She Saved My Career



Andrea Mitchell says that Judy Woodruff helped rescue her "from oblivion" after a goof led her to almost being banned from television decades ago.

"I recently celebrated 40 years at NBC," Mitchell, the network's chief foreign affairs correspondent, said during a talk Wednesday with Woodruff at the Capital Hilton in downtown Washington.

Mitchell recalled an on-air snafu in 1981 while covering the attempted assassination of then-President Reagan.

"I was supposedly covering the movement of John Hinckley by helicopter from where he had been held to the courthouse downtown. Some anchor asked me what did I see, and I was at least a mile and a half away from the event and I absolutely froze," Mitchell, told the audience.



Following the freeze-up, Mitchell said, "The then-president of NBC banned me from television."

"We're going to get rid of her as soon as we can. Let's never see her again," Mitchell said the network exec said.

According to Mitchell, Woodruff, then NBC News's White House correspondent, "piped up with, 'We'll take her at the White House.' I sort of became the extra hand doing radio, any pick-up job."

"I never would have had this career if Judy had not rescued me from oblivion," Mitchell contended.

"Slight exaggeration," Woodruff exclaimed.

"Totally true story," Mitchell replied.