‘THE TRUMP STORY’: NBC's Andrea Mitchell Frets Trump’s NYC Trial Is Crowding Biden Out

April 21st, 2024 3:51 PM

During the weekly panel discussion on NBC’s Meet The Press, Chief Foreign Correspondent Andrea Mitchell fretted about the trial of former President Donald Trump overshadowing everything President Joe Biden is doing on the campaign trail, to the point of referring to the present media environment as “The Trump Story”.

Watch as Mitchell compares the current Trump cycle crowding Biden to the 2016 news environment crowding Hillary Clinton, as aired on NBC’s Meet The Press on Sunday, April 21st, 2024:



KRISTEN WELKER: Pick up on that point, because this is all going- against the backdrop of Donald Trump in court for his first criminal trial this week.

ANDREA MITCHELL: The fact is, we don't know how that is going to play. Up until now, these legal cases have only helped him fund-raising, made him- you know, tell people he’s the victim, energized his base. And so, he’s risen in the polls with every indictment. Now we’re going to see him really powerless. The judge has been very effective, and how they handle the gag order is yet to be seen. While Joe Biden is campaigning. The problem for Joe Biden and the Democrats is, it’s- Trump is crowding out -- the trial is crowding out everything else.

WELKER:  Mm-hmm.

MITCHELL:  So Joe Biden goes out and does policy things. The steel tariffs in Pennsylvania. Everything else that he’s doing- student loans, he’s breaking through a little bit. But everything else is crowded out. And it's The Trump Story. And that's what happened in 2016 to Hillary Clinton. And that could be replicated this year. I think it's really -- I think- the enthusiasm issue and the young voter issue is critical. And as long as this war in Gaza goes on, this is going to be a problem with young voters. Because they have an offramp. That offramp is RFK, Jr. And I know your poll shows that RFK, Jr. would hurt Trump more than Biden, hypothetically. And it's very early in polling, you know, to say who would-- But I think The White House -- I know The White House is more afraid of him. 

WELKER: It’s jittery.

MITCHELL: His family certainly is, because it was very hard for those siblings to come out and do that. They all did it because they think he really hurts them- Joe Biden- more than Donald Trump. 

Mitchell’s comparisons of the current Trump cycle to 2016 betray a fundamental lack of self-awareness. Donald Trump earned over $5 billion in free media throughout that cycle, largely because the media believed he’d be the easiest opponent en route to Hillary Clinton’s coronation. Mitchell’s portrayal of Clinton here is as a victim of history, and not as the failed beneficiary of the campaign to drown Trump in free media. This tracks with current coverage of President Biden as the purest victim of the calamities of the present day. Fast forward to 2024, and Mitchell fretting that the orchestrated effort to weaponize state and federal government against Trump, so as to secure a felony conviction against him ahead of the presidential election, is once and again overwhelming the news cycle and “crowding out” the Democrat that was supposed to benefit from these weaponized trials. 

The focus then shifts to the presence of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. on multiple state ballots as an “offramp” for young voters disaffected over Biden’s handling of Gaza. Welker’s characterization of the Biden White House as “jittery’ is notable. Also notable is Mitchell’s inadvertent depiction of RFK’s candidacy as hurtful to the Kennedy family. If they really feel it hurts them, then it wasn’t so hard for them to come out and do the thing for Joe Biden. Mitchell stepped all over herself in that one sentence. 

More importantly, Mitchell revealed the extent to which the media- as Biden’s Praetorian Guard- are worried about the effects of current events on the election.