Thursday, November 10, 2005

Andrea Mitchell: It's partisan to quote me!

Andrea Mitchell, on Imus' show, is pulling a bit of a Kerry, as shown here:
NBC's senior diplomatic correspondent Andrea Mitchell is claiming that her comments have been deliberately distorted in reports covering a 2003 interview where she said Valerie Plame's identity had been "widely known" before her name appeared in a Robert Novak column.

"The fact is that I did not know [Plame's identity] before the Novak column," she told radio host Don Imus on Thursday.

"I said it was widely known that an envoy had gone [to Niger]," she insisted. "I said we did not know who the envoy was until the Novak column."

But the actual exchange in question shows that Mitchell was questioned specifically about Plame's CIA employment, not her envoy husband.

"Do we have any idea how widely known it was in Washington that Joe Wilson's wife worked for the CIA?" she was asked by host Alan Murray in an Oct. 3, 2003 interview on CNBC's "Captial Report."

Mitchell replied: "It was widely known among those of us who cover the intelligence community and who were actively engaged in trying to track down who among the foreign service community was the envoy to Niger. So a number of us began to pick up on that."

Confronted with her comments Thursday morning, the top NBC reporter insisted: "[The quote] was out of context."

When pressed, a flustered-sounding Mitchell explained: "I - I - I said it was widely known that an envoy had gone - let me try to find the quote. But the fact is what I was trying to say in the rest of that sentence - I said we did not know who the envoy was until the Novak column."

Moments later, however, Mitchell changed her story, saying she was talking about both Plame and Wilson:

"I said that it was widely known that - here's the exact quote - I said that it was widely known that Wilson was an envoy and that his wife worked at the CIA. But I was talking about . . . after the Novak column."
Read the full exchange. It's enlightening.

She ends up sounding bitter and disgruntled, like Dan Rather and Mary Mapes. When she gets called on her own quote and tries to lie her way out of it, she ends up stumbling worse than Ted Kennedy after Happy Hour...then blames bloggers for putting her in the position of lying to cover up her original words.

However, I am sure that her enmity for right-of-center bloggers has no carryover into her reporting. After all, no liberal media bias!