After President Obama scolded NBC chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd as "incorrigible" for asking too many tough questions during a Wednesday press conference, Nightly News anchor Brian Williams mocked Todd's grilling and agreed with the President: "He
is incorrigible, come to think of it. Our own Chuck Todd called out
today in Jerusalem, and guilty as charged, truth be told." [Listen to the audio]
Introducing a clip of Obama lecturing Todd, which completely edited out any of the challenging questions, Williams explained: "Both leaders had opening statements, the actual press conference part was limited to two questions from Israeli journalists and two questions from the visiting Americans. So when our own friend Chuck Todd asked a multi-part question, he got called out for it."
The mocking continued on Thursday's Today, when co-hosts Savannah
Guthrie and Matt Lauer brought Todd back on after a full report on
Obama's Israel trip, just to poke to fun at him. Guthrie began: "The
President and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of course, as we
know, don't always agree." Lauer chimed in: "That's right. But during
their news conference on Wednesday, both men felt that one persistent
reporter, happened to be our own Chuck Todd, was pushing his luck after
he asked not one, not two, not three, but four questions."
After a clip was played of the exchange at the presser, again carefully editing out any of Todd's tough questions, the NBC political director defended himself: "Why was that press conference different from all other press conferences?...At most press conferences the President – the President asks [answers] six questions, at this press conference, just four."
Lauer replied in jest: "Chuck, and actually we're going to call this to a close right now also....You're filibustering here, as well?"
Lauer eventually offered brief praise: "Alright, Chuck, well done. We're proud of you."
Here is a full transcript of the March 20 Nightly News remarks by Williams:
BRIAN WILLIAMS: And back to that press conference earlier today. Both leaders had opening statements, the actual press conference part was limited to two questions from Israeli journalists and two questions from the visiting Americans. So when our own friend Chuck Todd asked a multi-part question, he got called out for it.
CHUCK TODD: Another question I had for you is why do you believe-
BARACK OBAMA: Chuck, how many do you got? Do you guys do this in the Israeli press? You say you get one question and then you add, like, five?
TODD: Well, I'm helping him, I'm helping him with his follow-up.
OBAMA: You see how the young lady from Channel One, she had one question, she was very well behaved, Chuck?...
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: This is not a kosher question, but don't hog it....
OBAMA: Chuck, I mean, you're just incorrigible.
WILLIAMS: He is incorrigible, come to think of it. Our own Chuck Todd called out today in Jerusalem, and guilty as charged, truth be told.