Commentary Magazine


Topic: Andrea Mitchell

The War on Women at MSNBC

As Bethany noted earlier this afternoon, the White House’s hypocrisy about the treatment of women gives the lie to their criticisms of Mitt Romney’s “binders” comment at the presidential debate. But the administration isn’t the only liberal entity that has not been practicing what they are preaching about equal pay for equal work. During an interview broadcast today on her “Andrea Mitchell Reports” show on the MSNBC network, Mitchell admitted that men are paid more than women at the hardline liberal outlet.

While interviewing Romney advisor Barbara Comstock about the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the following exchange took place:

“I mean for Lilly Ledbetter, this was not just a legal issue,” Mitchell said. “This was the fact that she was not permitted to sue for equal pay because the statute had ran out and the law said if you didn’t know the men you were working with were making more money, which many of us don’t know, we don’t have access to those confidential —

“We know here at MSNBC the guys get paid more,” Comstock jumped in, laughing. “We know that.”

“We certainly do,” Mitchell replied.

“So this is one of the places where you need to be a little bit more public with it,” Comstock said.

As, Politico reported, at the close of the interview, Comstock returned to the issue.

“You get after MSNBC here, Andrea,” Comstock said. “Make sure the women make the same here.”

“Thank you very much,” Mitchell replied.

Mitchell later issued a statement to Politico saying it was all a misunderstanding: “I was referring to the industry as a whole. This remark has been taken out of context.”

Like heck it was. This is just another illustration of how liberal concern for women is often nothing more than mere posturing. Mitchell has already compromised her integrity in this campaign by becoming just another liberal talking head, and was even outed as a shrill partisan by the Democrats when they included her misleading post-debate comment about Romney’s tax plan in an ad. But even she knows that taking potshots at Romney exposes MSNBC to criticism for its own “war on women.”

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As Bethany noted earlier this afternoon, the White House’s hypocrisy about the treatment of women gives the lie to their criticisms of Mitt Romney’s “binders” comment at the presidential debate. But the administration isn’t the only liberal entity that has not been practicing what they are preaching about equal pay for equal work. During an interview broadcast today on her “Andrea Mitchell Reports” show on the MSNBC network, Mitchell admitted that men are paid more than women at the hardline liberal outlet.

While interviewing Romney advisor Barbara Comstock about the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the following exchange took place:

“I mean for Lilly Ledbetter, this was not just a legal issue,” Mitchell said. “This was the fact that she was not permitted to sue for equal pay because the statute had ran out and the law said if you didn’t know the men you were working with were making more money, which many of us don’t know, we don’t have access to those confidential —

“We know here at MSNBC the guys get paid more,” Comstock jumped in, laughing. “We know that.”

“We certainly do,” Mitchell replied.

“So this is one of the places where you need to be a little bit more public with it,” Comstock said.

As, Politico reported, at the close of the interview, Comstock returned to the issue.

“You get after MSNBC here, Andrea,” Comstock said. “Make sure the women make the same here.”

“Thank you very much,” Mitchell replied.

Mitchell later issued a statement to Politico saying it was all a misunderstanding: “I was referring to the industry as a whole. This remark has been taken out of context.”

Like heck it was. This is just another illustration of how liberal concern for women is often nothing more than mere posturing. Mitchell has already compromised her integrity in this campaign by becoming just another liberal talking head, and was even outed as a shrill partisan by the Democrats when they included her misleading post-debate comment about Romney’s tax plan in an ad. But even she knows that taking potshots at Romney exposes MSNBC to criticism for its own “war on women.”

The much-vaunted Lilly Ledbetter Act is itself an example of this hypocritical behavior. Equal pay was already the law of the land before Obama signed it. Rather than an advance for women, the Act was a lollipop for the president’s trial lawyer bundlers. It was about making it easier for them to sue companies long after the statute of limitations had expired–meaning that it was about lawyers making money, not ordinary women seeking fair employment.

Mitt Romney is being roasted for his “binders” comment even though the anecdote in which it came up demonstrated that, unlike the president, the Republican candidate means what he says about treating all persons equally. Another point that is omitted from that discussion is that Romney didn’t need to be prodded to include women in his administration after the fact since he had already chosen a female, Kerry Healy, to be his lieutenant governor.

But don’t expect liberal talking heads on networks that don’t give equal pay to women for equal work to mention that.

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Dems Out Andrea Mitchell as Partisan

We’ve often noted in this space the enormous advantage President Obama derives from having the mainstream media firmly in his pocket. But it appears the geniuses running his campaign don’t understand that the best way to exploit this edge is not to make it so obvious as to remove any doubt that the press has gone in the tank. That was exactly what they did when they used a clip of NBC’s Andrea Mitchell spouting Obama talking points on the air in a new web ad.

NBC has reacted to this breach of the informal rules of engagement between liberal journos and the Obami with high dudgeon and has asked the Democrats to take the ad down. Much as they did when the president’s re-election campaign used a clip of Tom Brokaw, the network says that since they haven’t granted permission for the use of the material it ought not to be aired in the context of a partisan ad. But this complaint merely highlights the fact that people like Mitchell often carry the water for the president in segments that are labeled straight news when they are nothing more than partisan spin.

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We’ve often noted in this space the enormous advantage President Obama derives from having the mainstream media firmly in his pocket. But it appears the geniuses running his campaign don’t understand that the best way to exploit this edge is not to make it so obvious as to remove any doubt that the press has gone in the tank. That was exactly what they did when they used a clip of NBC’s Andrea Mitchell spouting Obama talking points on the air in a new web ad.

NBC has reacted to this breach of the informal rules of engagement between liberal journos and the Obami with high dudgeon and has asked the Democrats to take the ad down. Much as they did when the president’s re-election campaign used a clip of Tom Brokaw, the network says that since they haven’t granted permission for the use of the material it ought not to be aired in the context of a partisan ad. But this complaint merely highlights the fact that people like Mitchell often carry the water for the president in segments that are labeled straight news when they are nothing more than partisan spin.

Mitchell has come under increasing fire from media critics for conducting a series of hit and run attacks on Mitt Romney, exposed in a series of encounters on MSNBC with GOP surrogate John Sununu in which her partisanship is not debatable. In the clip used by the Obama campaign, Mitchell quotes a liberal group’s claim that Romney’s tax plan will cost $4.8 trillion and will therefore raise taxes on the middle class, a charge that other, more credible analysts, have debunked. This is a point on which even liberal fact checkers have concluded that the Democrats’ pants are on fire, but Mitchell loyally spouted the allegation on the air as if it were objective fact.

The scandal here is not, as NBC seems to be saying, that the Democrats are stealing their material without permission, but that the Democrats were not charged for the air time taken up by Mitchell’s flacking for Obama in the first place.

Mitchell is hardly the only partisan hack masquerading as a fair-minded journalist on one of the networks and perhaps isn’t even the worst (CNN’s Soledad O’Brien certainly gives her a run for her money in this category). But the Obama ad removes even the flimsy veil of false objectivity from her conduct.

But what is interesting is how obtuse the Obama campaign is about using Mitchell. Making her the star of an Obama ad just reinforces the point Sununu and others have made over and over again about her bias. But while the ad is paid for by the Democrats, the in-kind contributions they have been receiving from Mitchell and other liberal media spinners continues to be free of charge.

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