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Andrea Mitchell

  • I learned everything I ever need to know about questioning artful dodgers by covering the most artful of them all, Ronald Reagan. For Reagan, performance was as much a part of governing as understanding the details of the federal budget.

  • ... journalism was for me more than a business or a profession. It was a way of living, of experiencing the world even as I instantly distanced myself from it, in order to recreate what I'd witnessed for the public.

  • If you think you can do two full-time jobs, people will expect you to do three.

  • Washington was not just a city of marble buildings and smoke-filled rooms and power brokers, but also a town full of people who do care about each other, in good times and bad.

  • [On reporters trying to cajole a smile from her husband, Alan Greenspan:] For a Federal Reserve chairman, that was a smile.

  • ... I still have sympathy for some of the people who've fallen from grace in Washington. The feeding frenzy can be so unforgiving, especially in this day of nonstop cable news.

  • [On women in previously all-male fields:] I think it will change in a lot of workplaces. I'm not so sure it will ever change on Capitol Hill until more women are in powerful positions. Because this is the last plantation for men.

  • ... there was a part of me that wanted to be liked, and despite all my years of reporting, I never quite adjusted to the role of skunk at the garden party.

  • Haiti is the kind of place that grabs your heart, and never lets go ... When you arrive in Port-au-Prince, the first thing that strikes you is how vibrant the colors are. Buses, buildings, fences, clothing, everything is brightly painted in primary hues. On closer inspection, you see the reality behind this brightly colored landscape: a dark, grinding poverty, the worst in the Western hemisphere.

  • In a nation of people increasingly informed by talk show rant on the right and the left, facts are incinerated in a blaze of rumor and accusation. If the accumulated charges burn brightly enough, the resulting smoke obscures any real truths. Lost in the haze of left- and right-wing polemics is real journalism. As the line between reporting and opinion becomes blurred, so do the definitions that used to be the touchstones of my profession. ... And with the proliferation of so many broadcast channels and twenty-four-hour cable news, individual programs can differentiate themselves only by being edgier than the competition. The morphing of television interview programs into verbal food fights is now nearly universal. For an anxious nation in a post-9/11 world, the media have become an echo chamber, reinforcing our misconceptions and exaggerating our differences, real and imagined.

Andrea Mitchell, U.S. TV journalist, anchor, reporter, commentator

(1946)