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.
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.