Accuracy in Media

On Wednesday night, on the Fox News Channel’s O’Reilly Factor, Bill O’Reilly took on the subject of media bias, focusing specifically on a recent report by Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC which showed that she was less than objective when it came to covering Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.

O’Reilly discussed this bias with Sally Quinn, the editor of The Washington Post’s On Faith blog.

O’Reilly: I told you the other night that NBC News runs MSNBC. It’s the same management. I also told you they use the same people. Andrea Mitchell is the chief foreign affairs correspondent for NBC News. Here’s what she said yesterday on MSNBC:

 Mitchell: “I had the advantage, or disadvantage, as the case may be, of watching Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich at the same time on side-by-side screens. It’s my job; someone has to do it.”

O’Reilly said that Mitchell crossed the line by disparaging an entire political party (the GOP) when her job is to be an objective reporter, to which Quinn disagreed.

Quinn: I don’t see it that way at all, Bill. I don’t understand what the fuss is. I read that quote over and over and I kept thinking, “What is wrong with this?” I mean, have you ever tried to watch two speeches at once and then try to report or speak about either one of them? It’s impossible. So when she says, “I had the advantage or the disadvantage,” it’s really hard to try to make something—

O’Reilly: Alright, but in the context of the discussion on MSNBC, it didn’t have anything to do with Sally’s (he meant Andrea’s) technological problem. It had to do with who she was watching. And she—

Quinn: I don’t think so. I don’t think so. Because she said she thought Romney’s speech was good, and Romney’s speech was good. So I think that she was—

O’Reilly: So you’re giving her the benefit of the doubt?

O’Reilly then pointed out that if Fox News’ Carl Cameron said the same thing about reporting on Obama, there would be an outcry from the liberal press, which even Quinn agreed with:

Quinn: Well, you’re right about that. You’re right about that: the liberal press would have said that they were—they were somehow ideological, but—even though they weren’t.

Quinn has a very high opinion of Mitchell, calling her “beyond reproach.” But in a 2007 appearance on The O’Reilly Factor, Mitchell told O’Reilly that there wasn’t a bias at any of the major broadcast networks and that she didn’t think Chris Matthews was a “liberal thinker.”

Talk about living in a bubble.

Mitchell’s lament wasn’t the first time she showed a flash of her disdain for Romney and the GOP.

In January, when discussing the Iowa Caucus, Mitchell said that that the rap on Iowa was that it didn’t represent the rest of the country because it was “Too White, Too Evangelical, Too Rural.” More recently she suggested, without any verifiable proof, that Romney’s family entered the country illegally from Mexico.

I’m sure other liberals besides Quinn will rush to Mitchell’s defense. But Mitchell’s reporting, on a daily basis, clearly reveals a liberal bias.

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