Accuracy in Media

For former CBS producer Greg Kandra, the selective editing of a segment that was shown on Andrea Mitchell’s show on MSNBC of Mitt Romney’s remarks after going to a Wawa convenience store for the first time was the last straw. He is now “done” defending his former colleagues and denying the existence of liberal media bias.

Kandra, who is also a Catholic Deacon, took issue with Mitchell on his Deacons Bench blog to express his outrage:

I’m tired.  Truly. I’ve grown weary of trying to defend the indefensible and explain the inexplicable. For years, people have stomped their feet and pounded their fists and snorted “Liberal media bias!” and I’ve always tut-tutted and shooshed them and said, “No, no.  Calm down.  They meant well.  It was just a misunderstanding.  A mistake.  These things happen.”  I spent over 25 years working in the oft-reviled Mainstream Media and I saw up close and personal how the sausage was made. I knew the people who wielded the knives and wore the aprons, and could vouch (most of the time, anyway) for their good intentions.

But now?

Forget it. I’m done. You deserve what they’re saying about you. It’s earned. You have worked long and hard to merit the suspicion, acrimony, mistrust and revulsion that the media-buying public increasingly heaps upon you. You have successfully eroded any confidence, dispelled any trust, and driven your audience into the arms of the Internet and the blogosphere, where biases are affirmed and like-minded people can tell each other what they hold to be true, since nobody believes in objective reality any more. You have done a superlative job of diminishing what was once a great profession and undermining one of the vital underpinnings of democracy, a free press.

Good job.

I just have one question:

What the hell is wrong with you guys?

The editing of the segment was clearly designed to suggest that Romney is out of touch. But Mitchell, or her producer, decided to air a slightly longer version of the clip the following day after being contacted by the RNC and the Romney campaign, who pointed out that Romney had also talked about the federal bureaucracy and innovation in the private sector. Mitchell said on the air that she was now telling viewers that “we didn’t get a chance to play that, so here it is now.” She offered no apology for her actions or comments.

In fact, the edited clip shown by Mitchell, and ridiculed by she and MSNBC contributor Chris Cillizza, originally aired earlier in the day on “Way Too Early” with Willie Geist. And when Mitchell aired the slightly longer version the next day, it still didn’t include most of the soundbite nor the context of Romney’s point, comparing the efficiency of the private sector with the inefficiency of the federal bureaucracy. Nice try to sweep this under the rug. Does anyone believe this woman anymore?





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