Samuel J. Gelinas: Chuck Todd — A class act

Published: 06-12-2023 8:48 PM

Chuck Todd will no longer be welcoming us to Sunday, as he retires from his position as “Meet the Press” moderator. He made this announcement on the show this past Sunday, June 4.

Unlike Don Lemon and Tucker Carlson, two high-level news anchors fired from their posts back in April, Todd does not leave with animosity or personal scandal ushering him out the door. “I’ve let work consume me for nearly 30 years,” he said as he expressed his desire to invest time in family.

Having held his position since 2014, he is among the longest-reigning moderators of the show. Over the course of the past nine years, he has invited countless roundtables of those most entrenched in D.C. — the journalists, politicians and elites who run the city. Throughout the increasing chaos of the political landscape of these years, Todd has been a thoroughly professional presence and an example for effective journalism.

Instead of becoming a cult leader, he has fulfilled the mission of “Meet the Press,” which brings together the multifaceted perspectives of Washington politics. While certainly not unbiased, or entirely objective (I say this based on his rampant criticisms of the Trump presidency), he is seemingly more concerned with good politics than he is for party politics.

He is an aggressive interviewer, while maintaining his professionalism, and has a demeanor of confidence with which he tries his best to wedge facts out of his guests. Todd is his own version — a more contemporary rendition — of Tim Russert energy.

On his way out, he offered this observation: “The key to survival of any of these incredible media entities, including ‘Meet the Press,’ is for leaders to not overstay their welcome. I would rather leave a little bit too soon, than stay a tad bit too long.”

He will continue as moderator until the end of the summer, when NBC’s Kristen Welker will usher in a new era of the longest-running show in American television.

Samuel J. Gelinas

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