Accuracy in Media

With the controversy surrounding the secretly recorded video of remarks that Mitt Romney made to donors months ago still swirling, a potentially damaging video showing then-state Senator Barack Obama making comments in support of redistribution of income received short shrift from Andrea Mitchell on Wednesday.

Mitchell began the discussion of the video with Obama campaign press secretary Ben LaBolt by telling him that she wasn’t going to air it since the network hadn’t yet verified its accuracy.

 Ben, I should point out that at NBC and MSNBC we have not verified the accuracy of that tape from Loyola, so we are not playing it.

That “we” apparently referred only to Mitchell, because earlier in the day, on MSNBC, Chuck Todd aired the video on the Daily Rundown. Presumably, that made Todd look like a fool for jumping the gun, at least to Andrea Mitchell.

There was a certain logic to Mitchell’s decision though, because by questioning the authenticity of the video, it allowed her to paint its release as a desperate move by the Romney campaign in an attempt to deflect attention from the donor video, which has received so much attention.

Mitchell’s concern wasn’t shared by CNN or Fox News, which aired the video throughout the day, but then again their mission isn’t to be the broadcast arm of the DNC.


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