Saturday, February 09, 2008

The Disingenuous MSM

Glen Johnson, writing for the Associated Press, makes this statement regarding Mitt Romney and his opinions of John McCain:
It always sounded innocuous enough, tucked into the adjectives Mitt Romney would rattle off when he described the qualities for the next president.

Wisdom, optimism and the right temperament, said the former Republican presidential candidate.
He goes on to make the case that what Romney has done, in effect, is give the Democrats ammunition in their future campaign against the presumed Republican nominee.

What complete, utter, and total nonsense. Romney has done no such thing. Not by himself, anyway. All Romney has done is his research. He used that research to make the compelling case that there were (and still are) huge differences between Romney's brand of conservatism, and McCain's claims to the conservative crown. McCain's temperament is renown, and has been widely reported by the MSM as well.

All Johnson could possibly be doing in writing this tripe is attempt to make Romney look like the great spoiler for the 2008 campaign. If McCain loses in November, it will have been because of Romney's apparent gaffes. Romney therefore becomes unappetizing to Republicans in any future contests, and the MSM has triumphed.

(Mr. Johnson may well complain that I'm reading things into his article that he never intended. Mr. Johnson would be well advised to look to his own purposes in writing the article. If this isn't an attempt to impugn an honorable man, then I've never seen one.)

All of the things mentioned in Johnson's missive have been reliably reported elsewhere. McCain's relative weakness on economic issues. Various flip-flops on critical issues, particularly on immigration reform. His decision to make strategic alliances with liberal members of Congress. His flaunting of his differences with the conservative hemisphere of the party. His temper. All of these things have been reported in various segments of the MSM, and many of them have been linked and/or quoted extensively by new media on both sides of the aisle.

The only thing one can really lay at Romney's feet is the statement that Democrats will soon make beginning with, "Even Romney knew about McCain's [insert McCain weakness here]...!" They would be fools not to.

To blame Romney for this, however, is a huge stretch and impossible to prove. I think this is really just another attempt by a mainstreamer to demonstrate that they can remain relevant to modern political discussions. They're still struggling to maintain their supremacy in this age of new media, and they resort to this sort of journalistic pouting when they realize they can't.

Let's be realistic about this: The Democrats have not been handed their "playbook" by Mtt Romney. They have been doing their research. They watch the blogs. They read the reports. Clinton and Obama both have worked directly with McCain in the Senate, and are both very well aware of his weaknesses. Romney did not enable them. He did what any candidate for office must do if they are to mount an effective campaign: you study your opponents, you understand their weaknesses, and you exploit those weaknesses. This is politics.

Nice try, Mr. Johnson, but you're not even close on this one. With or without Mitt Romney, the Democrats will have received the largest portions of their "playbook" by reading articles like yours.

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