Former NBC Moderator Chuck Todd Talks Future of Journalism and Presidential Election at IOP Forum
Harvard Claims it Doesn’t Employ its Contracted Security Guards. A New Case Could Change That.
Cambridge Residents, Harvard Affiliates Attend Día de los Muertos Celebration at Harvard Peabody Museum
Former Obama Adviser David Axelrod Discusses Possibility of Second Trump Presidency at IOP Forum
ATF Director Calls for Universal Background Checks, Assault Weapons Ban at Harvard IOP Forum
Former moderator of NBC’s Meet the Press Chuck Todd tackled the 2024 presidential election and the role of journalism in today’s political climate at a Harvard Institute of Politics forum Wednesday evening.
IOP resident fellow Betsy Fischer Martin and Kirthi Chigurupati ’26 moderated the event, which was hosted by the IOP’s JFK Jr. Forum. During the event, Todd responded to a question about what he expects to see in the upcoming presidential election.
“I have an easy time understanding what this race is going to look like beginning Labor Day next year,” Todd said. “I have a hard time trying to figure out what everything’s gonna look like between now and in the summer.”
Todd said he believes the lack of likable candidates is a symptom of a “massive vacuum” in American politics.
“It’s the idea of Biden v. Trump, right?” he said. “Sixty-plus percent of the country doesn’t want this at all.”
While Todd said political campaigns are fought by partisan bases, he said he is most concerned with the “frustrated everybody else.”
“There’s a passionate anti-Trump left; there’s a passionate pro-Trump right,” Todd said. “And then there’s everybody else. How big is that everybody else? How engaged are they?”
Todd discussed the shifts from democracy to kleptocracy to authoritarianism in Venezuela and Turkey, and said a second Trump presidency might mimic this shift.
“I'm not ready to say democracy is over if Trump wins, but I do think that’s where the Republican Party becomes a full-on kleptocracy,” Todd said.
Speaking on what he would like to see moving forward, Todd said the country needs an “apolitical person.”
“The country needs another Eisenhower or George Washington,” Todd said. “I’m looking for a secular pastor for patriotism. Somebody that sort of knits us together.”
Todd also argued for a “disruption” needed in major media.
“You can’t do this in a for-profit environment,” he said. “If you’re chasing an audience, you’re not going to do journalism correctly.”
“We need to start a new attempt,” he added. “I don’t think the government should be involved in a premium news organization.”
Todd also offered advice for aspiring journalists.
“Be dispassionate,” Todd said. “I believe that the history of this country shows that all solutions — not always the best solutions — but most solutions are from the center.”
“If you’re worried about what people think of you, don’t be a journalist,” he added.
Want to keep up with breaking news? Subscribe to our email newsletter.