(MS)NBC Nightly News

by Jonah Goldberg

After Special Report is over, I’ll often turn over to NBC to see what’s going on with the MSM bastion. I rarely find the news all that newsy, but I find it useful to see how they’re covering things. Last night was pretty classic. To their credit, they opened with a serious piece on the horrors of the Syrian civil war, but Brian Williams was almost apologetic for covering it at the top of the show, calling it “a situation that demands our attention.”(I suspect the suits wanted all Olympics.) Later, at about twelve minutes into the show, Williams spent roughly ten seconds on the delay of the small-business mandate, after what seemed to be a three-minute celebration of Michael Sam, the Mizzou football player who has come out of the closet.

But the highlight of the night was Andrea Mitchell’s “report” on the Washington Free Beacon’s big take-out on the “Hillary Papers.” Her discomfort was palpable. She assured viewers that the “inflammatory excerpts” weren’t necessarily in context (Mitchell the Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent for NBC who spent much of the last year covering Sarah Palin is a great stickler for context and eschews anything inflammatory). Hillary Clinton, the front-runner for her party’s presidential nomination, was treated like the victim. Thank goodness she didn’t joke about putting traffic cones up on the George Washington Bridge!

The funniest part was that Mitchell couldn’t bring herself to name the publication. The revelations, she explained, were made on an “anti-Clinton website.” Funny, but also terribly shabby and ungracious. The Washington Free Beacon is hardly some lone activist’s MySpace page. Nor is it particularly, or even remotely, an “anti-Clinton” website. It’s a smart, scrappy, journalistic outfit. Is it partisan? Sure — in the sense that it’s got an ideological worldview. But no more so than literally dozens of publications on the left or right (or center — which I would argue can be every bit as much an ideological worldview as right and left). Indeed, when it comes to electoral politics, it’s no more partisan than Mitchell’s MSNBC, which I suppose we should simply wave off as some pro-Obama cable channel.

The folks over at the MRC have the transcript.

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