That's the question I had after reading the Denver Post's dispatch today about Sen. Clinton coming to Aspen to rake in big money from a who's who of the the corporate and political Establishment. Here's the excerpt:
"Sen. Hillary Clinton drew powerful, deep-pocketed crowds at a pair of fundraisers here Saturday...Clinton, wearing a coral blazer and black slacks, arrived for a cocktail reception at Belly Up without her husband, who was in town for the Aspen Ideas Festival. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., introduced her colleague to the crowd of more than 100, which included former Disney chief Michael Eisner and movie producer Steve Tisch, who is also a co-owner of the New York Giants...Later, Clinton was the featured guest at a $2,300-a-plate dinner where the guest list included former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and his wife, NBC reporter Andrea Mitchell." (emphasis added)
The wording of the article leaves open a little wiggle room, but it sure seems to suggest that both right-wing Republican Greenspan and NBC's top political correspondent Mitchell are now giving big money to Hillary Clinton. That would be a particular problem for Mitchell, considering that when she's not hob-nobbing with the rich, powerful and famous on the cocktail party circuit, she's supposed to be reporting on the presidential race in an entirely nonpartisan, objective fashion. It would be a little tough to claim to do that at the same time you are handing over big checks to individual candidates at $2,300-a-plate fundraisers -- the same candidates you are supposed to be covering in an objective fashion.
Whether you are a Republican or a Democrat, this story should be troubling from purely an interest in fairness. Will Mitchell ask for a correction if this story is somehow incorrect? If it is accurate, will NBC let this kind of thing stand, and will the other Democratic presidential candidates ask NBC to forbid Mitchell from covering the campaign?
UPDATE (5:32pm MST): I was just told by an official at NBC that Mitchell was not officially attending the fundraiser, but was merely at the same Aspen restaurant it was taking place. I'm sure they will be clarifying this with the Post as well, and we'll see if the newspaper issues an official clarification or not.
UPDATE II (8:45pm MST): I just received a telephone call from NBC's Andrea Mitchell. She told me that while she was dining at the same restaurant as the Clinton fundraising event in Aspen, she was not there attending the fundraising event, and that the Denver Post reported the story incorrectly (which I suggested in my original post was possible). As of 10 minutes ago, the Post has posted a note on its website that reads: "Because of a reporting error, this story incorrectly said that NBC reporter Andrea Mitchell and her husband, Alan Greenspan, attended a fundraising dinner for Hillary Clinton on Saturday night in Aspen. The couple were dining in a different part of the same restaurant complex and did not attend the fundraising event."