As a panel on this CNN's Reliable Sources discussed this Sunday, there are plenty of reasons for the media to be examining the ties between Donald Trump, the National Inquirer, David Pecker and his threat to blackmail Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, and the Saudis involvement in all of this.
But that didn't stop Trump flack and Christian Broadcasting Network anchor David Brody from having the worst take of the day on how the media should handle all of this during a panel segment on this Sunday's Meet the Press. Here's Brody playing the "everything is good news for Donald Trump" game when his fellow guest Katy Tur brought up the fact that an investigation into the blackmail story is going to have a lot of tentacles, many of which could reach Trump.
CHUCK TODD: Back now with End Game and the bizarre story of Jeff Bezos, the National Enquirer, Saudi Arabia, the Mueller probe, all into one potentially explosive story here. I'll start with the Jeff Bezos letter on “Medium” on Thursday where he writes, "Several days ago, an AMI," referring to American Media, the parent company of National Enquirer, "leader advised us that Mr. Pecker is apoplectic about our investigations for reasons still to be better understood. The Saudi angle seems to hit a particularly sensitive nerve." Katy Tur, this Bezos story, on one hand, it's the story of a billionaire standing up to the National Enquirer. But, oh, so much more. [...]
KATY TUR: It does have, it could potentially have so many tentacles into so many different areas. Not just how the National Enquirer does business but the National Enquirer's non-prosecution agreement with the SDNY. What does that open up?
CHUCK TODD: I forgot the Michael Cohen. Right. This all cuts into Michael Cohen--
KATY TUR: The Michael Cohen angle. Exactly.
CHUCK TODD: Stormy Daniels, yes.
KATY TUR: David Pecker's relationship with Donald Trump. What did Donald Trump know about this? Could the President of the United States somehow have known that the National Enquirer was trying to, in Bezos' words, blackmail him? And then the Saudis are involved. I mean, this is one of those stories that seems tabloidy at first. But could, could end up being very large the farther you get into it. It has a lot of potential.
CHUCK TODD: And, David Brody, the president has not been able to help himself. He was so excited that Bezos got targeted by the National Enquirer. And now, you look back on this tweet from January 13th, and you think, "Are you too excited about and did you know a lot about it?" "So sorry to--"
KATY TUR: There's always a tweet.
CHUCK TODD: "So sorry to hear the news about Jeff Bozo being taken down by a competitor whose reporting, I understand, is far more accurate than the reporting in his lobbyist newspaper, the Amazon Washington Post. Hopefully the paper will soon be placed in better and more responsible hands." Normally, you would think a president would want to be above all this. Obviously he does not.
DAVID BRODY: He would be smart to just stay away -- good luck, right? Stay away from all of this. Look, any time you're on kind of the same side as the National Enquirer, that's probably not a good day. You know, I would say this. The media needs to be careful though because you mentioned Donald Trump. It seems like Donald Trump has kind of become the new Kevin Bacon, right? Six degrees of separation and it's all back to Donald Trump. I mean, if the media starts to make this now, you said, "Could be about potentially Donald Trump--"
KATY TUR: Well, the evidence needs to be backed up obviously.
DAVID BRODY: For sure. But the point is the cable television shows will start to go ahead and do this 24/7. If that's going to be the case, look, I think, again, it helps Trump. I mean, you know, once again, because why is it always about Trump? It just seems like that--
MARKOS MOULITSAS: But he injects into everything --
KATY TUR: But Trump inserts himself into it every time.
DAVID BRODY: But the media has a responsibility to not make this a 24/7 --
KATY TUR: To, to separate him when he himself has inserted himself into the conversation?
DAVID BRODY: When it's 24/7, yeah.
KATY TUR: I don’t know about that.
The media has a responsibility to report the truth to the public. They could start by not inviting liars like David Brody on to pollute the airways in the first place. Sadly, that's not going to happen any time soon, since they seem to feel they need to allow Trump defenders on, no matter how much they gaslight and lie in the name of "balance."