During Monday’s NBC Nightly News, Andrea Mitchell hit Hillary Clinton hard over her email scandal and the millions the Clinton Foundation had received from foreign governments, but still found time to fawn over “a path-breaking speech” Clinton gave “in Beijing 20 years ago” on women’s rights and her “extraordinary” levels of support among Democratic voters.
Mitchell began the latest segment on Clinton by noting how she was “still ducking questions about the private email system she used” by making no mention of it at a Clinton Foundation event that was used to release “a major study on women's inequality.”
Once a soundbite was played of Mitchell shouting a question to Clinton as she was leaving, Mitchell flipped back to spinning for the possible 2016 Democratic presidential candidate: “Today's event was to build momentum toward announcing her candidacy next month, a campaign highlighting her as an advocate of women’s rights ever since a path-breaking speech in Beijing 20 years ago.”
Mitchell went on to fret that Clinton's "big moment” at the event on Monday “was overshadowed by the email controversy,” but then went back to applying pressure to the former Secretary of State: “Party leaders from the President on down are not rushing to her defense.”
Later, Mitchell brought up the Clinton Foundation scandal: “Also undercutting her women’s rights message, millions of dollars Saudi Arabia and other countries that permit violence against women donated to her family foundation.”
Even though Mitchell concluded that leading Democrats “want her [Clinton] to clear this up,” Mitchell made one last favorable observation about Clinton: “Despite the latest controversy, Clinton holds an extraordinary 86 percent support among Democratic primary voters in our new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.”
While one of journalism’s main tenets may be objectivity and covering all sides, flip-flopping between wholeheartedly praising and then condemning someone or one side is not exactly the way to go about business.
Meanwhile, the CBS Evening News devoted one minute and 21 seconds to the growing scandal, but pointed out how the White House was left to backpedal on something that the President had said in a CBS News interview that aired on Sunday.
Anchor Scott Pelley observed that Clinton did not address the issue on Monday, “but the White House found itself facing new questions after an interview with the President by our senior White House correspondent Bill Plante.”
After a clip of the President saying he found out about the email scandal “[a]t the same time everybody else learned it through news reports,” Pelley quickly added that “the White House revised that answer today” as “[s]pokesman Josh Earnest said Mr. Obama did know that Clinton had a private account because he sent emails there for four years.”
The Monday edition of ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir failed to cover the Hillary Clinton email scandal as it completely moved on from the story.
The relevant portions of the transcript from NBC Nightly News on March 9 can be found below.
NBC Nightly News
March 9, 2015
7:07 p.m. Eastern
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE CAPTION: Clinton’s Emails]
HOLT: Turning now to the race for 2016. Pressure is mounting on Hillary Clinton to say more about why she opted to use a private email account as opposed to government email for her official business as Secretary of State. So far, she's only made a brief Twitter reference, so when she spoke at a high-profile event here in New York today, there was anticipation she might address the elephant in the room. We get more from NBC's Andrea Mitchell.
ANDREA MITCHELL: Hillary Clinton, rolling out a major study on women's inequality today, but still ducking questions about the private email system she used while Secretary of State. [TO CLINTON] Will you explain the emails, Secretary Clinton? Today's event was to build momentum toward announcing her candidacy next month, a campaign highlighting her as an advocate of women’s rights ever since a path-breaking speech in Beijing 20 years ago.
HILLARY CLINTON [in 1995 speech in Beijing]: Human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights once and for all. [on 03/09/15] Today, two decades later it's clear, we're not there yet.
MITCHELL: Instead, her big moment was overshadowed by the email controversy. Party leaders from the President on down are not rushing to her defense.
MITCHELL: Also undercutting her women’s rights message, millions of dollars Saudi Arabia and other countries that permit violence against women donated to her family foundation. Bill Clinton, also her today, said Saturday as long as the money is disclosed, people can decide.
MITCHELL: Despite the latest controversy, Clinton holds an extraordinary 86 percent support among Democratic primary voters in our new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, but party leaders worry about the way her circle has stonewalled and want her to clear this up. There are reports she will try to do that in a press conference later this week.