Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Margaret Carlson says Romney the "unknown quantity." Pathetic.

Some people wonder--people not really paying attention to the world around them, which is unfortunately most people--why there has been a consistent and ever-growing backlash from conservative circles against what they (we) term "the mainstream media." Margaret Carlson's latest piece at Bloomberg is the perfect foil for explaining the "why" behind this backlash.

Carlson is a well-seasoned political journalist, having worked as a columnist for Time Magazine, Esquire, the New Republic, and now Bloomberg. She resides in Washington, DC proper and was a regular on CNN's The Capitol Gang for well over a decade. In short, she is the mainstream media. She's well-educated (possessing both a BA and a law degree), well-connected, and quite certain of her expertise, when it comes to all things political.

Yet, in this latest column, she plays the ignorant fool, opining that Romney is something of an unknown quantity, despite his previous run at the Presidential Nomination, despite his very public term as Governor of Massachusetts, despite his very public role in organizing the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake, and despite his heavily scrutinized leadership of Bain Capital:
Romney remains a man of mystery next to the president. Barack Obama’s no Joe Biden, but he has become known to us in some fundamental ways after four years being beamed into our living rooms.
"Man of mystery"? Who is she kidding? Aside from herself, apparently. Because she seems quite serious on the point; she reiterates it at the end of the piece:
Four years ago -- and even today -- one of the great conservative complaints against Obama was that he wasn’t properly “vetted” by the news media. Yet it is Romney -- also a candidate in 2008 -- who remains, more than most presidential candidates, an unknown quantity.
It's almost four years into Obama's Presidency, and we still know very little about his past, aside from the panegyrics spoon-fed to us by Obama's handlers and willing dupes--like Carlson--in the media. It took non-mainstream source--like Breitbart--to "uncover" a bio of the President that listed his birthplace as Kenya, a bio that had been repeatedly used by Obama's literary agent for fifteen years. Yet since that story broke, the mainstream media has--as a whole--sloughed it off, apparently unwilling to dig into it, to discover what Obama's actual role was in the bio and it's proliferation.

But I digress. I don't want this to be about the empty suit that is Barack Obama, but about why people like Carlson seem so intent on fooling themselves, with regard to what they really know and don't know.

Mitt Romney's handling of the 2002 Winter Olympics was big news for years; Romney's face was all over the place in the media in those days (circa 1999 to 2002). Prior to Romney's involvement in the Games, things were going badly. Money was being mismanaged, there were allegations of bribery, and the Games were set to lose millions and millions of dollars. Scandal was in the air:
It was the winter of 1999, and a dark cloud hung over the state of Utah. An Olympic bid scandal had broken open, and SLOC was stuck holding the pieces. Both the Olympic and the state images were tarnished by allegations of bribery. Sponsors were jumping ship, the U.S. Justice Department was conducting an investigation, and the U.S. Senate was about to hold hearings. Around the nation and the world, fair or not, Utah had suddenly become synonymous with the word scandal.
And into this mess jumped Mitt Romney, taking over as President of the Organizing Committee. In short order, he turned things around. He refused to take the salary that accompanied the job, donating the $285,000 per year to charity, poured in some $1 million of his own money to help the effort, and eventually produced a net profit of nearly $100 million for the Games. And pretty much everyone--everyone--lauded him for his accomplishments.

Since then, after Romney became a player on the national stage, there have been repeated attempts in the media and by Romney foes to tarnish his legacy with regard to the Games. But they've all failed. The Washington Post Fact Checker was forced to agree (though it's clear the editors weren't happy about it):
Romney may have exaggerated the SLOC’s problems or exhibited a showman’s instinct while fixing them, but he still helped turn a tarnished and financially troubled Games into a success. He doesn’t deserve all the credit for that endeavor, but nothing that we’ve found indicates he made a flat-out false statement or misled voters with the gist of his message. His remarks earn a rare Geppetto checkmark.
Yet in a piece ostensibly about Mitt Romney's resume, Carlson says nothing about the 2002 Winter Olympics. She was working for Time as a columnist during the period. Did she sleep through these events?

The idea that Romney is anything other than an open book is pitiful. Left-leaning journalists are so desperate to find something new about Romney, they have reached back to the 1960's to Romney's school years. Whether one supports him or not, his resume is there for all to see. And in that regard, I can understand the uninformed dislike many have for Bain Capital, but Romney's work for the Salt Lake Games, how his skills as an organizer and leader were laid bare, speaks highly of the man, by anyone's standards.

Apart from those of people like Carlson, who cover their eyes and pretend they have no memory when it suits their purposes.

Why? I think--apart from the very obvious ideological angle--that these people in the media bubble have fooled themselves into thinking their personal relationships with powerful politicians is a valid substitute for real knowledge, with regard to who a politician is, what is in his or her past. And Carlson's silly assumption that--somehow--Obama has been far better vetted than Romney, that the latter's past is the more cloudy of the two, seems to prove the point.

The ingrained bias of the mainstream media: it's what's for dinner. As always.

Cheers, all.


  1. If Romney looks at the camera and says "President Obama murdered an American citizen and belongs in pison" I'll vote for him

  2. I'm with Wayne. Romney needs to distinguish himself from Obama's record as a warrior president and trampler of civil liberties to convince me he's worthy of my vote. Business experience in a leader who approves of Obama's attacks on citizens and foreigners alike simply means he'll be more efficiently ruthless.

  3. That's all fine. But this is less a campaign ad for Romney then it is an indictment of "journalists" like Carlson, who pretend that reality is not staring them in the face.