…but the shameless partisanship on display between Andrea Mitchell and Chris Cillizza yesterday as that network performed a hatchet job of editing a Romney speech to present him as George Herbert Walker Bush with a supermarket scanner might have been a new low.
Here, if you’ll excuse the somewhat erratic camera-work, was a Mitt Romney campaign appearance in Pennsylvania talking about how the private sector innovates to drive efficiency and ease for the customer, while the federal government wallows in bureaucracy and incompetence – and it’s competition (or lack thereof) which serves as the catalyst for this difference…
And here’s how that speech was cut up by MSNBC so that Mitchell and Cillizza could get a good laugh at an “out-of-touch” Romney’s expense…
The MSNBC clip feeds into the narrative, beloved by some on the left, that Romney is a 1950’s throwback. After the clip cut, Mitchell and MSNBC contributor Chris Cillizza broke out into laughter — which is understandable, given that they both had been led to believe that Romney was wowed by a simple machine. In fact, what Romney found so “amazing” was the discord between private sector innovation and public sector bureaucracy.
A spokesperson with MSNBC said she is looking into the matter. I will update here if and when I hear back.
The clip is funny, and even sort of endearing, as Romney relates to the Cornwall, PA audience by trying to settle a local convenience-store rivalry between Wawa and Sheetz (I’ve never been to a Sheetz, but we have Wawas in New Jersey, and they rule) by extolling the virtues of the Wawa sandwich ordering system.
“You press a little touchtone key pad,” he said. “You touch this, touch this, touch this, go pay the cashier, and there’s your sandwich. It’s amazing!”
Romney’s tendency to slum-pander has already been well-documented, but the difference here is that, unlike almost everything else he says, Romney’s amazement at the sandwich screen was sincere. As for his repeated use of the name “Wawa’s” (it’s just “Wawa), I know there’s a tendency in Great Britain to use a possessive on chains that actually aren’t (“Tesco’s” rather than “Tesco”), so perhaps this is some regional quirk.
It might be said at this point that though Cillizza is a relatively reliable left-winger in his own right there’s no particular reason to think he knew the full context of Romney’s remarks when he was presented with MSNBC’s edited clip, and as such it’s reasonable for him to have laughed at what he saw.
Mitchell has no such excuse. Remember when she was considered a reputable journalist?
UPDATE: Oh, and here’s MSNBC’s walkback…
Perfunctory, incomplete and half-ass. Does this not make it worse?
Wow. Thank goodness Andrea Mitchell is an honest-to-goodness journalist, instead of just a talk-show host on an occasionally-watched cable channel … or worse yet, just a blogger. So, we can now assume that NBC News enforces no standards on truth or ethics on its own correspondents, and doesn’t just exempt the MSNBC opinion-show hosts, right?