the span of a mere 50 seconds on Thursday's NBC Nightly News, Andrea
Mitchell managed to apply a conservative ideological tag four times to
Pat Toomey, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania,
yet she failed to issue even a single label for liberal Democratic
candidate Joe Sestak.
Sitting at the anchor desk with Brian Williams, Mitchell made clear Toomey "is a Republican fiscal conservative who was fiscally conservative before the Tea Party was cool," soon repeating, in the narration for her story, how "Toomey is a former Congressman and a fiscal conservative" - all before driving home his ideology once more as she recalled that he "led a conservative Washington interest group."
Just before Mitchell, Chuck Todd previewed the likely media line if some incumbent Democrats survive Tuesday night against Tea Party favorites, cautioning: "While nationally, Republicans have momentum in these waning days, analysts expect them to fall short of the ten seats needed for control of the Senate. Why? Two words: Tea Party."
From the Thursday, October 28 NBC Nightly News:
BRIAN WILLIAMS: ...a politically crucial, fascinating state, the state of Pennsylvania. A Tea Party Republican trying to pick off a Democrat there. And like so many, Andrea Mitchell with the story tonight, it is rough, especially on the airwaves.
ANDREA MITCHELL: It's a very rough race. This is a Republican fiscal conservative who was fiscally conservative before the Tea Party was cool. And now with Tea Party help, he is ahead in a Democratic state. Extra firepower [Bill Clinton] in Pennsylvania tonight to help Democrat Joe Sestak....
Toomey is a former Congressman and a fiscal conservative....
Toomey, who led a conservative Washington interest group, Club for Growth, is campaigning as an outsider against Sestak, a Congressman...
- Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center. Click here  to follow him on Twitter.