Profile in Bias: Andrea Mitchell's 35 Years of Liberal Advocacy

On July 31, 2013, NBC chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell celebrated her 35th anniversary at the network and was predictably praised by her media colleagues. Calling in to Mitchell's 1 p.m. ET hour MSNBC show that day, former Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw listed numerous historic events that occurred the year Mitchell was hired in 1978, concluding: "The biggest story of all, Andrea Mitchell joins NBC News and no one in public life is ever safe again." While that fawning sentiment may have been true for conservatives and Republicans in public life, it was certainly never the case for political figures with the last name Clinton, Kennedy or Obama.

Given how consistently Mitchell has toed the liberal line throughout her career of slanted reporting, it's no wonder why MSNBC's left-wing hosts also heaped accolades upon her. Hardball's Chris Matthews proclaimed: "Andrea's been a real role model around here, not just for women, but for all journalists everywhere." Weekend host Melissa Harris-Perry gushed: "Andrea Mitchell, you are a legend, you are an inspiration, and you are a treasured colleague." News Nation's Tamron Hall declared: "You're a hero and inspiration to all of us, especially us ladies."

Mitchell also recently celebrated the 5th anniversary of her MSNBC show Andrea Mitchell Reports, view highlights of the program's slanted coverage.

Below is a sampling of the worst Mitchell's biased reporting over the years, read the full Profile in Bias on MRC.org.


Andrea Mitchell: "She says she's out of politics, but she's the most popular woman in America, according to Gallup, for the tenth year in a row. Meryl Streep recently delivered what sounded like a nominating speech for Clinton."
Meryl Streep: "But if you want a real world leader and you're really, really lucky, this is what you get."
Mitchell to Clinton: "There is a growing expectation that you will run for President."
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: "Well, Andrea, that is-"
Mitchell: "Why not?"
– Exchange shown on the April 2, 2012 Nightly News.

"Even those of us who felt we were doing a good job at explaining how his economic policies were not going to work used the pictures the White House was having us present. Ronald Reagan in a perfect tableau, a Norman Rockwell view of America, with all white faces in middle America, high school marching bands and balloons. It was a very patriotic view of an untroubled country."
– Mitchell on A&E's Investigative Reports: Naked Washington, December 23, 1995.

"The vulnerability of this woman [Sandra Fluke] who had unwillingly, just by standing up, become part of a national debate where her reputation was being sullied by a bully with a megaphone – that just really touched me....It takes me back to the Clarence Thomas hearings. Some of the most liberal senators behaved miserably because they did not stand up for fair treatment of Anita Hill. I remember when the hearings ended and I was wrapping it up from the Senate. Tom Brokaw said, 'What have we learned?' and I said something like, 'I think we learned that the United States Senate is the last plantation.' I can't believe I said that on network television!"
– Mitchell in an interview published in the June 2012 issue of More, which bills itself as a magazine "for women of style and substance."


"What a day it was. It may take days or years to really absorb the significance of what happened to America today....When he [Barack Obama] finally emerged, he seemed, even in this throng, so solitary, somber, perhaps already feeling the weight of the world, even before he was transformed into the leader of the free world....The mass flickering of cell phone cameras on the mall seemed like stars shining back at him."
– January 20, 2009 Nightly News.

 

 

 

Andrea Mitchell: "Bottom line, what happens if you don't get health care for this President is - this is really all-or-nothing for the sense of his power, for his legacy. He's invested so much in this, in this first year. You've got to get this for him."
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD): "Andrea, I agree with you a million percent."
– Exchange on Andrea Mitchell Reports, March 12, 2010. [Listen to the audio]

"Let's talk about the current issue of Ebony. Some very provocative articles here about whether he [President Obama] is tough enough and whether or not the politics that we've been seeing – Tea Party politics, and the like – really reach a new level of white supremacism, of anti-African-American rhetoric."
– Mitchell to publisher Desiree Rogers, who was Obama's White House social secretary in 2009-10, Andrea Mitchell Reports, January 11, 2011. [Listen to the audio]

Andrea Mitchell: "Some veteran Republican politicians and strategists believe that the Republican Party needs to rethink its positions on women's reproductive issues after losing the women's vote once again in the presidential race and losing at least two Senate races over ill-tempered comments from Republican men candidates. Joining me now is Juleanna Glover, a Republican strategist long associated with conservatives like Jesse Helms and John Ashcroft, who has written a provocative New York Times op-ed on how to move the party in a new direction, she hopes. Welcome, good to see you."
Juleanna Glover: "Thank you for having me."
Mitchell: "Let's just establish that you have been very strongly your whole career-"
Glover: "I am deeply pro-life."
Mitchell: "Well, I would call anti-abortion."
Glover: "Yes."
Mitchell: "To use the term that I think is more value neutral."
– Exchange on MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports, January 9, 2013. [Listen to the audio]

"The heavens were weeping for Teddy Kennedy today."
– Mitchell noting the rainy weather in Boston, August 29, 2009 Nightly News. [Listen to the audio]


Andrea Mitchell, in Havana: "Cuba is highly regarded for its health care, and especially one of Fidel Castro’s signature project, which is training doctors....We went back to the Latin American medical school here to talk to American medical students about what they’re learning about medicine, about Cuba, and about themselves."
Medical student Cynthia Aguilera: "The idea is that we come from under-represented and under-served communities and that after graduating with no debt, no worries about paying off loans and having to get a high-paying job, we can return to our communities and work in them and try to uplift them the same way that Cuba uplifted us."
Andrea Mitchell Reports, March 27, 2012.


Host Andrea Mitchell: "How does extending tax cuts for the very - the wealthy, the millionaires, how does that help the unemployed?"
Labor Secretary Hilda Solis: "Well, in my opinion, given our analysis, it's not going to be a job creator...."
Mitchell: "Then why is the President willing to negotiate that away now? Is it because he's negotiating from weakness?"
Andrea Mitchell Reports, November 5, 2010.

 

 

 

Host Bill O'Reilly: "I just look at all your on-the-air talent, and the Today show, and I love those guys, all right, they're all liberal, every one of them, all right."
Andrea Mitchell: "I disagree....That's not the way we approach the news....I can't tell you one liberal thinker."
O'Reilly: "You can. It's Chris Matthews. Chris Matthews.... He's on the Today show and on the Nightly News. He's your main political commentator."
Mitchell: "As an analyst....I don't think he's a liberal thinker."
O'Reilly: "He's not? He worked for [Democratic Speaker] Tip O’Neill. How much more liberal can you get?"
Mitchell: "He worked for Tip O'Neill how many years ago?...I don't think that it is fair to describe journalists as liberals or conservatives....I have to tell you that I don't feel that there is bias in what we do at NBC News. And I don't think there's bias in CBS or ABC."
– Exchange on FNC's The O'Reilly Factor, January 5, 2007. [Listen to the audio]

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC