Meet the Press Moderator Chuck Todd speaks at John Carroll


Grace Sherban

NBC’s Meet the Press moderator, Chuck Todd, speaking at John Carroll University on October 3rd, 2022.

Laken Kincaid, Managing Editor

On Oct. 3, NBC’s “Meet the Press” moderator and political director, Chuck Todd, spoke at the O’Malley Center for Communications and Language Arts at John Carroll University. Todd, accompanied virtually by MTP Fellow Joe Toohey ‘10, talked to dozens of faculty and students about trends in media and the famed Meet the Press fellowship JCU offers to seniors.

Todd started his time by discussing his history with journalism and how he became engaged with the field from a young age with bipartisan influence. He later discussed how NBC has evolved to accommodate for changing media i.e. podcasting and daily social media broadcasts. 

Todd also discussed the importance of being a multi-skilled journalist who goes “three inches deep” on their chosen topic; he stressed that it is important to be an expert on a specific topic rather than having a broad approach.

“The lucky break I caught as a political journalist was when I was an expert at something no one else was at NBC in 2008,” Todd stated. “I knew how the delegate process worked for the Democratic Party for the presidency because no network had bothered to care about that for 40 years, because we hadn’t had presidential elections decided in the presence of humanity. And suddenly, I became the expert.”

Todd also stressed that political polarization is heavily impacting journalism on both sides of the aisle.

 “It’s good politics to be a Republican and bash the media,” Todd stated. “It raises money to bash me. So when you’re in a situation where you’re, you know, it is in their best interest to essentially slash you and delegitimize you? Well, then that’s gonna create an echo chamber. I’ve had these conversations with lawmakers, who many of you would like to see on the show. There are certain Senate leaders that I can show who don’t do any interviews. And you say, you know, what are you afraid of? They say ‘I don’t mind any of your questions. It’s how my answers will get weaponized against me.’”

Lastly, Todd discussed things that he looks for with Meet the Press candidates such as geographic diversity and local political knowledge.

“So I have one of my ways that I used to weed out people,” Todd continued. “They always say, oh, no, I love politics. And I’m like, maybe name three former governors of your state. If you don’t follow what happens where you grew up, then you probably don’t care that much. If you really are passionate about this then you do need to know what’s going on in your hometown, your home state, and prove you’re engaged and you’re kind of aware of that sort of second level. And certainly, if you’re interested in coming to Meet The Press, I do expect that.”

At the end of the hour, Todd stayed behind to engage with students who wanted to ask him questions about the journalism field or the political environment of America. 

“Having the opportunity to meet and listen to Chuck Todd speak today was surreal,” Bella Marshall ‘24 told The Carroll News. “I felt incredibly privileged to have this experience. He was so kind to meet with us after and answer our individual questions after giving a talk full of advice that I will be certain to keep in mind as I move forward.”

Todd also spoke on Oct. 4 at The City Club of Cleveland where he discussed the political landscape and state of the nation to Cleveland locals and others interested in the upcoming elections. 

“Having Chuck Todd on our campus was a tremendous opportunity for our students,” Jasen Sokol, a professor in the Tim Russert Department of Communications, told The Carroll News. “It was great to hear his take on where journalism is going. I was especially happy to hear how much he values the JCU Meet the Press Fellowship. Judging by the number of students who were talking to him after the event and the length of time he stayed afterward to make sure he could talk to each student, I have to believe he inspired some students to apply for the fellowship who may not have been thinking about it before.”

Seniors interested in the fellowship should apply by Nov. 15 here