NBC News responded to criticism against a statement MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell made on Monday, during a report about the Iowa caucuses. Mitchell's report aired on NBC's "Nightly News," the evening newscast anchored by Brian Wiliams.
While narrating the report, Mitchell said, "The rap on Iowa: it doesn't represent the rest of the country — too white, too evangelical, too rural." According to Atlantic Wire, Mitchell's comments raised eyebrows and drew criticism from conservative media critics. Some critics took issue with Mitchell's comments as they believed the MSNBC host was editorializing and reporting her own views of the state.
NBC News spokeswomen Erika Masonhall responded to the complaints and further clarified Mitchell's statement.
That line was part of her report from last night's "NBC Nightly News" on why Iowa does matter. As Andrea mentioned, when she said "The rap on Iowa..." she was referencing critics who argue that the state shouldn't carry so much weight because it doesn't proportionally represent the rest of the country. She then interviews analysts and Iowa voters who explain why the state is so important in the election cycle.
Mitchell, who has been covering the 2012 caucuses live from Iowa, also said that "Iowa Republican caucus-goers don't have a very good track record for picking presidents," and recalled that President Ronald Reagan lost the Iowa caucuses in 1980 and President George H.W. Bush lost in 1988. She then asked, "so why should Iowa matter?"
MSNBC host Rachel Maddow has discussed Iowa Republican voters in the past. In December, Maddow said, "Iowan Republicans don't pick presidents. They pick Huckabees." Maddow was referring to GOP candidate Mike Huckabee's 2008 win in Iowa. Huckabee did not win the Republican nomination.
(H/T Atlantic Wire)