Andrea Mitchell: "We Plead Guilty" To "Gotcha" Journalism On Obama Administration (VIDEO)

04/11/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Andrea Mitchell conceded Wednesday that the media is partially to blame for President Obama's staffing difficulties by contributing to a 'gotcha journalism' culture that can torpedo White House nominees over minor flaws.

On MSNBC, Mitchell asked Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) about Thomas Friedman's New York Times column that morning, in which he called it "insane" that "dozens of key appointments at the Treasury Department" are held up over minor infractions. Frank agreed that "it's a problem." But, he continued, "for the media to blame that entirely on the Senate seems to me a little bit self-serving."

Mitchell asked if Frank was pointing the finger at the White House. Frank said no, he was talking about the media: "It is the overfocus on the part of people in the media to relatively minority infractions that causes it ... we are in a culture now where a lack of perfection exacts too strong a tone, but that's the politicians reacting to the media."

Surprisingly, Mitchell concurred. "I take your point, Mr. Frank, Mr. Chairman. You're right, and we plead guilty because this culture right now of gotcha has gotten completely out of control."


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