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MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell: Was Washington Post reporter arrested for being black?

Andrea Mitchell wonders if WaPo reporter detained for being black, ignores other reporter who was detained while white.
Andrea Mitchell wonders if WaPo reporter detained for being black, ignores other reporter who was detained while white.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

It seems that for some at MSNBC, racism is everywhere. In a tweet prompting derision from a number of people, Andrea Mitchell wondered if Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery was detained by police in Ferguson for being black, Mediaite reported Thursday.

".@washingtonpost demanding why @WesleyLowery taken in prevented from taking video by #Ferguson police," she tweeted. "Detained for reporting while black?"

What Mitchell apparently failed to understand is that Huffington Post reporter Ryan Reilly was also detained at about the same time. Reilly is white. Both reporters say officers approached them while they were in a McDonald’s restaurant. Both claimed they were roughed up, thrown in the back of a van and taken to a station, where they were later detained. They were later released with no charges and no explanation. Mitchell, however, chose to focus on the skin color of only one reporter.

The Washington Examiner's T. Becket Adams called Mitchell's tweet "outrageously irresponsible," and later referred to it as "trash." While the encounter with authorities may raise questions, Mitchell's tweet made the situation worse by suggesting race played a role, Adams said.

"It’s the sort of garbage you’d expect from one of her lesser colleagues, from one of MSNBC's late night carnival barkers," Adams wrote. "It’s not the sort of thing that you’d expect from NBC News’ chief foreign affairs correspondent."

Adams, however, might have been a bit too generous. Mitchell, as we have previously reported, is not above tossing the race card with no evidence or engaging in biased reporting. While reporting on the Iowa caucus in January 2012, for example, she claimed the state doesn't represent the rest of the country because it's "too white, too evangelical, too rural." The state wasn't too white when Barack Obama won in 2008, however.

Mitchell was also caught using edited video to attack Mitt Romney during the 2012 election. In June 2012, Newsbusters said Mitchell "hinted at a long-since discredited 'supermarket scanner' meme about President George H.W. Bush, suggesting Romney was unfamiliar with touch-screens in convenience stores." It turns out Romney was comparing the government to the private sector, observing how difficult it was for a optometrist to change his address through the post office versus ordering a hoagie at Wawa. The average viewer, however, would never know that if all they saw was Mitchell's "reporting."

"The network should demand better from its news talent," Adams said. "And for this, Mitchell should be reprimanded for playing fast and loose with terribly irresponsible language."

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