Brownnosing Politico A-team Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei have a real gem today called “To GOP, blatant bias in vetting,” in which they allow Republicans to once again essentially ask: If our nation’s newspapers love Barack Obama so much, why don’t they marry him? The latest evidence of pervasive liberal bias in media consists of biographical stories about the presidential candidates, namely Barack Obama’s pot smoking and Mitt Romney’s gay bullying, with Ann Romney’s horse riding thrown in for good measure. The president’s youthful affinity for weed just didn’t get the same play as Romney’s previously unreported prep school assault or his wife’s biggest passion, for some reason.
“The New York Times has given Obama the longest wet kiss in political history, and they have done him a favor again,” Haley Barbour gripes to Politico, which itself offers the GOP some tongue throughout the entire article. “The New York Times does a huge expose that Ann Romney rides horses. Well, so does my wife, and a few million other people. Watch out for equine performers!” Barbour says.
Former George W. Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer gets to chime in as well: “The press never ran probing, sneering stories about candidate Obama, and yet The Washington Post and New York Times are on overtime covering who-cares stories about Mitt Romney,” he claims. “The love affair of 2008 may no longer be a love affair, but it’s a like-a-lot affair. There’s no equivalency for the right.” Politico has their back:
The reality is that presidential nominees get every chapter of their lives exhumed and prodded — and should. And The Post story, by Jason Horowitz (“Romney’s pranks could go too far”), alleges more than harmless hijinks: It reported that Romney was part of a group that held down a kid they believed to be gay and chopped off some hair, an incident several involved said they feel ashamed about until this day.
But the 5,500-word account was invested with far more significance than it merited, and is more voyeuristic than relevant to assessing Romney’s readiness for office.
Nevermind that Politico covered the hell out of the Romney bullying story, too, while largely ignoring Obama’s marijuana fandom, which has come up before and never resulted in anything resembling a hate crime.
Times political editor Richard Stevenson counters, “Despite what some people in both Chicago and Boston might think or hope, we’re not part of the communications strategy of either the Obama or Romney campaigns, and if they are looking to us to play an assigned role, they’re going to be disappointed.” Politico, though, is more than happy to comfort the dismayed GOP in its time of need — Republicans should feel free to give them a call anytime.