If you were holding out any hope that the mainstream news media would be fair to both presidential candidates this year, in a word “fuggedaboutit.
GOP nominee Mitt Romney fielded a whole bunch of hostile questions at today’s press conference about the anti-American violence in Egypt and Libya, and interestingly enough, those questions — which really amounted to badgering in an apparent attempt to trip him up about the his statement released last night — were apparently pre-planned by the journalists in attendance.
In a exclusive that was broken by TheRightScoop website, various journalists — including what is said to be a CBS reporter — were overheard on a hot mic (listen below) joyfully coordinating their questions so that “no matter who he calls on we’re covered on the one question.” The media seemed far more concerned with Romney’s statement than the loss of life in Libya.
The BigJournalism.com website noticed a trend:
[The media’s] goal was to make sure that no question would address the substance of the crisis but instead put Romney on the defensive about made-up mistakes in his criticism of President Obama.
In the event, six out of the seven questions were almost exactly the same, all questioning Romney for his supposed mistake. (Romney handled the questions very well.)
…The nation is in the midst of a profound national security and foreign policy crisis, and the American people deserve to know why their government was asleep at the switch–as well as what the position of the political opposition is. Yet the mainstream media is trying to quash that critical discussion and debate.
Whether you agree with him or not, Mitt Romney, just like any other American, can engage in free speech under the Constitution, including the right to comment on both domestic and international affairs. Unlike the reaction today, moreover, the mainstream media fully celebrated the all-out criticism of the Bush foreign policy record by Sen. John Kerry and then-Sen. Barack Obama and other Democrats in 2004 and 2008, respectively.
The president read a prepared statement on the Middle East violence and the terrorist killing of the US ambassador and three others but took no questions today at his Rose Garden appearance.
Perhaps prophetically, New York Post columnist John Podhoretz wrote on Monday about those who used to function as government watchdogs but now in general serve as an adjunct to the Obama re-election campaign:
Obama has two advantages Romney doesn’t: a lapdog media and the presidential megaphone — and he’ll use both to his advantage.
In its debate prep, similarly, Team Romney must also plan for accusatory, gotcha questioning as opposed to the softballs that will be likely tossed at President Obama.
What’s fascinating about pervasive liberal bias is that many media members (like their vocal counterparts in Hollywood) have prospered very nicely in the free enterprise system, but they seem to want the rest of us to be under the control of bureaucratic central planners.
Listen to members of the press coordinating questions for Mitt Romney:
Can you imagine the mainstream press corps collaborating on tough questions in advance to ask the president?