07-27-2011 by Linda S. Carbonell
For those of you who don’t follow the love lives of news personalities, NBC’s Andrea Mitchell is married to former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. Though the two have always maintained a scrupulous separation of careers, it may reasonably be assumed that Ms. Mitchell probably knows more about economics than every other member of the news media that doesn’t have an economics degree. She could undoubtedly hold her own in a debate with Paul Krugman.
So, I would like to bring Ms. Mitchell to the attention of the Peabody award and Edward R. Murrow award selection committees. They are the people who give out awards for broadcast journalism. We know that they both have unparalleled senses of honor about journalism and an ability to think outside the normal parameters because Peabody gave two awards to The Daily Show for their election coverage in 2000 and 2004, and Edward R. Murrow gave one to Keith Olbermann for his eulogy for his own mother.
Ms. Mitchell deserves a special award for not once telling a tea party Congressman that he or she is a raving idiot. Watching her interview them, watching her listening to their outrageous and completely erroneous economic theories, watching her asking calm questions of these fools is an exercise in watching a human being struggling not to scream. There are days when we wish she would scream. She does try, very hard, to make them hear facts that refute their rhetoric and talking points, but they don’t hear her. They don’t hear anyone except the voices in their heads apparently. And Ms. Mitchell tries harder than any other journalist on television to put the facts out there into the conversation. No one else challenges the numbers or the ideology as completely.
So, how about a special award for Andrea Mitchell’s perfect demeanor, complete calm, and unflappable professionalism. I think it’s time the method and not just the message was honored.