Was there ever a time that Republicans did not complain about the liberal media? If there is. I cannot think of it.
And even though each Pew Research Center study for the past year has conclusively demonstrated that the myth of the liberal media is precisely that — a myth, that has not stopped Romney and his many surrogates from complaining that the Liberal Media™ is out to get him.
Ann Romney has complained about media bias against her husband even as Hilary Rosen, who made a valid point about Ms. Romney’s inability to truly understand the woes of the average working mother, was nonetheless tarred and feather in the media.
Mitt Romney frequently complains about media bias against him, while stalwartly refusing to appear on Sunday shows on any network that is not Fox.)
And, last Thursday, Politico weighed in, claiming that the cries about liberal media bias “often ring true”:
Ari Fleischer, the former press secretary to President George W. Bush, said the personal coverage of Romney is silly and won’t cut it with voters, but that he finds the media inconsistency with regards to covering Obama to be galling.
These stories are not unusual, except they were never done about then-Senator Obama in 2008,” Fleischer said. “The press never ran probing, sneering stories about candidate Obama, and yet The Washington Post and New York Times are on overtime covering who-cares stories about Mitt Romney.”
Really, Ari? You’ve got to be kidding. The press is still running probing, sneering stories about President Obama. Are you familiar with Maureen Dowd’s work? It is not for the faint of heart. And if you are brave enough to venture into the outer reaches of the Internet where World Net Daily resides, you are sure to find tales of Obama munching on puppies for lunch.
As for candidate Obama? I have two words for you: Jeremiah Wright. In 2008, the electorate was treated to “God d**n America!” on a loop for what seemed like ever. And now, thanks to Romney surrogate Donald Trump, Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, and an assortment of conservatives, we are going to be treated to six months of intense Birther speculation that the media is still loathe to call racist because the word “racist” is so uncivil.
As for the notion that voters don’t care about Romney’s wealth, his wife’s affinity for dressage horses, car elevators, his experience as a “vulture capitalist,” his inventive solutions for pet travel, and his convenient memory loss about forcibly cutting the hair of a boy Romney saw as being gay – that is nonsense. These stories are merely part of the vetting process and they give Americans a glimpse into the sort of man that Romney is, and to me, it’s not pretty. (Then again, I’m just an Obamabot, so of course I’d say that…)
Look — Romney’s wealth isn’t the problem. The problem is that he seems painfully out of touch with regular Americans. That Romney worked at Bain Capital isn’t the problem. The problem is his varying tales of how many jobs he created at Bain Capital. Is it 100,000? 10,000? We still haven’t gotten a straight answer. Most Americans have behaved badly at one time or another during their teenage years, but most Americans have not assaulted anyone with scissors and then when questioned about it, claimed to not remember.
The reality is that Mitt Romney is an unabashed liar (as Steve Benen at Maddow Blog has assiduously detailed for the past twenty weeks). Whether it is repeatedly claiming that President Obama toured the Middle East and apologized for America (not true), or arguing that President Obama has doubled the deficit (again, not true), or positing that President Obama promised to keep unemployment at 8% (false!), there are few distortions, mistruths, or falsehoods that the Etch-a-Sketch candidate won’t champion. (And by the way, reporting on the “Etch-a-Sketch” gaffe was, according to US News and World Report, in and of itself an example of media bias against Romney, so stop reporting that the Romney campaign plans to lie to the American people, Liberal Media™!) The media seems to have accepted as fact that Mitt Romney is going to lie his way through this election and has seemingly thrown up its collective hands when it comes to Mitt’s mendacity.
The bottom line is this: According to the non-partisan Pew Research Center, at no point has President Obama received more favorable coverage than Mitt Romney. Moreover, at no point in the past year — even last April, the month that President Obama ordered the SEAL Team 6 raid — has President Obama received on-balance positive coverage at all. The charts don’t lie.
Politico may claim that bias in favor of President Obama “rings true,” but any anecdotal evidence that the media is harder on Romney than Obama likely results from a personal feeling that any positive coverage of President Obama is unwarranted must be the result of Liberal Media Bias™. After all, the Liberal Media™ refuses to ask the hard questions like, “On a scale of Kenyan to Kenyan, how Kenyan is the president?” Such personal feelings, however, are not based in reality. The charts don’t lie.