Tom Brokaw went where few in the mainstream media have gone recently in calling journalists to “deal with the facts” in covering the firing of former FBI Director James Comey.
The veteran reporter called out all of the “speculation” by the press over the FBI chief’s dismissal by President Trump on Tuesday in an interview with Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC on Thursday.
Mitchell noted the “Nixonian” analogies being circulated by the media comparing the current situation with the Watergate scandal in the 1970’s, which Brokaw covered as a reporter. She asked the former NBC’s “Nightly News” anchor to weigh in on the “sense of real crisis” brought on by Comey’s firing and how the White House’s reasons for the decision “just don’t hold up.”
Brokaw quickly put Mitchell’s narrative on ice.
“One of the things that I learned during Watergate … is that we dealt with it every day on a factual basis. There was not a lot of speculation. Now, of course, the media landscape has changed a lot, and we have that going on 24/7,” the 77 year-old journalist began.
“I do think, however, that all of us as reporters,” he continued, “have to take a deep breath and say let’s deal with the facts as we know them at this point.”
Brokaw took exception to the Watergate comparisons, noting the criminal activity involved in the scandal that rocked the administration of President Nixon.
“Having said that, there are a lot of elements here that desperately need more explanation, more investigation,” he said.
“I haven’t run into anybody yet who thinks that Jim Comey was doing a good job as the FBI director, beginning last summer,” Brokaw noted, shredding the about-face on the former FBI chief by those in the press and in Washington.
“And then as you’ll remember, Hillary Clinton and others in the Democratic Party all but blamed him for her loss,” he said. “Now they’re defending him as the champion.”
“So there’s a lot of confusion going on here,” Brokaw concluded. “Our obligation I think is to sort it out, truth from fact, and deal with the truth.”
Dealing with truth would be a refreshing change of pace for many in the media.