McCain Campaign Complains to NBC Over Mitchell’s ‘Partisan’ Remark

Aug 18, 2008  •  Post A Comment

The McCain campaign is fighting mad about Andrea Mitchell’s comments about the candidate on Sunday’s “Meet the Press,” and it’s asking NBC News President Steve Capus for a meeting.
In a letter sent Sunday, first reported by Politico.com, McCain campaign manager Rick Davis accused Ms. Mitchell of “a pattern … of simply repeating Obama campaign talking points” and objected strongly to a question she asked.
“We are extremely disappointed to see that the level of objectivity at NBC News has fallen so low that reporters are now giving voice to unsubstantiated, partisan claims in order to undercut John McCain,” said the letter.
Ms. Mitchell referred requests for comment to NBC News officials.
In a statement, NBC News said: “We welcome any opportunity to speak with officials from both campaigns, and many of us at NBC News are in contact with the McCain campaign literally on a daily basis. With all due respect to the campaign leadership, they are viewing our coverage through a political prism. We stand by our reporting, our journalism and our journalists.”
Ms. Mitchell’s comments followed appearances by Sen. McCain and Democratic rival Sen. Barack Obama Saturday night to answer questions from evangelical pastor Rick Warren at Orange County, Calif.’s Saddleback Church. Sen. Obama answered first and was followed by Sen. McCain.
The letter concerned Ms. Mitchell’s suggestion that Sen. McCain heard Sen. Obama’s remarks before making his appearance to answer questions. The letter said Sen. McCain was in a motorcade and then in a “green room” and hadn’t heard Sen. Obama speak.
Ms. Mitchell’s comment:
“The Obama people must feel that he didn’t do quite as well as they might have wanted to in that context, because what they are putting out privately is that McCain may not have been in the cone of silence and may have had some ability to overhear what the questions were to Obama. He seemed so well-prepared.”
Mr. Davis, in the letter to Mr. Capus, ripped Ms. Mitchell’s suggestion.
“Make no mistake: This is a serious charge. Andrea Mitchell is repeating, uncritically, a completely unsubstantiated Obama campaign claim that John McCain somehow cheated in last night’s forum at Saddleback Church,” he wrote.
“Instead of trying to substantiate this blatant falsehood, … Andrea Mitchell felt that she needed to repeat it on air to millions of ‘Meet the Press’ viewers with no indication that (1) There’s not one shred of evidence that it’s true; (2) In his official correspondence to both campaigns, Pastor Rick Warren provided both candidates with information regarding the topic areas to be covered, which Barack Obama acknowledged during the forum when asked about Pastor Warren’s idea of an emergency plan for orphans and Obama said, ‘I cheated a little bit. I actually looked at this idea ahead of time, and I think it is a great idea’; (3) John McCain actually requested that he and Barack Obama do the forum together on stage at the same time, making these kinds of after-the-fact complaints moot.
“This is irresponsible journalism and, sadly, indicative of the level of objectivity we have witnessed from NBC News this election cycle. We are concerned that your news division is following MSNBC’s lead in abandoning nonpartisan coverage of the presidential race. We would like to request a meeting with you as soon as possible to discuss our deep concerns about the news standards and level of objectivity at NBC.”
(12:50 p.m.: Updated with comment from NBC News)


  1. Instead of addressing energy or health care or the war or the economy, the McCain camp is whining about the treatment they get from NBC News. Funny thing is, I like John. And I like Barack.
    But gentlemen: let the real games begin. Being a crybaby trivializes what’s at stake here.

  2. Interestingly, nowhere in this letter posted does Rick Davis say that the claims are untrue.

  3. Andrea, Why do not you retire from the reporting the news? you can be with Alan and live happily ever after–you have lost whatever integrity you thought you had–SHAME ON YOU!!

  4. He covered that in the letter – sentence pasted below:
    “The letter said Sen. McCain was in a motorcade and then in a “green room” and hadn’t heard Sen. Obama speak.”

  5. Another example of the liberal left’s complete capture of TV “journalism.”

  6. Hey Scott, You moron! The first three line indicate that they are saying the claims are untrue. Stop the spin you flippin’ liberal. NBC is very obvious with their irresponsible journalism and most people have figured this out already.

  7. You know, it’s funny about the McCain campaign claiming a reporter is repeating Democratic “talking points” when for the last, oh, ten years, a lot of reporters and pundits have been repeating Republican “talking points.” Hell, the guy who made most of them, Karl Rove, IS working for Fox News now.
    Just saying . . .

  8. YES – NBC has been extremely liberal and supporting the liberals the last few years. They have been supporting the Animal Rights agenda the last few years – but without knowing what they’re doing. I am embarrassed for their ignorance!
    Stop the pandering to minorities, just report the news!!! AND – report it accurately!!!

  9. Scott, did you even read the article? It specifically states: “Instead of trying to substantiate this blatant falsehood…” Where I come from, a falsehood means something isn’t true. Do I need to post the dictionary meaning for you or are you clear about it now?

  10. Memo to Rick Davis “Thou protests too much”
    The questions didn’t have to be heard directly by John McCain, but he could have been filled in by someone very quickly. Now I’m sure no one in your campaign would have thought of that. Duhhhh!

  11. the MC CAIN campaign always talks about EVERYONE else but … everyone except John Mc Cain.
    wonder why?

  12. So, the McCain camp managed to twist a story that he had outperformed “The Chosen One” and turn it into another whine about media bias. These folks can’t get out of their own way!

  13. So, when do the Obama folks have their meeting with Rupert Murdoch? I mean, this looks like Fox in reverse. Oh wait, I forgot. They would rather tlak about issues instead of whining about media bias.

  14. These false accusations of cheating by the Obama camp just shows what a lack of character these sore losers have. Obama has been getting a free pass from the beginning of the primaries. Obama looked like the rank inexperienced amateur that he is in the Saddleback debate … while McCain looked decisive and competent. The election is only about 70 days from now, and if Obama hasn’t already come up with positions on these crucial questions by now, he is certainly not qualified to be President of the United States. Crying and accusations of cheating because Obama lost the debate, only makes Obama look smaller and less deserving of the office.

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