In what is sure to be talked about relentlessly in the Red blogosphere, Andrea Mitchell is interviewed by Christina Bellantoni…
The culture wars have gotten intimate. For months, female voters of both parties have been stirred up by political battles over such issues as funding for birth control and a proposal to make transvaginal ultrasound a prerequisite for abortion—and MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell has been asking the provocative questions. First, she interviewed Nancy Brinker, founder and CEO of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, after the group decided to defund Planned Parenthood (a position Komen later reversed). Next, Mitchell was moments from interviewing Sandra Fluke when the Georgetown law student—who had been labeled a slut by Rush Limbaugh for wanting health plans to pay for contraception—received a call of encouragement from President Obama. And Republican megadonor Foster Friess was on air with Mitchell when he remarked that birth control was no big deal because in his day a Bayer aspirin between the knees did the trick. Christina Bellantoni asks Mitchell what she makes of it all.
Q: What is happening in America?
A: We seem to be relitigating the question of contraception, which has not been an open issue since the 1960s. It has been a consciousness-raising experience for a generation of young women who always took these rights for granted. I have never had so many women approach me—it just seems to have galvanized them.
And then there’s this…
Q: Have you ever seen anything like this?
A: It takes me back to the Clarence Thomas hearings. Some of the most liberal senators behaved miserably because they did not stand up for fair treatment of Anita Hill. I remember when the hearings ended and I was wrapping it up from the Senate. Tom Brokaw said, “What have we learned?” and I said something like, “I think we learned that the United States Senate is the last plantation.” I can’t believe I said that on network television!