‘What Planet Is Mitchell On?

Providing a transcript of Andrea Mitchell perpetuating a “phony moral equivalency” on Meet the Press Sunday by calling Barack Obama’s newest campaign video “a remarkably negative ad,” Brad Jacobson (MediaBloodhound, 10/20/08) says Mitchell’s insistence that “Obama’s ads are somehow just as negative as McCain’s” has her “unintentionally entering Onion and Saturday Night Live territory”:

With all due respect to planetary travel, what planet is Mitchell on? This kind of nonsense should be beneath a serious news organization’s chief foreign affairs correspondent. It’s the kind of comment or, as they call it in the “real parts of America,” lie that we’d expect from Fox News wingnuts, their talk radio minions and desperate McCain Pfotenhauers. As much a lie as calling Obama a “socialist” or saying he “pals around with terrorists.” Yet Mitchell states this falsehood as fact and no one on the panel, including host Tom Brokaw, calls her on it….

Calling this “a remarkably negative ad” is like calling vanilla a remarkably exotic flavor, McCain a remarkably sunny candidate, Palin a remarkably complex thinker, or, say, Andrea Mitchell a remarkably responsible journalist. It’s the kind of overt stupidity and shameless mendacity that helped drum up support for attacking a country that never attacked us.

Mitchell’s point, such as it is, is that the McCain quote Obama uses in his ad–“I voted, I supported George Bush 90 percent of the time”–was said “in another context.” Jacobson provides the full context of the quote:

The president and I agree on most issues. There was a recent study that showed that I voted with the president over 90 percent of the time, higher than a lot of my even Republican colleagues.

Calling an ad “remarkably negative” for using this quote is remarkably bad journalism.

Read FAIR’s related Media Advisory: Ayers = Keating?: Media Falsely Balance Obama, McCain Attacks (10/10/08)