NBC news, during its live Thursday night coverage of the RNC, skipped the first two-minutes and 50 seconds of Marco Rubio’s speech, as they joined the Florida Senator’s speech in progress after a commercial break. Viewers of NBC missed Rubio’s call for “prayers that soon freedom and liberty” will arrive in Cuba and recalling his grandfather’s inspiring message that: “There was no limit in how far I could go because I was an American.”
This wasn't the first time NBC snubbed a conservative minority during this year's RNC. On Wednesday, its cable channel broadcast the speeches of only one minority Republican speaker, South Carolina governor Nikki Haley. While he was speaking, former House member Artur Davis was derided by MSNBC's Rachel Maddow as "a lower profile speaker" despite the fact that he had switched parties and was President Obama's first major endorser not from Illinois.
Prior to Rubio's speech and just before going to commercial break, NBC decided to make time to showcase correspondent Andrea Mitchell panning Clint Eastwood’s “exceedingly strange” speech that she claimed misstated “some of the President’s record.” This was perhaps not the best programming decision, given the furor over NBC and MSNBC skipping a lot of the minority speakers at the GOP convention. The question also has to be asked: Will NBC preempt the speaker that delivers the introductory speech for President Obama at next week's Democratic National Convention? (video after the jump)
The following is Mitchell’s review of Eastwood’s speech, as it was aired on NBC’s August 30 coverage of the Republican National Convention:
BRIAN WILLIAMS: So Andrea Mitchell, I’m reminded he starred in the “Good, the Bad and the Ugly” and I think people will find parts of all three to talk about tonight, after this appearance by Clint Eastwood.
ANDREA MITCHELL: I have to say as a fan, a movie fan, this was exceedingly strange.
WILLIAMS: It was a moment.
MITCHELL: Interviewing an empty chair and [Joe] Biden jokes. And misstating some of the President’s record on the war and other issues. It just seemed like a very strange, unscripted moment. But not one of those wonderful moments that would set the tone for the evening.