Longtime NBC anchor Andrea Mitchell berated a reporter for using the phrase “pro-life” during his report on MSNBC Thursday.
Mitchell was speaking to Garrett Haake, the network’s Capitol Hill correspondent, about Republican Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina calling on the GOP to change its tone on abortion when Mitchell appeared to become annoyed with his use of the phrase that Mace used to describe her political opinion.
“We had Nancy Mace, of course, the Republican from South Carolina on yesterday, and she spoke very passionately about why she thought it was the wrong tone for her caucus to be pursuing this abortion legislation and why it was unfair to women, especially women who have been subjected to rape or incest or other forms of sexual violence — and she ended up voting for the abortion measures,” said Mitchell.
“Explain that,” she added.
“She told reporters after the fact, that at the end of the day, she was, as she described herself, pro-life,” Haake responded. “And that she felt that it was important to vote for these measures despite their potentially politically damaging — or politically unappealing appearance, if you will, for, uh, future voters—”
“Garrett, let me just interrupt,” Mitchell replied, “and say that ‘pro-life’ is a term that they may — that an entire group wants to use. But that is not an accurate description.”
“I’m using it because that’s the term she used to describe herself, Andrea,” replied Haake.
“I understand, I understand,” she hastily added.
After several seconds of awkward silence, Mitchell moved on to another subject.
“Anyway. That was her explanation. Let’s talk about Congressman Santos now,” she said.
Some on social media defended Mitchell on the basis that the Associated Press Stylebook had issued guidance in 2022 to journalists that they should not use the “pro-life” phrase but instead use “anti-abortion.” Others believed Mitchell had accidentally betrayed her antipathy toward the pro-life movement.