Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice!
Led by Andrea Mitchell, "NBC affiliates across country refuse to say ‘Washington Free Beacon,’" notes Betsy Rothstein at the Daily Caller. In response, Michael Goldfarb of the WFB delivers some well-deserved condescension to the senior member of NBC's palace guard:
MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, and local NBC affiliates across the country are uniformly referring to the Washington Free Beacon as an “anti-Clinton website,” without even mentioning the site’s name.
The description came after the publication’s Alana Goodman wrote a story Monday called “The Hillary Papers,” a window of sorts into Hillary Clinton‘s thinking from her now-deceased best friend.The story was heavily hyped on Drudge before it even ran. Calling the Free Beacon an “anti-Clinton website” is odd treatment for a story that could just as easily landed in The New York Times, New York Magazine or elsewhere.
Free Beacon‘s founder Michael Goldfarb told The Mirror, “The piece wasn’t anti-Clinton, and our website isn’t anti-Clinton, but occasionally the facts are anti-Clinton–and when they are we report them. In this case, some of the documents showed Hillary as ruthless and calculating and vindictive, others showed her in quite a sympathetic light. It’s a shame that Mitchell couldn’t be more graceful in crediting our reporter Alana Goodman for her impressive work, but given her advanced age and deep partisanship–we forgive her for it. You don’t get angry at your grandmother when she says something rude and uninformed, you have to be patient and understanding.”
Damn, that's brutal.
Mitchell's circling the wagons in Hillary's defense and her lack of knowledge of the big, bad, scary 21st century Internet, is eerily reminiscent of Marry Mapes, then a producer at CBS, admitting complete cluelessness about the Blogosphere, after she was busted in 2004 for her role in crafting the infamous Rathergate hit piece on then-President Bush during his reelection bid:
Within a few minutes, I was online visiting Web sites I had never heard of before: Free Republic, Little Green Footballs, Power Line. They were hard-core, politically angry, hyperconservative sites loaded with vitriol about Dan Rather and CBS. Our work was being compared to that of Jayson Blair, the discredited New York Times reporter who had fabricated and plagiarized stories.
Precisely right, as it turned out. And it's worth noting Bill O'Reilly's January 2007 interview with Mitchell, which produced these precious quotes:
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?
We now know that we shouldn't trust anything that comes out of NBC or its subsidiary networks; their far left bias -- "hyperleftists" to borrow Mapes' formulation -- has seriously corroded their judgement and honesty. As Mollie Hemingway tweeted today, "That Andrea Mitchell has a job at all is a complete indictment of NBC."
At Hot Air, Allahpundit posits that he thinks "the future is total omerta:"
If a partisan outlook is inherently discrediting, let’s at least be consistent. But then, if a partisan outlook is inherently discrediting, the story never should have aired on NBC in the first place. Drudge or no Drudge.
I think the future is total omerta. If Joe Klein can’t bring himself to type “Free Beacon” once in an eight-paragraph whinge about the Hillary story, we’re already near the point of reporters refusing to cover Clinton criticism from righty sources entirely. Exit question: Applying Mitchell’s own standards, what’s the argument for continuing to attribute scoops to MSNBC by name instead of to “an anti-Republican news outlet” without naming the network at all? They’re nastier and more ruthlessly partisan than any mainstream conservative rival, Fox News included. If ideological bias is discrediting, they should pull the plug.
Update: Say my name! Hillary's version of the Journolist sure gets the omerta memo out fast, and not just to NBC affiliates:
In response, Ace asks, "This brings up a question I've been wondering about a lot:"
In the old days, we would complain about media bias. We strongly preferred an unbiased media, but as a second-best option, we often said things like, "They can be as biased as they like, as long as they admit their bias." If you inform the public of your bias, you've disclosed your conflict of interest. So that can be said to be fair disclosure.
Of course, the media is not willing to confess it has a bias. But in MSNBC's case, the bias is so brazen and ridiculous that one could say it's essentially admitted, even if they continue, when asked, to insist they are "non-partisan."
So the question presented is, "Were we right when we thought it would be better if the media just confessed their bias?"
Because, having seen what it looks like, I'm not so sure it is better. MSNBC is simply taking this as a liberation to be as crudely partisan as possible.
William Bigelow of Big Journalism suggested that “MSNBC Scrambles Behind the Scenes to Change Its Vitriolic Culture.” Might want to try harder there, folks.