NBC News has responded to criticisms that correspondent Andrea Mitchell stereotyped the state of Iowa as "too white, too evangelical, too rural" to represent the U.S. electorate Monday, telling The Atlantic Wire she was merely citing critics who feel that way. Mitchell's quote in question came during a segment on Sunday's Nightly News with Brian Williams. While interviewing Republican strategist Mike Murphy who said winning in Iowa is "by no means ... the ticket to victory," Mitchell adds "The rap on Iowa: it doesn't represent the rest of the country -- too white, too evangelical, too rural."

Some conservative media critics felt Mitchell was injecting her views in the segment, including Townhall's Katie Pavlich and The Blaze's Becket Adams. "Can you imagine any state in the union being referred to as 'too black' or 'too hispanic?'" wrote Noel Sheppard at Newsbusters. "Nice way of the NBC Nightly News informing viewers that much as the media did in 2008, the race card will be played whenever possible to assist Barack Obama in getting reelected." Less partisan observers were also taken aback, such as Mediaite's Alex Alvarez, calling Mitchell's piece "a rather blunt analysis of Iowa" and Real Clear Politics saying Mitchell was clearly "opining." Still others on the right sympathized with Mitchell, such as The Wall Street Journal's James Taranto who tweets "I think conservatives are overreacting to Mitchell's banal comment."

NBC spokeswoman Erika Masonhall rejected the criticisms outright.  

That line was part of her report from last night's "NBC Nightly News" on why Iowa does matter. As Andrea mentioned, when she said "The rap on Iowa..." she was referencing critics who argue that the state shouldn't carry so much weight because it doesn't proportionally represent the rest of the country. She then interviews analysts and Iowa voters who explain why the state is so important in the election cycle.
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