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Did Americans Elect’s Elliot Ackerman and Mark McKinnon play Chuck Todd for a Chump on Natl TV?

Did Elliot Ackerman and Mark McKinnon just play TV personality Chuck Todd for a chump? Or was Chuck Todd trying to chump the American people too?

On MSNBC yesterday, Chuck Todd invited Elliot Ackerman, COO of the privatized presidential nomination corporation Americans Elect, to come onto his shown and talk about possible presidential candidates. Todd also invited Mark McKinnon to appear alongside Ackerman and (quoting Todd) “play political strategist here,” commenting on the feasibility of the Americans Elect idea that Ackerman was nakedly promoting.

Elliot Ackerman and Mark McKinnon appearing as representatives of two distinct groups on MSNBC, talking about the idea called Americans Elect.  Undisclosed by either McKinnon, Ackerman or MSNBC: both Elliot Ackerman and Mark McKinnon are in the leadership of Americans Elect.  Ethical standards, anyone?

Playing the “political strategist” role, McKinnon was listed uniformly by Chuck Todd and in the show’s graphic labels as the “No Labels Co-Founder,” the “Co-Founder of No Labels,” or “of No Labels” during the segment. But as you can see here and here, Mark McKinnon is clearly listed under Americans Elect “Leadership” and as a member of the “Americans Elect Board of Advisors.” Mark McKinnon is not an unattached “political strategist” fit to offer dispassionate insights regarding Americans Elect. He’s in on Americans Elect, a leader in the Americans Elect organization.

Mark McKinnon knows this, obviously. So does Elliot Ackerman. The ethical thing to do would have been to disclose that Mark McKinnon is actually part of Americans Elect leadership. But neither Mark McKinnon nor Elliot Ackerman said a word about that.

MSNBC host Chuck Todd didn’t say a word about that either — leaving American viewers thinking that they were hearing two independent voices on a subject when they were really hearing a single, coordinated voice.

So did Elliot Ackerman and Mark McKinnon just play Chuck Todd for a chump on national television? If so, are these the sort of people you trust to be counting the votes in their own privatized presidential nomination?

Or did Chuck Todd know this, too? He certainly should have known; it’s not hard to look all this up, for Pete’s sake: just google “Mark McKinnon Americans Elect.” If Chuck Todd knew that Mark McKinnon is part of the Americans Elect leadership, then he was in on the game, playing the entire nation for a bunch of chumps.

Time for Elliot Ackerman, Mark McKinnon and Chuck Todd to step back in front of the cameras and do a bit of explaining. Or not, if they can get away with it.

10 thoughts on “Did Americans Elect’s Elliot Ackerman and Mark McKinnon play Chuck Todd for a Chump on Natl TV?”

  1. Tom says:

    A HAW! i applied to Mount Holyoke and got egg on MAH face!

    Chuck Todd – my GOD
    you’re such a TOOL!

    This would only have been more blatant if it came from Fox.

  2. John Lumea says:

    Exact same deal in this 9 February segment with another MSNBC host — Dylan Ratigan:

    1. John Lumea says:

      The McKinnon-Ackerman portion starts at about 2:05.

    2. John Lumea says:

      Ratigan actually asks the direct question — at 3:40 — “Does Americans Elect and No Labels have any association?” — and McKinnon answers immediately, “They don’t.”

      1. Jim Cook says:

        Oh, for Pete’s sake. Don’t they understand that this kind of shenanigan is a) transparent and b) not liable to build trust?

        1. John Lumea says:

          Right — and in flagging the Ratigan clip on their FB page, AE ID’s McKinnon simply as “political strategist and commentator.”

        2. Jim Cook says:

          And now see Americans Elect’s promotion of the MSNBC video, in which they don’t describe McKinnon as an Americans Elect leader or board member. They again describe him as a “No Labels co-founder” and a “political strategist” who “pointed to research and numbers that all agree: the time is right.”

          When the leadership of Americans Elect can’t help but play these silly little games with PR, it’s not unreasonable to wonder what other silly little games they might have planned for the part of the process we’re NOT allowed to see.

  3. Hooligan says:

    Hey Jim,
    On the general topic of AE, news is out today Jon Huntsman claims to want a third political party. He doesn’t mention AE by name, but then Ms. Whitman was talking him up recently as a potential contender. My favorite quotable line from Huntsman is “Gone are the days when the Republican Party used to put forward big, bold, visionary stuff’’

    Now when was that, Jon, in 1856??? Or is he talking about George W., neocolonialism and Total Information Awareness or something? I suppose that might also be considered “big, bold and visionary”, in a sinister sort of way.

    1. Stephen Kent Gray says:

      He could have been talking about Theodore Roosevelt’s Square Deal.

      That was in between 1901-1909!

      1. Stephen Kent Gray says:

        I forgot to add info about his New Nationalism as well.

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