The Blog

Media Circles the Wagons Amid Accusations of Bias Against Romney

Politico may have ulterior motives for accusing the Washington Post and New York Times of bias against Romney. But they also have a point.

5:30 PM, May 31, 2012 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

As for Ayers and the implication that Obama's relationship was fully reported on in 2008, that's undercut by the fact that at the time the New York Times swatted down reports that Obama and Ayers were more deeply involved the Obama campaign was letting on. No less than David Remnick, editor of the New Yorker, reported in his book The Bridge that, contra the Times's reporting, the original reports that Ayers played a key role in Obama's path to power were true. That revelation, of course, came after Obama was elected.

As for Jeremiah Wright, again Gordon makes the mistake of conflating the quantity and quality of coverage. The Jodi Kantor profile of Jeremiah Wright from 2007 doesn't report anything controversial. And if Obama was forced into giving a speech disowning his pastor, that wasn't due to pressure the Times put on him. It wasn't until September 28, 2008, months after Obama's speech distancing himself from Wright, that a Times news story ever printed the words "God damn America." And have the Times and Post followed up on Jeremiah Wright's recent revelations an Obama associate offered him a $150,000 bribe? Nope.

I'll grant Gordon point number two that the Times's expose of Obama's "kill list" is an example of tough but fair coverage of the president, except to say that it's criticism of the president mostly from the left and it hardly is enough to claim their coverage is balanced. Moving on to point number three:

Politico dismisses Washington Post reporter (and, full disclosure, occasional GQ contributor) Jason Horowitz's Romney bullying story with a wave of its hand, not even entertaining the reasons why it struck such a chord, and why it so spooked the Romney team that it responded within hours the morning it was published. The reason is simple: lots of people read the story and thought, "Wow, I did a lot of dumb crap in high school but I never would've done that." The incident spoke to a core suspicion some seem to have about Romney, and that the Romney campaign is clearly worried about: that he's a rich guy with a nasty streak, and that's who he's always been. We can debate how much stock readers / voters should place in such a long-ago incident, but that's for readers / voters to ultimately decide. Surely we're not debating whether the story should've been published, are we, Politico?

You know what? A lot of people are reading this paragraph thinking, "Wow, I did a lot of dumb crap in high school but I never would've been part of the Choom Gang." Yet, somehow Romney's prep school idiocy is on the front page of the Post while the same paper ignored new revelations that Obama was a pretty awful role model in his high school days.

Then we have this amazing sentence: "The incident spoke to a core suspicion some seem to have about Romney, and that the Romney campaign is clearly worried about: that he's a rich guy with a nasty streak, and that's who he's always been." Pro-tip: Whenever a journalist writes "some", just assume he's speaking in first person. I was under the impression that the rap on Romney was that he was a milquetoast Mormon -- a guy you literally couldn't have a beer with, not a guy with a nasty streak.

The ending of this paragraph is also a total cop out. "We can debate how much stock readers / voters should place in such a long-ago incident, but that's for readers / voters to ultimately decide. Surely we're not debating whether the story should've been published, are we, Politico?" So just print any old allegation, and readers can decide? Never mind that the whole gay bullying angle was clearly overblown and brings a great deal of modern day cultural baggage to an incident that's in all likelihood irrelevant to the current liberal cause celebre. As for "we're not debating whether the story should've been published," you know who did debate that? The family of Romney's alleged bully victim, who told ABC News the story was "factually incorrect" and "If he were still alive today, he would be furious [about the story]." And do I need to mention the shady way that the Post handled corrections to the story?

Ok, now point four of five:

Recent Blog Posts