NBC News needs to reprimand its chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell for tweeting this wildly irresponsible trash Wednesday evening:
.@washingtonpost demanding why @WesleyLowery taken in prevented from taking video by #Ferguson police. Detained for reporting while black?— Andrea Mitchell (@mitchellreports) August 14, 2014
But this requires some background, doesn’t it?
First things first:
Two reporters were detained for about an hour Wednesday evening by law enforcement officials in Ferguson, Mo., as protesters responding to the shooting death of Mike Brown, an 18-year-old African-American, faced off against a heavily armed SWAT team.
Huffington Post reporter Ryan Reilly and the Washington Post’s Wesley Lowery say they were approached in a McDonald’s by police officers, roughed up, thrown in the back of a van and taken to a station, where they were later detained.
The reporters say they were eventually released without so much as an explanation for why they were held. They didn’t even have to sign any paperwork.
Needless to say, their reported run-in with law enforcement officials raises several questions: Why were they detained? What right did the police have? What justification was there for this incident?
Unfortunately, however, Mitchell decided to take an already alarming situation and made it worse by suggesting — with zero evidence — that race might have played a role.
Considering the fact that tensions are already high in Ferguson over the shooting death of Brown, who was reportedly unarmed when he was killed by a police officer, and considering the fact that Lowery is African-American, Mitchell’s suggestion that he might have been detained because of the color of his skin is gross, demeaning, dangerous and totally irresponsible.
It’s the sort of garbage you’d expect from one of her lesser colleagues, from one of MSNBC's late night carnival barkers. It’s not the sort of thing that you’d expect from NBC News’ chief foreign affairs correspondent.
The network should demand better from its news talent. And for this, Mitchell should be reprimanded for playing fast and loose with terribly irresponsible language.