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Kyle Smith (Twitter: @rkylesmith) is a film critic for The New York Post and the author of the novels Love Monkey and A Christmas Caroline. Type a title in the box above to locate a review.

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    Lefty Blasts Media Coverage of Romney

    By Kyle | October 1, 2012

    John Cook of Gawker (a snarky, lefty, massively pro-Obama website) is due a bit of praise for this temperate and reasonable analysis of the coverage of Mitt Romney. I noted about one year into my journalism career (19 years ago) that you can make someone look really bad if you simply transcribe him precisely rather than smoothing over the rough edges. Cook astutely points out that one report:

    had the added bonus of featuring his stilted fake laugh—”ha, ha.” (That laugh, by the way, has been repeatedly transcribed in news reports for no reason other than to make Romney seem wooden. Imagine if Obama’s every “heh” or “uuuhh” made it into his quotes.) It also had nothing to do with anything. It’s only value was as a gratuitous little grace note making Romney seem weird for the perfectly routine political maneuver of dodging a question.

    About the airplane windows non-gaffe:

    There are two interpretations of that statement. One is that it was a little off-hand nonsensical joke unworthy of further comment. The other is that Romney is really weird and doesn’t understand fundamental truths about aviation. To anyone reading or listening with a reasonable sense of detachment, it was quite obviously the former. But to too many reporters and producers—including people, like the Atlantic’s James Fallows, who ought to know better—it became more fodder for the “Romney keeps screwing up” narrative. The Telegraph’s lede for its story on the matter says all you really need to know: “Mr. Romney, who has a track record of verbal gaffes….”

    I might add that even “conservative” London papers treat Romney about as fairly as the New York Times does. It goes beyond politics to a fear/hope that Americans, though our standard of living is amazingly and frustratingly high to our Socialist cousins across the sea, must be knuckle-dragging fundamentalist loons who somehow lucked into our circumstances rather than sensibly government-leery individualists who chose a limited state as the surest path to personal freedom and wealth creation.

    Moreover,

    Likewise, when Romney tried to get a crowd at a rally in Ohio add his running mate’s name to a chant they had started—”Romney! Ryan!” instead of “Romney! Romney!”—even nominal Republican Joe Scarborough stubbornly misinterpreted it as a hamfisted attempt to change the chant from Ryan’s name to his own. This is not because Joe Scarborough supports the candidacy of Barack Obama. It is because he supports the primacy of the Romney-is-a-Loser narrative, and wanted to hold up another shining example of that loser-dom for the rest of the political press to giggle at. Which they did, even though it was obviously based on a falsehood to anyone who took time to listen to the audio.

    Cook says, “I loathe Mitt Romney.” Okay, and so does virtually everyone at, say, The Times. Cook at least is transparent. I’d rather read this than a fake-neutral report. And I might read The Times more if its reporters frankly acknowledged their bias. People like Cook are the reason institutions like The Times are becoming decreasingly relevant.

    Topics: Mitt Romney | 4 Comments »

    4 Responses to “Lefty Blasts Media Coverage of Romney”

    1. SK Says:
      October 1st, 2012 at 7:48 pm

      My cousin the court reporter transcribes all the “ums” when she doesn’t like a deponent.

      I thought that Cook’s column was self-serving.

    2. Simon van Rensler Says:
      October 2nd, 2012 at 12:17 am

      The word “bias” when used to describe the media is an understatement. It’s more like advocacy, and that’s the real problem. How many times have you watched a news program or read an article in a magazine or paper or online and found it utterly indistinguishable from Obama campaign literature?

    3. JimmyC Says:
      October 5th, 2012 at 3:03 pm

      “It goes beyond politics to a fear/hope that Americans, though our standard of living is amazingly and frustratingly high to our Socialist cousins across the sea, must be knuckle-dragging fundamentalist loons who somehow lucked into our circumstances rather than sensibly government-leery individualists who chose a limited state as the surest path to personal freedom and wealth creation.”

      Very well put, and it perfectly sums up the mindset of nearly every Brit I’ve ever met.

    4. Don Reed Says:
      October 6th, 2012 at 6:10 pm

      re: Media Coverage…

      “You can’t expect to be elected president of the United States without sitting next to Dave first.” — Rob Burnett, executive producer of Letterman’s “Late Show,” NY Post 10/04/12.

      His comment is assumed to have been made prior to Romney’s 1st debate with Obama, during which time, not having been on the show with “Dave” didn’t seem to have been much of a handicap.

      But if Burnett’s comment sounds illogical/absurd, don’t be so quick to laugh. It sounds like a line Dave would be using from time to time with his female interns about what it takes to get ahead in the entertainment business.

      And regardless of the exact wording, for a while there – until the shit hit the fan – by all accounts, he was getting excellent results.

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