Barack Obama ran for president as the last of the red-hot pacifists, so it might have sounded preposterous to predict that after a few security briefings at the White House, President Obama would follow in the same policy footsteps of horrid warmonger George Bush, with his anti-terrorist wars and strategies.
On her Friday MSNBC program, host Andrea Mitchell tried to ease the concerns of Democratic Congresswoman Barbara Lee and other members of Congress calling for a congressional vote on military action in Syria: "Barack Obama, as you know better than I do, was one of the leading Democratic politicians against the Iraq War. So if he says that this is different, that the evidence is there....does that persuade you since he has always come at this from a very cautious anti-war perspective?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Accepting the odd juxtaposition of the President launching missile strikes from an "anti-war perspective," Lee responded: "And I'm very pleased that the President has come at this in a very cautious manner....But also that has nothing to do with our constitutional responsibility as members of Congress, Andrea."
In an interview with California attorney general Kamala Harris during live MSNBC coverage of the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech, host Andrea Mitchell fretted: "I talked to Jesse Jackson earlier about all the voter suppression efforts, and what's happened since the Supreme Court decision on the Voting Rights Act. What can be done, from your perspective – obviously California has a majority of liberal officials, Governor Brown – but you see what's happening in Texas and North Carolina?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Harris seized the opportunity to proclaim: "The Voting Rights Act was created and designed to ensure equal access to the polls. And we know with the case of Texas and other places, that access is questionable. And that was the power of the Voting Rights Act, which was actually gutted by the Supreme Court decision, and I applaud Eric Holder and the Justice Department doing the work they're doing to fight, to make sure that all Americans have equal access to the polls."
On her 1 p.m. ET hour MSNBC show on Monday, host Andrea Mitchell touted Attorney General Eric Holder "speaking about the national battle for voting rights" in the wake of new state voter I.D. laws and lead off a panel discussion on the topic by wondering: "How will the President take on those voter suppression laws?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Mitchell eagerly seized on former Secretary of State Colin Powell "speaking on the political effects of these voter suppression attempts by the Republican Party." Following the Face the Nation sound bite in which Powell slammed the GOP for passing measures to curb voter fraud, Mitchell posed this question: "Does the White House think that the Republicans are actually doing the Democratic Party a favor by taking on, you know, these issues and passing the laws that they've now passed in Texas and in North Carolina?"
On August 8, I speculated that the Clintons might have been responsible for three different NBC employees within a few hours of each other speaking out against the network's planned miniseries about Hillary.
On Wednesday, the Hollywood Reportercited unnamed sources at NBC News claiming that fear of the Clintons might be playing a role in that network's apparent cold-feet regarding the project:
On Friday's MSNBC Andrea Mitchell Reports, while previewing President Obama's upcoming press conference, host Andrea Mitchell turned to The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza and lamented the lack of liberal policy successes in the President's second term: "There's a disappointment factor because he doesn't have immigration reform, he doesn't have any notches on his belt, if you will, on domestic legislation..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Cillizza commiserated with Mitchell and declared: "Well, Andrea, and look, you know, I think if you said at the start of the year, "By August, would President Obama have something to point to say we reacted to Newtown?"....I mean that was sort of the thing that we were talking about every day. Could some sort of gun control measure pass? I think everyone expected something to pass."
While MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell admitted that the planned NBC biopic of Hillary Clinton was a "bad idea," on her Thursday 1 p.m. ET hour show she and her guests scolded Republicans for refusing to allow the biased network to moderate GOP primary debates: "That's where you get debates where the audience is cheering because they were all hand picked by local or state parties, that's where you get candidates like Mitt Romney talking about self-deportation to try to play to the crowd." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Mitchell made that observation while discussing the topic with former Obama White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, not exactly someone with the best interests of the GOP at heart. Gibbs ranted: "If you're only going to do debates in front of diehard Republicans that 100% agree with you, you're going to end up pushing yourself farther and farther and farther to the right....you're not going to win any national elections."
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.
