During a Wednesday broadcast of MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports," which airs weekdays at 1 p.m. (EST), the show's host said she wouldn't air the 1998 audio of President Barack Obama claiming he supports "redistribution" because it hasn't been "verified" by her network.
"I should point out that NBC and MSNBC, we have not verified the accuracy of that tape from Loyola so we are not playing it," Mitchell said to Obama campaign press secretary Ben LaBolt.
But here's something for Andrea "Romney Really Digs the Wawa" Mitchell to consider: the Obama campaign itself has "verified the accuracy" of the audio.
"Fourteen years ago, then-Senator Obama was making an argument for a more efficient, more effective government -- specifically citing city government agencies that he didn’t think were working effectively,” Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt (yes, the same Ben LaBolt Mitchell is talking to) said in a statement yesterday.
"He believed then, and believes now, that there are steps we can take to promote opportunity and ensure that all Americans have a fair shot if they work hard. Unlike Governor Romney, he doesn’t believe that if you’re a student who applies for a loan you’re looking for a handout," LaBolt adds.
That sounds pretty "verified" to us. In fact, it was "verified" enough for MSNBC's Chuck Todd to air it:
Final Thought: Who knows? Maybe Mitchell and MSNBC are waiting on the full, uncut audio of the Loyola conference to ensure nothing has been left out or selectively edited.
It's a good thing that sort of attention to detail and even-handedness kept the networks from airing snippets of Mother Jones' footage of that Romney fundraiser without any caveats. Oh, wait -- never mind.
UPDATE: An NBC News spokesman emailed POLITCO the following statement:
In any instance like this -- regardless of the source or topic -- NBC News Standards will issue guidance instructing broadcasts to not air content unless or until we can determine that it is authentic, unedited, and not taken out of context.
The same spokesman claims NBC News applied the same amount of scrutiny to Mother Jones' Romney video.
So why did Chuck Todd air the clip? The Washington Post's Erik Wemple writes:
An NBC source indicates that it wasn’t until after Mitchell’s midday declaration that NBC News Standards “authenticated and approved” the video for on-air use. Implication: The earlier broadcast on MSNBC, featuring Chuck Todd on the Daily Rundown, appears to have run afoul of NBC News Standards in pushing the video out to its viewers. The NBC source says, “We have a strict and extensive review process in place so that broadcasts don’t rush material to air without thorough vetting.”
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