Romney Faces Media Bias in Debates

Wednesday, 17 Oct 2012 08:11 PM

By Clarence McKee

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“Can you say it again louder Candy” asked President Obama to moderator Candy Crowley during the second presidential debate — a request she willingly obliged.

Obama was responding to Crowley’s attempt to “fact check” Mitt Romney’s statement regarding Obama’s rose garden comments concerning whether the Libyan attacks constituted terrorism.

Romney faces increasing media bias in the debates.
In addition to the president, Mitt Romney also faces a media bias.
(Getty Images)
This was another case of the media being the “Amen” corner for Obama where fact checking is reserved for Romney — not the Obama administration.

“Mr. President, did you tell your Secretary of State to send your U.N. Ambassador out to mislead the American people?”

Seems like an obvious question for inquisitive reporters to ask the president regarding the statements of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice. The key word is “inquisitive.” It has become rather obvious that the major media will not turn over any stones that might discredit his administration or his re-election.

If the shoe were on the other political foot and it was George W. Bush who presided over such an obvious effort to mislead the American people, reporters would have asked repeatedly, “Did you know what your U.N. Ambassador was going to tell the media?”

Just check out the recent Gallop poll showing that 60 percent of Americans distrust the media. More to the point are the remarks of Democratic pollster and Fox News contributor Pat Caddell. Referring to the press’ treatment of Obama he said: “They are in the tank and this is a frightening thing.”

Caddell went on to state that the press’s job is to “protect liberty and freedom of us all from organized governmental power.” More to the point were his conclusions that when the press deserts those principles and tells . . . what truth that you may know . . . and what truth you are not allowed to know, they have . . . made themselves a fundamental threat to the democracy . . . the enemy of the American people . . . a threat to the very future of this country . . . ”

Referring to Obama in 2008, he said the press “jumped on the Obama bandwagon and made it a moral commitment on their part to help him get elected in a way that has never happened . . . ”

Caddell also had harsh comments for Romney and the Republican establishment for their “inability to fight.” He went on to say that Republicans and those candidates who are not the candidates of the press refuse to call them out.”

So what’s to be done? The first step is for the Romney team and the Republican National Committee to start calling the press out for their obvious anti-Romney bias and lack of objective reporting — if they report at all — on his record.

They need to take a page out of the Spiro Agnew playbook. For those who do not remember, Spiro Agnew was Richard Nixon’s first vice president and no fan of the media. He called them “Nattering nabobs of negativism” and “an effete corps of impudent snobs.” He referred to the then dominant major networks as representing “a concentration of power over American public opinion unknown in history.”

It will be too late for Romney and the Republicans to wait until a defeat in a few weeks to point out the pro-Obama bias in the media. They should give specific examples now.

Someone should be saying that “we don’t mind battling Obama in the ring of political discourse, but we do not like having to fight his silent “tag-team partner”— the media — as well.

Romney and the Republicans should put the media on the defensive just as Agnew did more than 30 years ago. Since 60 percent of the public distrusts the media anyway, taking them on for unfairness and one-sided reporting will hit a sympathetic chord.

In the words of former Chief Justice Warren Berger, the media “. . . is indeed almost becoming a further branch of government . . . Its powers should be exercised with restraint, just as the powers of the Supreme Court of the United States should be exercised with restraint.” He concluded saying that the press had “. . . an obligation to see that all the facts are exposed to the public so the people . . . can make a fair judgment on criticism.”

Obama is like the “emperor with no clothes” and the media is doing all that it can to give him a wardrobe. Romney has to take the gloves off.

So next Monday, when moderator Bob Schieffer of CBS News makes any attempt to interject himself into the debate, Romney should say: “Wait a minute Bob, you are supposed to be the referee here, not send in plays.”

Clarence V. McKee is president of McKee Communications, Inc., a government, political and media relations consulting firm in Florida. He held several positions in the Reagan administration as well as the Reagan presidential campaigns, including Board of Directors of the Legal Services Corporation. He was also appointed chairman of the District of Columbia Reagan-Bush Campaign and he chaired the District of Columbia Delegation to the Republican National Convention in Dallas. Contact him at clarencemckee@gmail.com. Read more reports from Clarence V. McKee — Click Here Now.












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