Mitt eats vegan burrito in his “Darkest Hour”
September 19, 2012 Leave a comment
In the wake of the great, surreptitiously recorded Romney fundraiser video, the media continue their long stumble in the wilderness. Rather than press on policy, they pursue the “process story.” Just look to the Washington Post, which in declaring “Mitt Romney’s Darkest Hour,” proceeds to analyze how analysis will lead to soul searching and second-guessing (these in themselves being more analysis). This is supposed to doom Romney–but not definitively.
At Yahoo News, Holly Bailey continues her embedded coverage on the Romney plane. She maintains the edgy style that Ron Fournier sullied the Associated Press brand with in 2008: ditching the pretense of neutrality for moody framing devices and the liberty to issue gut calls. Ever out to paint Romney as dry and lame, the most valuable detail in one of Bailey’s recent reports was what Romney had for breakfast: a vegan burrito.
What madness is this: using so many words to say nothing at all. Good thing newsprint today is made of electrons instead of wood pulp. It lessens the waste. All too many journalists dwell on trivia while major questions, such as what President Obama really intends to do about this anemic recovery, go unasked, let alone unanswered.
Higher up at Yahoo News, the slide continues apace. Once, stories from AP, AFP, and Reuters populated the front page. Now, almost every “news” link there takes the reader to one of Yahoo’s many branded blogs. And from the looks of things, the leanings of recently sacked political editor David Chalian are still intact. It was he who remarked over an open mic during the Republican National Convention, “They are happy to have a party with black people drowning.”
Away from the open mic, writers signal subtle derision toward the Least Favored Candidate. A blogger at Christian Science Monitor’s Decoder Wire responds to Romney’s 47% remarks with an “Umm, OK.” Follow that with a cherry-picked characterization of the governor as a “plutocrat.”
So is the revelation of the 47% video Romney’s “Darkest Hour?” Conservatives seem to be shrugging it off well enough. Per Bailey’s report, Romney was all smiles, burrito eating aside.
One might point to pseudo-conservative David Brooks’ disappointment with Romney. He compared the governor to Gilligan’s Island character Thurston Howell, III. This led MSNBC’s Dave Weigel to tweet, “When you’ve lost David Brooks, you’ve lost middle America.” A responding tweet set the record straight: “BS. When you’ve lost Brooks, you’ve lost weaselly coastal elites.” After all, David Brooks is the Alan Colmes of All Things Considered: a weak ideological opponent trotted out to slake the blood lust of a partisan audience.
The mainstream media will continue to bury Romney with process stories as long as the news industry’s systemic jet stream will allow it. But neither apocalyptic visions, ad hominem attacks, nor mundane meal descriptions will satisfy undecided voters who want to make a real, informed decision come November. Those who look beyond the superficial potshots to answer questions of character and policy will find Mr. Romney to be wholly worthy as our next commander-in-chief.