Late Thursday, news broke of the State Department ordering numerous U.S. embassies across the Middle East closed on Sunday, August 4 due to terror threats from Al Qaeda. While the Big Three network evening newscasts all covered the important development that night, not one of them made any mention of the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the consulate in Benghazi, the perpetrators of which remain at large.
By Friday morning, the networks managed to add brief mentions of Benghazi to their reporting. On NBC's Today, chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell noted: "... in the aftermath of Benghazi, the State Department is not taking any chances....Amidst ongoing turmoil across the Middle East, from Cairo's Tahrir Square to the civil war in Syria, and past attacks on U.S. diplomatic posts, from Benghazi, Libya last year..."
On Monday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams declared that Hillary Clinton's lunch with President Obama put the possible 2016 Democratic contender "a safe distance from the scandal in New York that now includes a longtime aide." Introducing a report on the meeting, Williams noted how "Bill and Hillary Clinton are trying to keep their distance from any associations with Anthony Weiner, whose wife is a longtime Hillary Clinton aide and confidante..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Continuing to fret over the impact the scandal may have on the Clintons, correspondent Andrea Mitchell decried Weiner's continued candidacy for New York City mayor: "Weiner has become a tabloid nightmare for his wife, Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton's aide. And for the Clintons, resurrecting embarrassing flashbacks they'd hoped were long forgotten. Weiner said again today, he isn't going away..."
On Monday's NBC Today, following a report on the latest fallout from the Anthony Weiner sexting scandal, Hillary Clinton sycophant Andrea Mitchell fretted over the impact of the controversy on the former secretary of state: "This is terribly painful....this is getting to the point where it is really splashing up against the Clintons because it's almost unavoidable that people are making comparisons to the way Hillary Clinton handled Bill Clinton's difficulties in the 1992 campaign." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On July 24, it was Todaymaking that comparison between Wiener and Clinton, with chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd observing: "But you can't help but remember, [Weiner's wife] Huma [Abedin] works for Hillary Clinton. Is that her political role model? Is that her political role model as a spouse? Is that where she's getting her advice? Well, we know what Hillary Clinton did as a political spouse in the same situation."
On Thursday's NBC Today, chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell couldn't contain her glee over Carolina Kennedy being appointed U.S. ambassador to Japan: "Caroline Kennedy was almost born to be an ambassador, a picture perfect daughter in a telegenic first family. She captured our hearts all the way through her intense personal heartbreak." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Mitchell acknowledged that Kennedy "has no particular experience in Japan," but quickly brushed it aside: "...she has something that the Japanese consider far more important in an ambassador, and that is a celebrated family name and a direct line to her very good friend in the Oval Office." On Wednesday's Nightly News, Mitchell gushed: "The Kennedy name is magic in Japan."
In an adoring softball interview with San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro on her Monday MSNBC show, host Andrea Mitchell eagerly wondered if the Democrat was leading the way in turning the solidly red state blue: "Take a look at Texas Monthly, both you and your brother [Congressman Joaquin Castro] and Wendy Davis are on the cover of Texas Monthly. Is there a Democratic revival coming up in Texas?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Castro seized the opportunity to proclaim: "It is an exciting time to be in Texas right now, as a Democrat....And the question is not if Texas is going to become a competitive state, and eventually a blue state, the question really is just when, how long is it going to take?...but it's going to happen. And you can feel that excitement right now in the air."
Leave it to MSNBC’s Martin Bashir to politicize even the most non-political of events. Take for example yesterday's royal birth, which British subject Martin Bashir decided was an appropriate opportunity to slam Republicans on two different occasions. On July 22 and July 23, Mr. Bashir went on the air to blame the GOP-controlled House of Representatives for the economy's sluggishness as well as to push ObamaCare, which if not implemented, demonstrates how the “difference between the two systems [British vs. American] can be a little bit depressing."
