Both President Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney have had their say on the Libya incident, in which a U.S. ambassador was killed Tuesday. Now several bloggers have loaded their guns and are pointing them at the news media.
Romney was widely criticized for his comments on the Obama administration’s handling of the attacks. He said the administration’s own response to the attacks was an “apology” for America.
NYT editorialized that Romney “showed an extraordinary lack of presidential character by using the murders of the Americans in Libya as an excuse … to attack Mr. Obama…” WaPo called Romney’s critique of Obama’s foreign policies “crude.” USA Today said Romney “erred in moving so quickly to make political hay of an unfolding tragedy.”
In a post today, RedState‘s Erick Erickson argues that the media, led by “group think,” wanted the “focus on Romney” rather than what he saw as the president’s own shortcomings on foreign policy. He took names:
“I get that Chuck Todd is a former Democrat hill staffer. I get that the Politico is riddled with Democrats, some former activists and a former staffer for Debbie Wasserman Schultz. I get that Michael Scherer from Time magazine is a left wing reporter for Mother Jones and Salon.com turned respectable, “objective” journalist. I get that Ben Smith, leading up Buzz Feed, is a left wing journalist paraded about as if he is some sort of objective reporter at a trendy site full of cat photos. [Editor’s Note: Totally forgot to include Journolist and have updated to include it] I get that precious Ezra Klein started Journolist so reporters and political operatives could collaborate on the news and narrative and now he sits at the Washington Post and gets trotted out as a fact checker.”
Erickson, however, does credit Slate‘s Dave Weigel for writing that Romney’s comment wasn’t a gaffe, but a consistent view on foreign policy.
Over at WaPo‘s Right Turn blog, Jennifer Rubin largely made the same argument as Erickson: The collective media didn’t concentrate on the real issue at hand, the death of an ambassador, a delayed response from the White House. “What [Romney] said was valid then, as it remains valid in retrospect…” Rubin wrote today. In a separate post Rubin took another swipe at the media, arguing that conservatives have not turned against Romney as some have suggested. “The mainstream media… decided that Romney was ‘isolated’ or in trouble with Republicans,” she wrote. “Perhaps the media don’t know very many conservatives. Or perhaps they thought a few moldy Beltway insiders were representative of the party at large. … If the media are going to rally to Obama, then, by gosh, conservatives are going to rally to Romney.”
Rubin’s liberal counterpart, Greg Sargent …who runs the Plum Line blog at WaPo, had little to say on the media; but what he did say was in its defense. “There is a great deal of whining today on the right that the media unfairly focused on Romney yesterday, rather than the causes of the event itself,” Sargent wrote today. “Let me make a suggestion: Perhaps the media saw Romney’s comments as newsworthy because he accused the Obama administration of sympathizing with attackers of U.S. Embassies?” On a separate note, Sargent correctly predicted yesterday that even if this election is about the economy for most voters, Romney’s “misstep… will infect the media narrative.” It has.
The Daily Caller‘s Jim Treacher went with the tried and true double-standard claim: “Of course, it’s Romney’s fault for saying something about any of it. … Hey, remember all those times the press called out Obama for criticizing Bush’s foreign policy? That was awesome,” he writes. Treacher, like Erickson, named names of the offenders. They included: MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, NBC White House Correspondent Chuck Todd, The Daily Beast‘s Howard Kurtz and CNN’s Don Lemon.
And then there’s FNC’s Greta Van Susteren. She polls, you decide. On her Gretawire blog, Van Susteren asked “What concerns the media more? How, when and what Gov. Romney said about the attacks on the Americans? Or the attacks on the Americans?” The results were overwhelmingly for the former.