With their snark-fest thus exposed as a disingenuous piece of bias, Mitchell returned with Cillizza the next day to make amends. Except not really.
“Hey Chris, there’s been a lot of discussion overnight about a conversation you and I had yesterday,” said Mitchell. “We ran clips of Mitt Romney in Cornwall, Pennsylvania, talking about his trip to a Wawa. Well the RNC and the campaign both reached out to us, saying that Romney had more to say about that visit, about federal bureaucracy and innovation in the private sector. We didn’t get a chance to play that, so here it is now.” Mitchell then ran a clip that had been re-edited from the day before to include a few seconds of additional context.
That introduction by Mitchell was as disingenuous as her introduction the day before, and her avoidance of accountability was as infuriating as her original transgression. So both the RNC and the Romney campaign had “reached out” to MSNBC. Why? Because Mitchell had grotesquely twisted Romney’s words just so she could make fun of him? Nah, it was simply because Romney had “more to say” about his visit to the Wawa. Apparently, the Romney campaign’s disappointment was that MSNBC hadn’t reported every single thing that Romney had to say about his stop at the Wawa.
In Mitchell’s sorry excuse for an excuse, she “didn’t get a chance to play” some of Romney’s additional reflections on his trip to the Wawa. Of course she didn’t. She was too busy ridiculing Romney for a “gaffe” that was completely her own fabrication.
And did I miss something in Mitchell’s Day Two introduction? Like an apology? Or even an acknowledgement that her report the day before had been misleading? That the overnight chatter she referred to was not merely “discussion,” as she put it, but near unanimous criticism of her biased reporting? C’mon, Andrea, even John Edwards (eventually) fessed up after he was busted.
Mitchell is symptomatic of a problem in American journalism. Liberals outnumber conservatives in journalism by about four to one, despite being outnumbered in the country as whole by about two to one. If any race, ethnic group or gender were as severely under-represented in the newsroom as are conservatives, folks like Andrea Mitchell would be screaming for more diversity. But while most in the liberal media value diversity of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual preference, they seem downright hostile to diversity of thought. This attitude is demonstrated by their obsessive fixation on Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. It’s not enough for them that their point of view merely dominates the media. They seem genuinely offended that other perspectives are even allowed to exist alongside theirs.
But perhaps I’m being too hard on Mitchell. Perhaps she was merely doing what some on the left are wont to do: rearranging the “smaller truth” — i.e., the facts — in the service of the “larger truth” as they define it. In this case, the “larger truth” is that Mitt Romney is indeed out of touch. What type of presidential candidate, after all, would spend all of his time partying with fabulous celebrities like Anna Wintour and say things like “the private sector is doing fine”? Oh wait a minute, that was the other guy.
David B. Cohen served in the administration of President George W. Bush as U.S. Representative to the Pacific Community, as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior, and as a member of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. He is the author of Left-Hearted, Right-Minded: Why Conservative Policies Are The Best Way To Achieve Liberal Ideals.