Andrea Mitchell Was 'Doing Her Job' But Remember Neil Munro? He Was 'Heckling' Obama

Andrea Mitchell from NBC News made a spectacle of herself at photo-op with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Pavlo Klimkin, the Ukrainian Foreign Minister. It was not a press conference as some have stated. It was a photo-op, and Mitchell decided to start shouting questions despite being told they wouldn’t take questions.


Some in the media defended Mitchell, including Jake Tapper of CNN:

I don’t know if I would characterize what Mitchell did as “unruly.” It’s not as if she was throwing her microphone at Tillerson, but she was rude. It was inappropriate for her to do what she did, especially knowing beforehand that it was an event where questions would not be taken. Soledad O’Brien also disagreed with me:

She followed up:

Again, Mitchell was told beforehand; no questions would be taken. The bottom line is, Andrea Mitchell made herself the story. She knew the cameras were on and considering how this video is spreading quickly across the internet; it’s evidence that she is the story and not Tillerson’s lack of availability to the press. I’ve read references that don’t even name the Ukrainian Foreign Minister because it’s not the story.


That said, let’s compare the response to Mitchell and how Neil Munro of The Daily Caller was treated several years ago when he shouted questions to President Obama. Stephen Miller of Heat Street reminded everyone:

Now, people can argue that Obama always availed himself to the press, whereas Rex Tillerson has not. It doesn’t matter. The standards are the same. If the media feels a public servant is not answering relevant questions related to policy, then shouldn’t shouting questions at them be acceptable at all times? Why is Andrea Mitchell “doing her job” but Neil Munro was “heckling?”

I asked Jake Tapper about Munro and asked if he agreed with the assessment of Munro as a “heckler.” He said, “Nope I didn’t. I don’t think I ever said anything about it publicly, but we should all be more unruly. At the end of the Obama campaign in 2008, he wouldn’t talk to any of us, so I started yelling questions at him as a matter of policy. I called them Sammies in honor of Sam Donaldson.”

Tapper went so far as to point out how and some others were annoyed President Obama was doing softball interviews with People Magazine and Entertainment Tonight but avoiding the mainstream press.


At the time I wrote this, Soledad O’Brien did not respond to the same question.

Naturally, my position has people thinking I support Trump and support Tillerson not talking to the media. I do not. I expect public officials to answer to the public via the press because they should be held accountable. Some argue Tillerson wouldn’t be in that position if he only responded to questions and that is true. However, it doesn’t excuse Mitchell’s behavior. She has a national platform. She can go on television every day and plead her case that Rex Tillerson should avail himself to the press.





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