On Tuesday’s NBC Nightly News, correspondent Ron Mott filed a report featuring incoming Republican Congressman Joseph Cao, the first Vietnamese-American elected to Congress, and the man who defeated corrupt former Democratic Congressman William Jefferson in heavily Democratic New Orleans. Brian Williams introduced Mott’s piece: "There was new ground broken on Capitol Hill today, where the first Vietnamese-American Congressman in the history of this republic was sworn in. Joseph Cao of Louisiana is also the first Republican in more than a century to win the seat representing New Orleans."
Mott recounted Cao’s escape from Vietnam and his victory against Jefferson, who was involved in a bribery scandal: "The 41-year-old Republican Congressman, Joseph Cao, is now a standout on Capitol Hill, traveling a very long way to get there. As a boy, he was among tens of thousands airlifted out of Vietnam after the fall of Saigon, without his parents, who feared he was killed at the airport. ... He later studied for the priesthood, eventually became a lawyer, and then last year, took on a political institution in New Orleans, Democrat William Jefferson, embroiled in a bribery scandal."
Well the media has officially gotten cocky when they start predicting that the reddest of red states could be in play for Barack Obama, and that's precisely what NBC's Ron Mott did on Tuesday's "Today" show, when he cheered that Texas, "May be surprisingly competitive." [audio excerpt available here]
In a report on early voting, Mott noted the long lines for those willing to participate in early voting and celebrated:
So far Democratic voters appear to be the ones most willing to wait, and that could spell good news for Senator Barack Obama who's encouraged supporters, including his legion of newly registered young voters, to take advantage of early voting in 32 states and they've answered the call.
Then a little later, before throwing it back to "Today" anchor Meredith Vieira, Mott concluded the story with this overly confident observation:
Polls here in Texas give Senator McCain a relatively comfortable advantage but Democrats are nonetheless optimistic. They point to record turnout that we've seen so far, and a record number of registered voters, 13.5 million, as two signs perhaps that Texas may be surprisingly competitive this time next week. Meredith?
The following is the full story as it was aired on the October 28, "Today" show: