Quotes of the day
posted at 10:42 pm on September 17, 2012 by Allahpundit
By the time the presidential campaign had ended four years ago, the media’s role in driving the outcome had become a fact too obvious to dispute. The impact of the journalistic horde’s devotion to the Democratic candidates was clear, the evidence vivid—especially in the case of reporters transported to a state of ecstasy over candidate Obama’s speeches. One New York Times reporter wrote of being so moved he could barely keep from weeping. Not for nothing did the role of the press become a news story in itself—an embarrassing one that might, serious people thought, serve as a caution during future campaigns.
In 2012 Barack Obama is no longer delivering thrilling speeches, but an unembarrassed press corps is still available, in full prosecutorial mode when it comes to coverage of the Republican challenger. If you hadn’t heard the story about Mitt Romney’s bullying treatment of another student during his prep-school days—1965, that is—the Washington Post had a story for you, a lengthy investigative piece. On the matter of Mr. Obama’s school records, locked away and secured against investigation, the press maintains a serene incuriosity.
Mr. Obama continues to receive the benefits of a supportive media—one prone to dark suspicions about his challenger. The heavy ooze of moral superiority emanating from all the condemnations of Mr. Romney last week, all the breathless media reports on those condemnations, did not begin with something he said last week. But the moral superiority was certainly on its gaudiest display.
After the American media grabbed and held the pro-Obama headlines against Romney’s comments and took Obama’s “Romney shoots first and aims second” quote to iconic proportions, the rest of the world is reporting that the Obama administration knew about the planned-attack on the Benghazi, Libya Embassy where four Americans, including United States Ambassador Christopher Steven was murdered.
That strong allegation needs to be “the story”, not the political-trouncing of Mitt Romney, a man who has nothing to do with the White House, the U.S. Embassy, or the deadly and non-deadly attacks on our United States Embassy’s around the world. “The story” obviously involves the White House and the president within – Barack Obama – not the Massachusetts challenger.
The reporters and bloggers who have made Mitt Romney the story – instead of the attacked-United States Embassy, the innocent Americans who were attacked, and the White House with its president in abstention as he continually treks the campaign trail regardless of the duties left behind in Washington, D.C. – are guilty of letting another American tragedy remain buried.
The mainstream media’s recent coverage of the Democratic National Convention was fawning – little or no mention was made of the extremist abortion plank or the decisive defeat on the floor of the motion to reinstate a reference to God in the platform (nevertheless gaveled through by the party establishment) and an acknowledgment that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel (pro-Israel language that had been included in previous party platforms). So, the Democrats won their convention week with a bullet. Next, even though Obama’s bounce was modest by historical standards, and he still could not pull above 50 percent nationwide or in the key swing states, the mainstream media dutifully declared not only that Obama was winning, but that the Romney campaign was in utter disarray…
Long gone are the days of straight journalists calling the balls and strikes fairly. And make no mistake: This is not merely a liberal bias we are dealing with, but a Democratic party bias. There is now a revolving door between the leftwing blogosphere, the broader Democratic establishment, and the mainstream media – and the phony narrative of a runaway Obama lead is just one result of that insidious alliance.
I would urge those within the MSM who think of themselves as among the best at informing the public to ask whether the obsession with “narratives” — think of prepackaged storylines, tropes, if you will, with noble heroes often within one political party and nefarious, retrograde, and sinister forces within the other — is doing a good job of keeping the public well-informed with the circumstances our troops face in Afghanistan…
If this were occurring under a Republican president, the declaration of defeat and comparisons to Vietnam would be loud, incessant, shrill and ubiquitous. Because this is occurring under a Democratic president, you get intermittent coverage — the media checks the boxes, but there’s no steady drumbeat, no newsweekly cover pieces, no hour-long specials on the cable networks, few columns in the Washington Post and New York Times about it. None of the biggest movers and shakers have decided that this must be a national conversation, on par with, say, the national week-long dissection of Todd Akin’s unfamiliarity with basic human biology. We may cynically conclude that there’s no real pro-Obama or anti-GOP spin that can be put on this story — there’s no easily discernible angle to advance the cause of the Left — and so the story doesn’t quite disappear but it just bobs up and down every now and then…
But the desire to reduce every development in the news to “here’s the latest reason why our preferred candidate rocks and your candidate stinks” means that A) certain stories get ignored or downplayed and B) something like Romney’s reaction to attacks on our embassy are treated as twenty times as important as the actual attacks themselves.
[W]e’ve gotten to the point where the MSM seems to be treating the ongoing turmoil in the Middle East and the metastasizing attacks on our embassies as an unfortunate distraction from the “real story” of Romney’s incompetence. Indeed, much of the political press seems to have decided that their job is to explain why Romney shouldn’t be president. In an effort to master self-parody, Chris Matthews now believes it was “arrogant” for Romney to even run against Obama in the first place.
Anyway, amidst a remarkable amount of tut-tutting and chest-thumping from journalists about Romney’s rush to (an accurate) judgment, very little attention has been paid to the fact the same mainstream media so quick to denounce Romney’s overeagerness just happened to report that this video was produced by a bunch of nefarious Jews eager to slander Muhammed and sow bloodshed across the Muslim world. And they got the story entirely wrong. Corrections are now being issued but the damage was done. Obviously, this is a bit of an apples-to-oranges comparison, since the media and a presidential campaign aren’t exactly the same thing. But given the determination of the “objective” press corps to impose its editorial judgment into their coverage, it just feels worthwhile to point out that their error was far more egregious and harmful than anything Romney said.