Bashir’s first example of political exploitation occurred on July 22 as a guest on MSNBC’s The Cycle, in which he turned a question about the economic problems in England into an attack on the GOP. Bashir agued that:
Part of the fascination with the royal baby has been because people have been so depressed by the economic circumstances in the United Kingdom that they have been looking for some kind of like relief. [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
While eulogizing left-wing White House correspondent Helen Thomas on Saturday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Andrea Mitchell conveniently minimized the controversial end to Thomas's journalistic career: "No longer in daily journalism, she drew criticism for taking sides on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. But by then she was already a legend." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
At no point did Mitchell play a sound bite of Thomas's offensive 2010 remarks that Israelis should "get the hell out of Palestine" and go back to Poland and Germany.
NBC News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent and MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell sat down for an interview with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday’s Andrea Mitchell Reports. But instead of asking the Democratic leader tough questions about issues facing the House of Representatives this summer, Mitchell instead chose to lob softballs at the former speaker of the House – giving Pelosi an opportunity to hype Hillary Clinton’s potential run for president and blast Republicans for assaults on “reproductive freedom.”
Mitchell teased the interview at the beginning of her program by weighing Pelosi’s “new initiative on women being launched” that Thursday against the “new restrictions on [women’s] rights to reproductive freedom” that have women “feeling besieged.” Of course, Mitchell ignored the fact that many of these abortion restrictions are popular with Americans, perhaps because Mitchell is an outspoken – and fierce – pro-choice advocate.
In a softball exchange with Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards on her Tuesday 1 p.m. ET hour MSNBC show, host Andrea Mitchell recited one liberal talking point after another to denigrate pro-life legislation in states across the country: "On Friday, Texas became the 16th state to tighten regulations on abortion clinics in the past three years, effectively putting most of them out of business. This is part of a growing movement by states to restrict access to family planning and other women's health facilities." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Turning to Richards, Mitchell implored: "What can you or Planned Parenthood and other groups do to try to keep some of these clinics open?" Richards used the opportunity to proclaim: "Look, this is a very extreme set of bills that are going to close down dozens of health centers in Texas.... I think it's a growing theme, unfortunately, in many states where politicians are putting their own political agenda ahead of women's health care."
The decision to turn MSNBC into an unofficial Democratic Party outlet helped stave off what seemed to be the channel’s imminent demise. But it’s also created some serious credibility problems for the parent NBC News operation which still clings to the idea that it is “objective.”
That tension manifested itself in a humorous way today after NBC correspondent and MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell claimed conservatives who support border enforcement first on immigration “ought to be ashamed of themselves” and that Arizona Republican John McCain was a “hero” for opposing them.
On Thursday's NBC Today, correspondent Andrea Mitchell couldn't contain her excitement over Hillary Clinton's potential presidential run in 2016: "She already has her library. Hillary Clinton read The Very Hungry Caterpillar, but everyone waited for the next chapter as she opened the new Hillary Rodham Clinton Children's Library in Little Rock. Not far from a famous Arkansas presidential library." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Mitchell gushed over former Obama advisors joining "Ready for Hillary," a pro-Clinton 2016 super pac: "First they were rivals, then a team of rivals, and now Hillary Clinton seems to be picking up support from key members of team Obama....Barack Obama out-organized her in 2008. Now some of his former top campaign aides could help her clear the field."
Want to be "heroic" on immigration in Andrea Mitchell's eyes? Easy: team up with Chuck Schumer and President Obama to push amnesty through Congress. Want to earn Andrea's ire? Focus on border security. She'll scold you and say you should be "ashamed."
Yes, there was Andrea on today's Morning Joe, praising amnesty-pushing McCain as "heroic," while scolding conservatives who want to focus on border security. They "ought to be be ashamed," said Mitchell. View the video after the jump.
MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell has been leading the charge in support of Texas state senator Wendy Davis’ efforts to block a popular abortion regulation bill in the Texas legislature. Despite the fact that the legislation will soon be signed into law by Texas Governor Rick Perry, MSNBC has been championing her as the new face of the Democratic Party, with Andrea Mitchell being one of her main cheerleaders.
