Unlike the hacks at the L.A. Times, for example, Crawford told her readers that the Obama administration had walked back the embassy’s statement. And, far from taking the position that Romney’s timing was off, Crawford merely noted that some had criticized the timing — but that was a minor point in a balanced and fair piece that portrayed Romney as standing strong on an issue of free speech.

I challenge anyone to read Crawford’s post and honestly contend that it is a hatchet job of the sort foisted upon L.A. Times readers.

So: a) Crawford attacks the embassy’s statement; b) Romney issues a similar statement; and c) Crawford does a fair report that portrays Romney in a positive light.

Fast forward to the release of the video that some conservatives seem to claim is smoking gun evidence of collusion by a liberal media. I’ve now watched this thing perhaps ten times. The sound goes out at critical points and the video jumps at another point. But what I hear is Crawford telling a colleague not to ask Romney about his tone, but just to ask a plain vanilla question about whether he regretted his statement — a neutral formulation that would give Romney plenty of opportunity to articulate his views.