Mar
24
2015

Rebranding McCain and Romney as Moderates to Facilitate a Sharp Right Turn

Ted Cruz announcing presidential bid

By accepting Ted Cruz’s characterization of McCain and Romney as moderates who lost because of their moderation, media endorse his argument that the Republican Party’s path to success takes a sharp right turn.

Jan
23
2015

‘Poor,’ ‘Middle Class’–What’s the Difference to the 1 Percent?

Paul Ryan with colleagues

A New York Times piece seems to treat the poor and middle class as almost interchangeable. Thus Mitt Romney vowing to “end the scourge of poverty” is equated with Mitch McConnell calling for a focus on “the stagnant middle class.”

Nov
17
2014

Will Bob Schieffer Move Toward the Center?

schief-mccaskill

Bob Schieffer is right that “a lot of people” think the Democrats should move to the “center”–especially journalists and pundits, who have been saying this for at least 30 years. There’s no reason to think it’s especially good advice, but that doesn’t seem to matter.

Oct
20
2014

Pointless 2016 Election Journalism, 2014 Edition

wapost-romney

Trying to cover the 2016 presidential election based on a poll in 2014 is a waste of time.

Jan
31
2014

FAIR TV: Bipartisan Food Stamp Cuts, the ‘Real’ Romney and the Terror Trial Media Skipped

romney-revealed

Food stamp cuts are an encouraging sign of bipartisanship, according to some media accounts. And journalists are fascinated by the “real” Mitt Romney. Plus a domestic terror trial that’s not getting much press attention–perhaps because the terror suspects aren’t Muslims.

Jan
28
2014

The Real Mitt Romney Should Have Run for President!

romney-revealed

The documentary Mitt is causing many journalists to wonder why the Mitt Romney in the film wasn’t the one who ran for president. It’s a bit like asking why drinking a particular brand of beer doesn’t make you as popular with attractive strangers as the beer ads promised.

Jan
22
2013

Journalists Say Obama Still Too Mean to Republicans

260-6MsoP.St.55

Since the consensus seems to be that Obama’s inaugural address was actually a statement of a bold, progressive vision for his second term, it’s not a surprise that some in the corporate media are upset. Obama’s words were seen as particularly injurious to Republicans, who presumably already feel bad enough as it is.

Nov
08
2012

Mittmentum: Reporters Thought He Might Win Because He Said So

Asked about the pre-election sense that Mitt Romney might win the election, CNN reporter Candy Crowley told viewers (11/7/12): There was an optimism in the Romney camp. But it wasn’t based on the numbers. It was based on the feel of things. And one thing you know when you cover a campaign, the feel of things can be really deceiving. She’s not alone–others had the same sense that the numbers couldn’t be what they were. A Politico story (10/31/12) reported that this feeling was fairly widespread among elite media: Gov. Mitt Romney’s campaign says it still has momentum. President Barack […]

Oct
23
2012

WaPo: Racism in Obama TV Ad?

romney-coal

The Obama campaign has released a new ad criticizing Mitt Romney for having a Swiss bank account and wanting to keep tax breaks for corporations that offshore jobs.  The commercial’s most devastating line: Romney once railed against the deadly pollution from a coal plant. I know what you’re thinking: Totally racist, right? That’s sort of the point of Karen Tumulty‘s piece today in the Washington Post (10/23/12). Under the headline “Obama’s ‘Not One of Us’ Attack on Romney Echoes Racial Code,” Tumulty uses complaints from right-wing bloggers to lead a discussion about the commercial, which she says “echoes a slogan […]

Oct
19
2012

Every Green Energy Failure Is News

Photovoltaic panels, Germany. Photograph by Bernd Sieker.

USA Today (10/17/12) ran a story about a battery manufacturer filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. But the story might as well have been a press release from the Mitt Romney campaign. “Another Blow for Green Energy” read the headline. Wendy Koch’s piece led off with this: An electric vehicle battery maker that was awarded $249 million in federal stimulus funds filed for Chapter 11 reorganization on Tuesday, giving GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney potential ammunition to attack President Obama’s green-energy subsidies. It’s a short article, but it’s hard to avoid the central theme: This is good news for the […]

Oct
17
2012

Noise and Nonsense on Benghazi Attack

Romney debates Obama

Over the past few weeks of the presidential campaign we’ve been hearing a lot–maybe too much–about the September 11, 2012, attack on a U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens. It’s been turned into a campaign issue by the Romney team, which has used the incident to charges that the Obama administration is unable to manage foreign affairs and so forth.  The intensity of the Republican pushback has made this into a major story. It was the lead issue in the vice presidential debate, and has been a regular subject on the Sunday […]

Oct
16
2012

CBS Factchecks Romney’s Tax Plan: Maybe, Who Knows?

cbs-romney

Mitt Romney has a multi-trillion dollar tax cut plan that he says won’t add to the deficit. How does that work? He won’t say, other than to pledge that he’d close some loopholes and deductions, but that none of those would harm “middle-class” Americans. Analysts have argued that this is not mathematically possible. So how do you factcheck that? That was the task for CBS Evening News last night (10/15/12). And their answer seemed to boil down to: Well, maybe. CBS reporter Wyatt Andrews explained: “Romney argues that lower rates will stimulate the economy and he is emphatic the middle-class […]

Oct
16
2012

Playing the Role of ‘Journalist’ at a ‘Presidential Debate’

Candy Crowley

CNN reporter Candy Crowley was apparently causing the Obama and Romney campaigns to panic over the weekend. Why? She was telling people she might ask a question at tonight’s presidential debate. Time‘s Mark Halperin reported (10/14/12) that has done a series of interviews on her network in which she has suggested that she will assume a broader set of responsibilities. As Crowley put it last week, “Once the table is kind of set by the town-hall questioner, there is then time for me to say, ‘Hey, wait a second, what about X, Y, Z?’” The campaigns apparently didn’t much care […]