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Ed Driscoll

Andrea Mitchell: I Have No Idea What My Politics Are

December 14th, 2012 - 12:34 pm

Andrea Mitchell has been a journalist since 1967. Married to the former chairman of the Federal Reserve, she’s the consummate Beltway elitist. She knows everyone inside Washington. She’s seen it all; knows it all. And yet somehow, after nearly half a century of reporting the news and politics, she can’t express to you what her political philosophy or worldview is:

Fox News is accusing NBC News correspondent and MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell of tying Republican opposition to Susan Rice to race and gender.

On this morning’s episode of “Fox & Friends,” co-host Brian Kilmeade said it was “totally out of bounds” for Mitchell to bring up “the gender factor and the race factor.” Then, in an unsigned article on FoxNews.com, the website’s editors said Mitchell had turned Rice’s “withdrawal from the secretary of state-stakes into a racial issue.”

In her comments yesterday, Mitchell cited the political ramifications for the GOP following Rice’s withdrawal. “This is not going to help Republicans at all, the fact that a woman and a woman of color has been forced out of a confirmation process even before she was nominated,” Mitchell said. [...]

Mitchell responds:

This POLITICO post as well as the Fox & Friends comment is so out of context I honestly don’t know how to respond to it. It ignores my reporting on all of the political ramifications as well as the sources I cite. I categorically reject Dylan Byers conclusion that over a 40-year career I am associated with any point of view and stand on my reputation.

I’d call this a “Norman Coordinate!” moment, but Andrea’s robotic talking points are actually much older than that 1967 episode of Star Trek. They can trace their lineage back to the 1920s, when the first radio networks were formed, which eventually morphed into the first TV networks after the war, when bandwidth was scarce, when news reporting itself was scarce. We take for granted the Blogosphere, Twitter, and New Media, but back then, our parents and grandparents relied upon TV news broadcasts at 8:00 AM, noon, 6:00 PM and 11:00 PM and a couple of daily newspapers for their information. And the tiny people who lived in that TV set and appeared at regular intervals to disseminate the news had to appeal to a wide audience of both parties.

Today’s media world is vastly different, and yet some journalists still cling to their vestigial talking points born from that era, with ever-diminishing results. Everybody — including Andrea herself of course — knows that she’s an establishment liberal elitist. Why she doesn’t cop to it, even with MSNBC as a place where she can let it all hang out — is simply making herself look foolish.

But this isn’t the first time she’s gotten the Dan Rather in the headlights look when asked about her ideology. In spite of Andrea’s finally-honed investigative skills, she can’t articulate the ideology of anyone else in her offices, either, causing this moment of fun with Bill O’Reilly back in 2007:

It was hard to tell what was making Andrea Mitchell angrier: Bill O’Reilly’s assertions that NBC has a liberal bias, or his repeated and perhaps ungentlemanly references to the lady’s “30 years” of experience. In any case, the look on Andrea’s face was unmistakable: she was not the happiest of campers.

Mitchell appeared on this evening’s Factor for purposes of touting her new book. But kudos to O’Reilly for taking the occasion to directly confront a leading NBC light with the network’s undeniable leftward tilt – which Mitchell proceeded to flatly deny.

This is must-see video, which you can see here, but let me entice you with these two tidbits.

Mitchell on Chris Matthews: “I don’t think he’s a liberal thinker.”

And later: “I don’t feel there is bias in what we do at NBC News. And I don’t think there’s bias in CBS or ABC.”

With due respect to Mitchell, whose scrappiness I admire, if someone won’t admit that Chris Matthews is liberal, why should we believe her when she tells us it’s raining?

Why indeed?

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