Mitchell Tags Toomey as 'Conservative' Four Times in 50 Seconds, Leaves Sestak Unlabeled

In the span of a mere 50 seconds on Thursday's NBC Nightly News, Andrea Mitchell managed to apply a conservative ideological tag four times to Pat Toomey, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, yet she failed to issue even a single label for liberal Democratic candidate Joe Sestak.

Sitting at the anchor desk with Brian Williams, Mitchell made clear Toomey “is a Republican fiscal conservative who was fiscally conservative before the Tea Party was cool,” soon repeating, in the narration for her story, how “Toomey is a former Congressman and a fiscal conservative” – all before driving home his ideology once more as she recalled that he “led a conservative Washington interest group.”

Just before Mitchell, Chuck Todd previewed the likely media line if some incumbent Democrats survive Tuesday night against Tea Party favorites, cautioning: “While nationally, Republicans have momentum in these waning days, analysts expect them to fall short of the ten seats needed for control of the Senate. Why? Two words: Tea Party.”

From the Thursday, October 28 NBC Nightly News:

BRIAN WILLIAMS: ...a politically crucial, fascinating state, the state of Pennsylvania. A Tea Party Republican trying to pick off a Democrat there. And like so many, Andrea Mitchell with the story tonight, it is rough, especially on the airwaves.

ANDREA MITCHELL: It's a very rough race. This is a Republican fiscal conservative who was fiscally conservative before the Tea Party was cool. And now with Tea Party help, he is ahead in a Democratic state. Extra firepower [Bill Clinton] in Pennsylvania tonight to help Democrat Joe Sestak....

Toomey is a former Congressman and a fiscal conservative....

Toomey, who led a conservative Washington interest group, Club for Growth, is campaigning as an outsider against Sestak, a Congressman...

— Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.

Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center