Andrea Mitchell could barely contain her excitement in having the co-directors of “The Case Against 8"– an HBO documentary which highlighted an element of the fight for same-sex marriage– appear on her show. At every turn, the MSNBC host marveled at how noble the “marriage equality” fight supposedly is, throwing any attempt at an objective interview right out the window.
“The way you personalized the two couples is such an important part of this narrative. They are every man, every woman...they are like every couple you know,” proclaimed the Andrea Mitchell Reports anchor in praising the documentary’s co-directors amid her softball interview which served as a promo for the film being screened this Friday at a Washington, D.C. cinema [MP3 audio here; video below].
Mitchell boastfully stated that “families across America are experiencing this themselves as they have for decades but experiencing this in open ways.” Mitchell’s thinly-veiled endorsement of same-sex marriage is strikingly evident to the point that it would serve her viewers much better if she ended the appearance of objectivity.
Mitchell ended the interview by applauding the co-directors for doing “this work, important work. And it was never more visible than last night in the Tonys, and just how mainstream this has all become.”
The relevant portion of the transcript is below:
Andrea Mitchell Reports
June 9, 2014
12:47 p.m. Eastern
ANDREA MITCHELL, host: Joining me now are Ben Cotner and Ryan White, co-directors of "The Case Against 8" which is currently airing on HBO. You have your big Washington opening tonight. You've opened in New York and won all of these awards already. How did you decide to focus on this one legal challenge, this part of the marriage equality fight?
BEN COTNER, co-director of The Case Against 8: It has been such a great ride and we started off early on when we found out that Ted Olson and David Boies were going to be partnering on this--what could be a historic case. At the time we didn't know there would be a trial and we didn’t know it would go to the Supreme Court. We thought this is a really interesting hook of these two people taking the partisanship out of the issue. So once we got to know them, they introduced us to the plaintiffs involved in the case and we realized that this is really a story about their journey. And the harm that laws like Proposition 8 do to these families.
MITCHELL: And the way you personalized the two couples is such an important part of this narrative. They are every man, every woman.
RYAN WHITE, co-director of The Case Against 8: They are the heart and soul of our film.
MITCHELL: They are like every couple that you know.
WHITE: The initial hook was the odd couple of Ted Olson and David Boyce, but very early on into the filming Ben and I realized that the plaintiffs were gonna be the heart and soul of the film. We followed their lives for the five years, from the time Prop 8 passed and they took on the government of California and followed their family's lives and they went through the ringer. It wasn't easy to be a part of this lawsuit, and we followed them up until June of 2013, when they, uh, spoiler alert–when they finally had their weddings and it was an incredibly special day for us having spent five years following their families.
MITCHELL: And having their weddings right after the Supreme Court ruling. And the fact that other cases are still, you know, circulating around and moving up to the court. You've got all of these challenges and Wisconsin is the latest to overturn the ban and now the attorney general in Wisconsin says we're gonna to fight to keep the ban. It’s legal in 19 states, plus the District of Columbia.
COTNER: Yeah, well the number keeps changing. We keep having to change the end of our film because the numbers keep changing so quickly. But I think what you see in the Wisconsin case where District Judge Crab made reference to so many of the arguments that Judge Walker made in the Perry case and obviously the historic decision in DOMA, Anthony Kennedy wrote a beautiful argument that so many of these laws –so many of these decisions are being based on.
MITCHELL: In fact, Anthony Scalia kind of said in one of his dissents what you're doing is opening the door to all of these cases going the other way from his perspective. What really has changed in society since–since you first analyzed this issue, since Chad Griffin, who was the spark plug behind the legal challenge, behind bringing David Boies and Ted Olson together is that families across America are experiencing this themselves as they have for decades but experiencing this in open ways.
WHITE: And Ben grew up in Indiana and I grew up in Georgia, which was not a particularly–
MITCHELL: Hardly hospitable.
WHITE: Not a very LGBT friendly climate to grow up in. Even when Prop 8 passed, even though it was polling not to pass, it wasn't as surprising as gay Californians, because we just assumed that right wasn’t for us. So I think the most surprising part of this 5 year process is where we are today. Judge Walker was the first federal judge to strike down a state ban and now you see it happening left and right, with Wisconsin this past weekend, but in states it never would have happened. In Oklahoma and Texas and Utah. It's just, I think, an indication of where the needle is now.
MITCHELL: Beyond marriage, what is the next challenge for the movement?
COTNER: I think it's so important for us for people to realize there's been so much work done before the Perry case and there's so many more work to do. We were lucky enough as observers to see one chapter of this history but there are so many issues whether it's employment nondiscrimination to international–human rights, there's so many things left to do.
MITCHELL: Congratulations. We're all very excited to see it.
COTNER: Thanks so much.
MITCHELL: Thanks so much for doing this work, important work. And it was never more visible than last night in the Tonys, and just how mainstream this has all become.