 within the morning, I’ve a second of like, ‘Thank God I don’t should take care of it!’ ” Martin mentioned.
Requested if he’s in a position to sleep in on Mondays, Todd quipped, “You don’t get to sleep in in case you have youngsters or canines. I’ve each!”
“Monday is only a day I don’t have to fret about shaving,” Todd grinned.
However in a altering media panorama, does the present’s twelfth moderator suppose at some point “Meet the Press” will likely be marking its a hundred and fiftieth anniversary?
“I feel that’s the entire level of attempting to make ‘Meet the Press’ a model and never a TV present, in order that it does survive the subsequent step or the subsequent iteration,” Todd informed ITK. The each day “Meet the Press NOW” launched on the streaming platform NBC Information NOW in June.
“I additionally imagine that with each new know-how there’s fragmentation, after which we come again — trusted manufacturers survive,” he mentioned.
“If individuals don’t collect on Sunday morning at that very same time, that doesn’t imply you continue to don’t need that present to exist.”
Among the many political figures eyed: former White Home press secretary-turned-Peacock host Jen Psaki in dialog with White Home senior adviser Mitch Landrieu; Anthony Fauci chatting with Homeland Safety Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas; Luke Russert, a former Capitol Hill reporter and son of late “Meet the Press” moderator Tim Russert, hugging and catching up with Todd; Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio); Reps. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), Blake Moore (R-Utah), Ben Cline (R-Va.), Nancy Mace (R-S.C.), Jim Himes (D-Conn.), Kevin Hern (R-Okla.) and Jay Obernolte (R-Calif.); White Home senior adviser Neera Tanden; President Biden senior adviser Anita Dunn; beneath secretary of the Air Pressure Gina Ortiz Jones and former Vice President Mike Pence chief of workers Marc Quick.
Different media personalities on the anniversary shindig included: MSNBC President Rashida Jones, NBC Information President Noah Oppenheim, NBCUniversal Information Group chairman Cesar Conde, “NBC Nightly Information” anchor Lester Holt, NBC Information chief Washington correspondent Andrea Mitchell, MSNBC anchor Symone Sanders, NBC Information chief White Home correspondent Kristen Welker, “Meet the Press” senior vp Carrie Budoff Brown, NBC Information senior White Home correspondent Kelly O’Donnell, CNBC President KC Sullivan, NBC Information senior Washington correspondent Hallie Jackson, former “Meet the Press” govt producer Barbara Cochran, Maureen Orth, Invoice Press, Doug Heye, Cook dinner Political Report’s Jessica Taylor, Jackie Kucinich, USA At the moment White Home correspondent Francesca Chambers and Michael Moroney, Reuters White Home correspondent Jeff Mason and CNN’s Sam Feist, Jim Acosta and Matt Dornic.
Todd joked to the group that each time he’s launched, it’s famous that “Meet the Press” is the longest-running TV present ever. Upon that introduction, Todd mentioned he thinks to himself, “I simply don’t wish to be the final moderator.”
“I don’t personal this,” Todd mentioned of his “Meet the Press” position.
“I’m simply house-sitting,” he mentioned, “and I wish to go away it in higher form for the subsequent individual.”