Accuracy in Media

MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell took a moment on her show on Monday to tell viewers that neither she nor NBC authorized the use of a clip of her that is being used in an Obama attack ad on Mitt Romney.

The Obama campaign released a 30-second ad shortly after last Wednesday’s presidential debate, in which Mitchell is shown on the air citing an independent analysis that Mitt Romney’s tax plan would cost $4.8 trillion over 10 years.

At least that’s what the Obama campaign wants us to believe.

Mitchell labeled the study as coming from the “non-partisan Tax Policy Center,” but as a joint venture of the Urban League and the Brookings Institution it is far from non-partisan. In addition, Mitchell failed to report that one of the authors of the study used to work for the Obama administration.

Despite her liberal leanings, Mitchell took the Obama campaign to task for using the clip, not because it was inaccurate, but because it was both unauthorized and taken out of context, since it was part of a segment fact-checking both campaigns:

I want to move on to a point of personal privilege. Some viewers might be understandably confused by the fact that the Obama campaign is airing a commercial right now including a video clip of me fact-checking Governor Romney after last week’s debate.

You should know that NBC has not granted either campaign permission to use our news material and immediately requested that the campaign refrain from using its material in this and future advertisements.

While the Obama campaign’s unauthorized use of the Mitchell clip is bad enough, her claim  that the study is coming from a non-partisan source is a more egregious error that should be corrected but won’t, since it came from MSNBC.

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