In the intervening hours since I noted the controversy swirling around the Romney clip on Mitchell Reports, some things have transpired…
Andrea Mitchell did her best non-acknowledgement FNC style acknowledgement of the issue. If she had gritted her teeth any harder while doing it they would have shattered. Mediaite’s Noah Rothman summed it up best…
While Mitchell digging in her heals may satisfy liberal partisan instincts to find fights around every corner, this is a losing battle in the end. The trivial episode will haunt the credibility of Mitchell and her network, where a quick apology – even a disingenuous one – would have killed the story.
Even liberal commentators can see the forest for the trees on this one. Liberal broadcaster David Shuster tweeted at Mitchell on Tuesday, wondering why she did not address the issue on everyone’s mind, “Andrea, what the hell?”
I usually disagree w/ @DLoesch @michellemalkin @BrentBozell. But their anger @mitchellreports on this is justified. Andrea, what the hell?
The correct response to this controversy could not be more obvious. Why Mitchell avoided quick and painless apology eludes even her former MSNBC colleague.
When news networks, eager to drive the narrative, overreach and stretch the truth, an apology is always the correct course. Even if the individual doing the apology chafes at the reasoning behind it. MSNBC, and Mitchell herself, should have followed suit — the story would have died on the vine.
Now, the anger in the blogosphere will only grow and it has yet to be determined when the anger surrounding this offense will subside. I would be willing to bet that won’t be nearly as soon as if Mitchell had just swallowed her pride and said that one simple, little word.
TVNewser’s Alex Weprin noted MSNBC’s official non-response to the story…
Upate 2: MSNBC released a statement regarding the clip: “MSNBC did not edit anything out of order or out of sequence and at no time did we intend to deceive our viewers.”
Note what MSNBC didn’t address in this statement: Whether the clip was set up to make Romney look goofy and how Mitchell and Cilliza laughed at the clip. That’s the real story here, not whether MSNBC edited anything out of order.
I fear Mitchell is well on her way to destroying her previously impregnable “straight shooter” reputation. NBC News can stick its head in the sand and hope it all blows over but people are taking notes and keeping score. These people don’t forget. They will bring incidents like this up again and again. If Mitchell accrues enough of them, she will cease to be an asset to NBC and become a liability; she will go from being a straight news person to a POV person. If that’s what NBC wants…well..then great. But if it isn’t, NBC needs to take corrective action in order to keep Mitchell an asset.