Friday, May 11, 2012

Republican operative Diane Sawyer organizes the media response: the timing is suspicious!

If you need any more proof that the mainstream media is biased in favor of Mitt Romney, you can find no more outstanding example than Diane Sawyer's ugly, slanted response on ABC News to the "curveball" that Mitt Romney was a physical bully in high school, forcibly cutting a gay student's hair and leading a blind professor to walk into a door.

The daughter of  a Republican county executive (the county that contains Louisville, Kentucky), Diane Sawyer rose to prominence working as a press officer for Richard Nixon's White House.  This was the same Richard Nixon who was known for his dirty tricks and electoral games, and who had to resign for covering up campaign misconduct. After he resigned, Sawyer followed him to California, helping him write a memoir to whitewash his image.  Then, she decided to go into journalism, where she was gratefully welcomed, being the right kind of woman, a rightist.  Of course that has not prevented the right from accusing her of liberal bias on the apparent theory that ovaries are always suspect....and that could be true. Daughters of Republicans aren't always reliable (see Hillary Clinton).

Anyway, when rattled, Sawyer reverts to republicanism. The story about Mitt Romney's bullying, confirmed by five witnesses, four of them willing to share their names, apparently did rattle her.  She did her Karl Rovian best to turn it into a story not about Mitt Romney, but about the Obama campaign and the Washington Post.   "But we rarely go back to high school" in vetting candidates,  she exclaimed, forgetting that they have done just that to Obama. A national magazine published interviews with his former girlfriends last week, and he was said to eat dog in Indonesia when he was under ten years old, a story ABC News reported.   She also forgets that everything about Obama from his papers, to his grades, to his athletic record, to his professors and preachers, to the birth certificate he had no control over, has been minutely examined, while Romney has been bragging all the time about marrying his childhood sweetheart and presenting himself as a kind of goody two-shoes; whereas any discussion of his religion, when he was a preacher, is considered bigotry!

She covered the article by showing a few several second clips of one accuser (there were five) and then interviewing at greater length a Romney defender who wasn't there when the incidents happened, and who doubted the incidents were that serious. She questioned whether the five had a political motive, something that was not done to impugn the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, even though none of them had any first hand dirt on John Kerry.  She even said the timing of the story "seems suspicious" in an effort to imply that the Obama campaign planted the story in the Washington Post to reinforce the president's declaration of support for gay marriage yesterday.

She had no evidence to back up an assertion like that, and the timing actually suggests the opposite. The story took time to uncover, whereas Obama's interview on gay marriage was not scheduled until yesterday morning and the subject was only brought up after Biden endorsed gay marriage a few days ago.  Obama's team originally backpedaled after Biden's speech.  There were rumors Obama wanted to support gay marriage earlier, but didn't want to be associated with the likely defeat of gay marriage in North Carolina.  If so, then why not schedule the interview several days in advance? The whole thing doesn't add up.  If anything, the likelihood runs the other way - that the Obama camp found out about the story first and decided to get their position out beforehand to reap maximum rewards.

It must be a brutal shock to conservatives that the Washington Post, which was so thoroughly fixed in their camp for years after Katherine Graham died, could run such a story.   Conservatives have come to expect a right wing bias in the news.  They offered nothing but standard assertions of "liberal bias" in the story when it was revealed that Romney had gotten twice as much positive coverage as Obama over these past few months.  One story Diane Sawyer has not run is the fact that since 2008 Mitt Romney's Bain Capital has attempted to buy up much of America's media.  But neither has anyone on the right, who are now accusing the Washington Post of being an arm of the Obama campaign.  Chances are they would have had made these same claims of liberal press bias had the Washington Post compared Obama to Satan.

Bain Capital, Mitt Romney CEO, owns the largest network of radio stations in the country, Clear Channel of San Antonio;  did own the second largest, Cumulus of Atlanta,  and still has a major investment in it, and also owns many right wing talk show syndications, including Limbaugh, Hannity, and Beck.  I don't recall any of them mentioning they are employees of Mitt Romney. I don't remember Diane Sawyer investigating that either.  Nor does ABC note that Gannett, the largest newspaper chain in the land, has as its largest shareholder an investment company, which in turn is owned by a Romney money manager named Munder Capital.  Lee Munder was Romney's Florida finance co-chair.

Will Diane Sawyer recuse herself because she worked for Nixon? Of course not.  Will she mention that ABC is owned by Disney, that Disney's largest shareholder is Fidelity, and that Fidelity's largest share holder are the Johnson family, big Romney supporters?    In this article, Woody Johnson attends Ann Romney's birthday party.

Is Diane Sawyer anything but an unofficial Romney campaign official?

The right was quick to take the hint.  Breitbart, a conservative blog whose founder died recently, responded with entirely fallacious claim that the real story was the Washington Post's bias and claim the bullying story is "imploding."  They claimed the original source of the Post story was "Stu White," who wasn't present, even though the Washington Post named four of their five witnesses as sources and they were not Stu White.   Breitbart also had that the victim's "teary" sister is angry about how her brother had been portrayed, as if conservatives would have been nicer.  A more lame response is hard to imagine, but that is the way Karl Rove worked, and Beth Myers, Romney's campaign manager, was his student.  As with Dan Rather and George W. Bush's record as a deserter, they will suggest lies and forgery (which was never proved).  Could the right have, in Machiavelli fashion, sold the Post a story they can later subvert as fake? Possibly, but highly unlikely in this case where four witnesses were willing to go on record.  Nonetheless, the right thinks its readers will accept the claim this was a smear job.

Most important of all, there was no denial from Romney.  He said he "didn't remember," but if he really didn't remember, he would have simply denied it since it would be his word against theirs. He did it, he remembers, and as always, he is unwilling to accept personal responsibility for his actions.  He does not have the maturity to be president.

His campaign, though, was quick to move to North Carolina to see if it could scrape up some votes.
That may be hard to do.  Amendment One to ban gay marriage passed by 1.3 million to 800,000, but North Carolina will likely cast 4.3 - 5  million votes for president, meaning that only a little more than a quarter of its voters felt strong enough to get out and vote against gay marriage.  Obama actually polled fewer than 800,000 votes in the primary, meaning more North Carolinians voted against banning gay marriage than voted for Obama. True, total Democratic votes in the presidential primary were 959,000 suggesting at least 130,000 Democrats voted against gay marriage.  That is hardly a huge potential pickup for Romney. Romney's uphill struggle seems to be represented in that running with only the token opposition of Ron Paul, and the same number of primary voters as the Democrats, he won 100,000 fewer votes than Obama.  It does seem peculiar, and perhaps a mark of fraud, that 200,000 more votes were recorded on Amendment One than on who should be President.  Civil Rights groups say many people in liberal areas were given ballots without the Amendment on it, so if anything, the count should have been in favor of the Presidential race. One thing is certain, and that is the tide of people supporting gay marriage is rising rapidly, and Romney will not benefit from that.

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