Meet the Moral Equivalence on 'Meet the Press' After Dallas Attack on Police

If you want to get a sense of establishment political thought in the United States, you can do no better than watch NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday mornings. Each week, host Chuck Todd interviews a selection of newsmakers (most often senators and House members), and discusses the events of the week with a panel of pundits whose positions on the political spectrum range from the center-right to the far-left. Whatever the lineup or topic under discussion, liberals always outnumber conservatives, reflecting the establishment media’s assumptions about the country itself.

And if you want to get a sense of how those establishment political figures, both pols and pundits, can talk for an hour about the news of the week without saying a word about what actually lies at the root of  that news, you can do no better than watch the Meet the Press episode that aired on Sunday July 10 (video is here, transcript is here).

The news story of the week was of course the shooting in Dallas that claimed the lives of five police officers, and indeed as the show opened there appeared a clip of Dallas police chief David Brown as he spoke to reporters Friday morning. “The suspect stated he wanted to kill white people,” said Brown, “especially white officers.”

A provocative quote, certainly, one that might have led to an interesting discussion. But as the show unfolded, it was remarkable that no one, not Chuck Todd nor the people he interviewed nor the members of the panel, addressed the killer’s motives or offered an opinion on how he might have come to them. Micah Johnson, the now-deceased killer in Dallas, was never mentioned by name, and only Sen. Bob Corker spoke of him in condemnatory terms, referring to his “moral depravity.”