After The Washington Post exposed Mitt Romney as an alleged high-school bully, conservatives are crying foul, arguing that the damaging tale of Romney harassing a presumably gay classmate is proof of liberal media bias. Sure, a recent Pew Research study concluded that Romney gets twice as much favorable media coverage as President Obama, but some on the Right still say the uproar over Romney's prep school behavior, for which he apologized on Thursday, proves that reporters are out to get the presumptive Republican nominee. Is the media unfairly targeting Romney?
The media clearly favors Obama: This sad, silly spectacle proves, once and for all, that reporters are out to get Romney, says Erick Erickson at RedState. The media "can't be bothered to worry about Barack Obama's college years, college transcripts, communist friends," or admitted cocaine use, "but they can get in the really way back machine to 1965" to smack Romney for giving a classmate a forced haircut. Talk about a double standard.
"Communists, cop-killers, and cocaine: Why The Washington Post focuses on Romney instead"
C'mon. Conservative critics are being hypocritical: The "Obama-was-never-vetted" cry is just a "right-wing distraction," says Eric Boehlert at Media Matters. The truth is that the media covered his association with controversial preacher Jeremiah Wright "over one thousand times." And the same conservative complainers now indignant over the story on Romney's alleged bullying obsessed over every detail of Obama's childhood. Apparently vetting is fair, but only for Democrats.
"Wait, suddenly right-wing bloggers don't want candidates vetted?"
These days, all candidates gets this kind of scrutiny: Romney is not the first presidential candidate whose dirty laundry has been held up for inspection, Jeremy Mayer, a George Mason University professor, tells Politico. "I recall that Obama's drug use did come up in coverage in 2008." This kind of scrutiny is standard, and, given that "bullying is hot right now, especially bullying of gays," Romney's "alleged gay bullying is getting attention appropriate to the times."
"Media tougher on Romney's past than Obama's?"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How a degree from Duke University dashed my dreams of buying a home
- This is why you can't trust the NSA. Ever.
- Innocent before proven guilty? The bizarre bipartisan rush to clear Rick Perry
- How collaborative innovation led to the experimental serum for Ebola
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- 10 things you need to know today: August 22, 2014
- Don't listen to Paul Ryan: The GOP is still the party of makers and takers
- ISIS and the echoes of the West's religious terror
- 4 things NASA can teach you about a good night's sleep
- The single best way to help your kid succeed at school
Subscribe to the Week