The MSM’s relentless piling on over Romney Libya remarks
posted at 2:59 pm on September 16, 2012 by Howard Portnoy
Here is a litmus test you can use to determine the source of a possibly offensive comment that has gained traction in the press. If stories expressing outrage are still being written nearly a week after the comment was made, the speaker was a conservative or Republican.
Need evidence? Look no further than The New York Times’s Nicholas Kristoff, whose Sunday column deals with Mitt Romney’s attack on the president for his initial underwhelming reaction to the embassy attacks. Romney, who was in Jacksonville at the time, said, “It’s disgraceful that the Obama administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.”
Kristoff writes that Romney “hit a trifecta” with his statement, calling it “erroneous, inflammatory and offensive.” The only problem with Kristoff’s commentary (apart from its being “erroneous, inflammatory and offensive”) is that it is a day late (the Romney statement was released late on Sept. 11) and a dollar short. Kristoff’s numerous journalistic clones on the left have been on the offensive against Romney since early Tuesday and the meat of the story—which was a lean feast to begin with—has been picked from the carcass. Kristoff’s addition of his two cents might be defensible on the grounds that he writes a weekly op-ed and that his turn doesn’t come up until Sunday if he offered a new insight or fresh angles. But he doesn’t.
I think what he [Romney] said was correct but it was clumsy. And it opened him up to charges that he made a terrible mistake. We had an almost ludicrous overreaction in a lot of the media about it in which what he became the big story rather than what was happening over there, which was not a great moment for the national media, I’m sad to say. [Emphasis added]
What makes the ongoing coverage of Romney’s alleged insensitivity even more puzzling is that since the Romney statement was released, both the president and his secretary of state have delivered soul-searching disquisitions on First Amendment rights vs. Americans’ obligation to “respect all faiths and rejects all effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.”
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