Think of the Establishment Media as being like a casino: Once people realize that the game is rigged, they’ll simply ignore it altogether. And like most fantasies, when belief goes, so does the fantasy itself.
Just when you thought the Obama Media Group couldn’t disgrace itself any further, yet more evidence of their malpractice has come to light.
Members of the media who are covering Mitt Romney’s campaign were caught on a hot mic colluding with each other as to what questions were to be asked. When you listen to the audio it is clear that the plan was to make sure that whoever was called upon would ask the “right question.” In this case the “right question” was essentially to ask Romney if he stood by his earlier statements or did he now think that his earlier statements were a mistake. Here are the seven questions asked:
1. Reporter brings up that Romney had a “toughly worded statement last night,” and asks, “Do you regret the tone at all given what we know now?”
2. “Do you think, though, coming so soon after the events really had unfolded over night was appropriate, to be weighing in on this as this crisis was unfolding in real time?” Follow-up: “What did the White House do wrong then, Gov. Romney, if they put out a statement saying they disagreed with it?”
3. “The world is watching. Isn’t this itself a mixed signal when you criticize the administration at a time that Americans are being killed? Shouldn’t politics stop for this?”
4. “Some people have said that you jumped the gun a little bit in putting that statement out last night and that you should have waited until more details were available. Do you regret having that statement come out so early before we learned about all of the things that were happening?”
5. “If you had known last night that the ambassador had died, and obviously, I’m gathering you did not know . . . if you had known that the ambassador had died, would you have issued such a strongly-issued statement?”
6. Reporter comments that Romney is running on his “economic know-how and private sector experience,” and adds, “but now that foreign policy and the situation in the Middle East has been thrust into the presidential campaign, can you talk about why specifically you think you are better qualified than President Obama to handle these issues?”
7. “How specifically, Governor Romney, would a President Romney have handled this situation differently than President Obama did? You spoke out before midnight, when all the facts weren’t known. How would you have handled this differently than the president did?”
Note the repetitive nature of the questions. Note the obvious attempts to portray the discussion as if it’s an established fact that Romney had made an error in his earlier statement. The questions assume that this is the case and so what does he, Romney, think about it now? Note the usual weasel words such as “some people have said…” and “do you regret the tone…”
Of course in the hands of Kool-aid drunk propagandists masquerading as “journalists” these kinds of questions remind one of the old joke: “So, have you stopped beating your wife yet?” The “question” is not intended to elicit further details but rather to rebuke the person being questioned by implying that he has made a mistake. And starting with this premise, the answer will either be construed as a “denial” of making a mistake or acknowledgment of the “mistake.”
When did rebuking the subject of an interview become the media’s job? Or, if you think that issuing stinging rebukes is appropriate, then why doesn’t the same media issue rebukes to Obama and other Democrats? Questions designed to gather information or shed light are one thing. And sometimes tough questioning is called for. But this was a clear case of the media promoting a specific agenda. The conclusion is inescapable. This was narrative-building. This was an attempt to promote the idea that Romney is not a statesman, that he is not qualified and that the people should not vote for him.
Generally speaking, when the same question is asked repeatedly, it has the intended effect of discrediting the answer. In this case, by asking the question over and over again the implication was that Romney had not satisfactorily answered it. This type of cynical ploy is designed to create the impression that the person being questioned is evasive while at the same time forcing him to repeat his answer and thus re-emphasizing it. And since Romney’s answer was put in a negative light, it was the negative spin that was highlighted for the rest of the news cycle.
David Gregory of NBC tweeted:
Romney appears to have launched a political attack even before facts of embassy violence were known. Then uses day to issue vague FP vision
Then there was this, from TIME Magazine’s Mark Halperin:
Romney’s doubling down on criticism of the President for the statement coming out of Cairo is likely to be seen as one of the most craven and ill-advised tactical moves in this entire campaign.
As the Wall Street Journal pointed out, Romney’s only “mistake” in this case was to irritate the pro-Obama punditry:
The Obama Presidential campaign jumped on the remarks Wednesday as inappropriate, yet a “senior Administration official” had told the website Politico later on Tuesday night that “The statement by Embassy Cairo was not cleared by Washington and does not reflect the views of the United States government.” So the White House can walk away from its own diplomats, but Mr. Romney can’t criticize them?
The broader point is that the attacks on the embassies do raise questions about how America has fared in the world in the last four years. Throughout his candidacy, Mr. Romney has supported the necessity of America’s global leadership, sometimes against the wishes of Republican voters. His comments this week are consistent with that worldview, which is also consistent with that of every recent conservative President.
His political faux pax was to offend a pundit class that wants to cede the foreign policy debate to Mr. Obama without thinking seriously about the trouble for America that is building in the world.
This is why the reputation of the Establishment Media, a totally reactionary cadre determined to protect Barack Obama at all costs and maintain the status quo in Washington, has plummeted to troubling new lows this campaign cycle. Think of the Establishment Media as being like a casino: Once people realize that the game is rigged, they’ll simply ignore it altogether. And like most fantasies, when belief goes, so does the fantasy itself.
And another thing:
Even those Democrats who sincerely feel that Romney spoke out of turn have no right to point fingers. In 2004, they not only nominated a 1%er in John Kerry but they applauded him for attempting to score political points against the incumbent.
On a busy Labor Day dash across the swing states of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio, Kerry assailed the president’s economic policies and paid special attention to the war in Iraq, calling it “the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time.” He said he aimed to withdraw U.S. troops from the country during his first term.
And as Ed Morrissey at Hot Air points out, there was a time when Barack Obama was a candidate who also had no qualms about doing the same thing.
Remember that time when a major-party presidential nominee went on television immediately after the deaths of several Americans abroad to attack the policies of the current administration and his opponent? Remember how the media repeatedly demanded to know whether he regretted the timing of that criticism, and whether he was ashamed at not providing a united political front in the face of tragedy? Yeah, neither do I.
This CNN interview took place in July 2008, immediately after the deaths of nine US troops in Afghanistan: