In remarks after she accepted a Lifetime Achievement Emmy Tuesday night, NBC News correspondent Andrea Mitchell spoke out against “deliberate” attacks on “our credibility as journalists” by President Donald Trump, calling them “part of a re-election strategy.”
“We are now in an entirely new environment,” she at the news and documentary Emmy Awards.
“In my experience during more than four decades covering the White House, Congress and national security in seven administrations, politics was invariably adversarial, but this is different,” Mitchell said.
“Now, we are called ‘the enemy of the people,’” she said, referring to a frequent turn of phrase deployed by Trump. “Our credibility as journalists is deliberately targeted as part of a re-election strategy. Today, time-honored norms are ignored. Press secretaries and senior officials deliver ‘alternative facts.’ Traditions such as White House briefings, State Department expanded-travel pools and formal news conferences are replaced by shouting exchanges on the South Lawn, often drowned out by the whirling rotor blades of Marine One.”
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“Alternative facts” is a statement coined early on in the Trump administration by presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway. It quickly became a sarcastic euphemism for “lies.”
Monday, press secretary Grisham noted in an appearance on Fox News that there were no plans in place for the White House to reinstate the traditional daily press briefings that were gradually done away with in the new administration.
Mitchell was careful to praise the good works of other industry professionals in her remarks, specifically naming Lesley Stahl and Judy Woodruff in the “sisterhood of broadcast pioneers.”
“And most memorably,” she added, “Cokie Roberts. Cokie represented the best of New Orleans and Washington, having been nurtured in the South but raised, literally, in the halls of Congress.”
Mitchell called Roberts, who died last week, a “founding mother, not only of NPR, but of all of us women journalists in Washington.”