July 7, 2004
Journalists Are So Weird
NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell broke the news in the Official Media™ that John Kerry was picking John Edwards to be his veep. She reported the story a whole hour-and-a-half before John Kerry announced this news himself. What flaming hoops did she have to jump through to squeeze this story out a full 90 minutes before the rest of the world would know? The WaPo has the dish:
Mitchell said she stayed up all night — “I went home to change and bathe, in the interest of being collegial” — and started bugging her sources again at 5 a.m. After getting a second confirmation, Mitchell reported at 7 a.m. that Kerry’s running mate was “very likely” to be Edwards. By 7:30, following a conversation with a third source, she was reporting it as fact.
“This was pulling teeth,” she said. “This was one of the hardest I’ve ever had to get. Some people I’ve known for decades wouldn’t talk to me.”
I hope to God that I am never that reporter. Was the world served in any way by her act of sleepless devotion? By her unflagging pestering of age-old confidants? Did those 90 minutes of foreknowledge of John Kerry’s Vice Presidential pick alleviate a single one of the world’s problems??
And besides, she was scooped by the Unofficial Media like 12 hours earlier.