During an interview with Senator Davis on July 10th, Mitchell provided softball question after softball question to promote Davis’ abortion agenda. The MSNBC host began the segment by framing the issue in pro-abortion terms, “Texas statehouse Republicans rolled over the opposition today approving new abortion restrictions.” [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
Leading a panel discussion on her Tuesday 1 p.m. ET hour show on MSNBC, host Andrea Mitchell ranted against Republican efforts to enact pro-life legislation at the state level: "Texas isn't the only state where Roe v. Wade is being challenged....We've seen in Ohio, John Kasich and company sneaked it in to a budget bill....Wisconsin, there's an injunction against enforcement of what the legislature there did under Scott Walker." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Minutes later, Mitchell encouraged her fellow abortion advocates to use the issue to attack the GOP in 2014: "...if the pro-choice community frames this in a certain way, the blow-back could be against Republicans...in the mid-term elections, if women feel that their rights to control their own bodies are being controlled by men, by male legislatures who are without votes, without debate, sneaking this into budget bills, as happened in Ohio."
The June 28 broadcast of MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports wouldn’t be complete without some mentioning of abortion and the 11-hour filibuster by Texas State Senator Wendy Davis on Tuesday. Davis, who worked herself through Harvard Law despite having had the hardship of being a teenage single mother, temporarily killed the bill which would have made it illegal to conduct an abortion after 20 weeks in a pregnancy. Yet, as with other broadcast networks, they excised that critical detail.
Mitchell asked the former Republican governor of Minnesota, Tim Pawlenty, about this development. Pawlenty admitted he didn’t know the details of the bill. For her part, Mitchell simply insisted that the bill violated Roe v. Wade and would close down virtually all "abortion services" in the Lone Star State. Of course, Mitchell failed to go into specific provisions of the bill, which, among other things, requires abortionists to have admitting privileges at a local hospital in the event that something horrible goes wrong and the patient needs to be admitted.
On Tuesday, successive MSNBC hosts used the failing health of former South African president Nelson Mandela to promote President Obama's upcoming trip to Africa. Daily Rundown host Chuck Todd lead the way when he announced: "We have some developing news that we just have to share. Nelson Mandela's daughter, Zindzi Mandela, tells NBC that she was with Nelson Mandela, that she told him of President Obama's upcoming visit to South Africa. And in Zindzi's words, she told him, quote, 'Obama is coming, and he opened his eyes and gave me a smile.'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Andrea Mitchell often straddles line between being a straight journalist and engaging in activist journalism to push liberal causes on NBC and MSNBC. Following the Supreme Court’s invalidation of section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, Mitchell used her daily MSNBC show to push for Congress to pass new legislation in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling.
In service of that objective, Mitchell brought on civil rights movement icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) to discuss his reaction to the ruling and to press him to engage members of Congress to pass legislation to update the Voting Rights Act to fit court scrutiny. Mitchell began the interview by asking Lewis for his immediate reaction to the nation's highest court “basically gutting the central enforcement mechanisms of the Voting Rights Act.” [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
Moderating a Google+ Hangout of gay rights activists on Monday afternoon in preparation for upcoming Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage, NBC correspondent Andrea Mitchell threw in some advocacy of her own, noting that the effort to push gay marriage was "taking longer than anyone would want, but it's moving in the right direction."
On her eponymous 1 p.m. ET show on MSNBC on Thursday, host Andrea Mitchell ranted against House Republicans daring to introduce pro-life legislation to limit abortions: "The House is expected to vote by tonight on controversial new restrictions that would go against Roe v. Wade. And if they were to pass the Senate, the President would of course veto it...So what's the point?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Turning to Cosmopolitan editor-in-chief Joanna Coles, Mitchell derisively wondered: "Here we have another abortion fight that seems to be just House Republicans, or those who are against abortion rights, picking a fight even though they know they won't win. What is going on politically?" Coles replied: "If you look at what happened to the Republicans at the last election, when they chose to make social issues – they put it at the front of the agenda, it didn't do them any good."