NBC's Mitchell Hypes 'Special' Tie Between Bill Clinton and Tony Blair

Andrea Mitchell touted how "the [Bill] Clinton-[Tony] Blair relationship was, indeed, special" on Friday's NBC Nightly News, as she reported on the release of transcripts of conversations between the two former leaders during the former's presidency. Mitchell spotlighted how "Blair calls Clinton 'mate.' Clinton offers to babysit Blair's son. They chat about everything from Pink Panther movies to the tragedy of Princess Diana." She barely mentioned the Monica Lewinsky scandal during her report. The journalist also played up how Clinton's "legacy is relevant again, because [Hillary] is running for president." [video below]

Anchor Lester Holt trumpeted how "it is not often that we're privy to the private remarks of a president. So there was high interest today when, for the first time, Bill Clinton's presidential library released transcripts of conversations he had with then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair." He added that "the conversations cover some difficult times at home and abroad."

Mitchell first noted that "Bill Clinton [was] on the campaign, as we learn of his chats with Tony Blair, his closest ally, at a tumultuous time for his presidency — weighing war with Iraq; still denying his relationship with Monica Lewinsky — repeatedly demonstrating his ability to compartmentalize." She mentioned that there was "no mention of Lewinsky — only this possible oblique reference: 'After I get all this crap behind me, I would like to talk to you about this,' he says. About what was censored by the government."

The NBC correspondent continued with liberal historian Michael Beschloss, who hyped that "this is someone who was dealing with an enormous domestic struggle, at the same time as he's dealing with the dangers of war on at least two continents!" She later reported that "the transcripts reveal Clinton's blunt assessment that George W. Bush, running against Al Gore, was only pretending to be a moderate: 'I have to figure out how to expose the fraud that Bush is the new Clinton,' he says. Clinton praises Vladimir Putin, but tells Blair, 'He could get squishy on democracy.'"

Mitchell's "special" label of the Clinton-Blair friendship, along with the mention of their "chats...[on] Pink Panther movies" came near the end of the segment.  She closed her report with her claim that Clinton's "legacy is relevant again."

Four days earlier, on the January 4, 2016 edition of her MSNBC program, the liberal journalist gushed over former President Clinton making his first official public campaign appearance for his wife in Nashua, New Hampshire.

The full transcript of Andrea Mitchell's report from the January 8, 2016 edition of NBC Nightly News:

LESTER HOLT: It is not often that we're privy to the private remarks of a president. So there was high interest today when, for the first time, Bill Clinton's presidential library released transcripts of conversations he had with then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair — made public in response to a Freedom of Information request. The conversations cover some difficult times at home and abroad.

NBC's Andrea Mitchell has more.

[NBC News Graphic: "Conversations Revealed"]

ANDREA MITCHELL (voice-over): Bill Clinton on the campaign, as we learn of his chats with Tony Blair, his closest ally, at a tumultuous time for his presidency — weighing war with Iraq; still denying his relationship with Monica Lewinsky — repeatedly demonstrating his ability to compartmentalize. No mention of Lewinsky — only this possible oblique reference: 'After I get all this crap behind me, I would like to talk to you about this,' he says. About what was censored by the government.

MICHAEL BESCHLOSS, NBC NEWS PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: This is someone who was dealing with an enormous domestic struggle, at the same time as he's dealing with the dangers of war on at least two continents!

MITCHELL: Considering air-strikes against Saddam Hussein.

FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON (from February 17, 1998 press conference): If Saddam rejects peace, and we have to use force—

MITCHELL: From Camp David the night before, Clinton tells Blair he'd sent an envoy to tell Saddam, 'I have no interest in killing him or hunting him down. I just don't want his chemical and biological program going forward' — adding, 'If I weren't constrained by the press, I'd pick up the phone and call the son of a blank.'

The transcripts reveal Clinton's blunt assessment that George W. Bush, running against Al Gore, was only pretending to be a moderate: 'I have to figure out how to expose the fraud that Bush is the new Clinton,' he says. Clinton praises Vladimir Putin, but tells Blair, 'He could get squishy on democracy.'

MITCHELL (on-camera): The Clinton-Blair relationship was, indeed, special. Blair calls Clinton 'mate.' Clinton offers to babysit Blair's son. They chat about everything from Pink Panther movies to the tragedy of Princess Diana.

MITCHELL (voice-over): The day after Diana died, the President tells Blair, 'I just think that anything you can do for those boys' about the challenges they will face.' As for Hillary, when she runs for Senate, her husband tells Blair, proudly, 'She's starting to sound like a real politician. I'm beginning to sound like a meandering old man' — a man whose legacy is relevant again, because she is running for president. Andrea Mitchell, NBC News, Washington.

NB Daily Tell the Truth 2016 Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Labeling Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Political Scandals Sex Scandals NBC NBC Nightly News Video George W. Bush Andrea Mitchell Lester Holt Michael Beschloss Bill Clinton Hillary Clinton Vladimir Putin Tony Blair Monica Lewinsky
Matthew Balan's picture


Sponsored Links