Media's greatest GOP campaign 'hits'
Throughout the very long presidential election cycle, two trends remained consistent. The media lauded Barack Obama no matter how horrendous his record, and they savaged Obama's Republican contenders as ridiculous pretenders.
From the start of the Republican race in 2011, every candidate who took the lead took an unfair beating.
Newsweek mocked Michele Bachmann on its cover, making her look pale, confused and nutty, with the headline “The Queen of Rage.” Politico and other media outlets tried to pin sexual harassment claims on Herman Cain without naming, or even knowing, the accusers. The Washington Post killed trees to report in earth-shaking depth how Rick Perry's family had leased a hunting property where once a racial expletive was painted on a rock. Never mind that it was Perry's family that covered the obscenity with white paint.
MSNBC's Chris Matthews smeared Newt Gingrich, saying “He looks like a car bomber ... He looks like he loves torturing.”
Then late in the cycle came the dark horse, Rick Santorum. He emerged and was slaughtered. Former New York Times executive editor Bill Keller sneered that Santorum “sounds like he's creeping up on a Christian version of Shariah law.”
The only Republican who seemed to miss the media's smears, at least initially, was Mitt Romney. But when he emerged as the nominee, all bets were off. The Washington Post published a 5,400-word “expose” documenting the shocking revelation that teenaged Romney just may have pinned a boy down and cut his hair. In 1965.
To be sure, The Washington Post did publish a historical piece on Obama's high school career, as well. Exactly a month after its Romney-Running-With-Scissors article, it devoted 5,500 words in the Sports section to an excerpt of David Maraniss' new biography with the headline “President Obama's Love for Basketball Can be Traced Back to His High School Team.”
Despite the news media's infatuation with him, Obama rarely reciprocated. He reduced to a trickle the media's access by minimizing the number of White House press conferences. He hasn't called one since June. Instead, he hopscotched from one flippantly unserious interview to another, from Leno to Letterman. When Obama did consent to interviews with “news” shows, it was more of the same, with embarrassing fawn-a-thons from Charlie Rose at CBS and Brian Williams at NBC.
Even the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, resulting in the deaths of our ambassador and three others, and the subsequent and ongoing serial dishonesty of this administration in its refusal to take a lick of blame for the scandalous lack of security has been brushed under the rug to help Obama. The only man hammered on that issue was Romney.
This passage from Peter Baker of The New York Times says it all about Obama's press avoidance all the way to Election Day: “Nor has Mr. Obama faced many tough questions lately, like those about the response to the attack in Benghazi, Libya, since he generally does not take questions from the reporters who trail him everywhere. Instead, he sticks to generally friendlier broadcast interviews, sometimes giving seven minutes to a local television station or calling in to drive-time radio disc jockeys with nicknames like Roadkill.”
How can you read that and not think that such journalism is roadkill?
L. Brent Bozell III is president of the Media Research Center.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Reagan shooter Hinckley closer to permanent freedom
- Steelers won’t be backed into a corner at NFL Draft
- Crosby’s 2 goals lift Penguins past Rangers, even series
- Starkey: Taylor’s type fading away
- Eastbound Parkway West to reopen Sunday morning
- Fights reported, shots fired outside Monroeville Mall restaurant
- Sutter steps up for Penguins in series-tying victory
- Defense shines in Pitt football spring game
- Pirates notebook: Is it time for Kang to head to Indy?
- Pirates minor league report: Rapid advancement to test Tucker
- Marte jump-starts Pirates in win over Brewers