Friday, August 03, 2012

How The Media Faked Romney's "Culture" Gaffe

Don't get stuck on stupid, reporters. We are moving forward. And don't confuse the people please. You are part of the public message. So help us get the message straight. And if you don't understand, maybe you'll confuse it to the people.
Lieutenant General Honore addressing reporters about New Orleans evac plan for Hurricane Rita

Over at Big Journalism, John Nolte writes that Howard Kurtz exposes how the AP Manufactured Romney's Palestinian 'Gaffe'. Indeed, Kurtz, Washington bureau chief for The Daily Beast, does not paint a pretty picture of how the media distorted Romney's statement on the Palestinians and "culture":

An early version of [AP reporter Kasie] Hunt’s story, labeled “Non-Urgent,” said that “Mitt Romney told Jewish donors Monday that their culture is part of what has allowed them to be more economically successful than the nearby Palestinians.” The story contained only a paraphrase, then quoted Romney as citing the “dramatically stark difference” in per capita domestic gross product figures between Israel and the Palestinian territories. (Romney’s erroneous numbers understated the gap.)

Hunt’s report did not mention Romney’s next sentence: “And that is also between other countries that are near or next to each other. Chile and Ecuador, Mexico and the United States.” [emphasis mine]

Romney often makes that point in his stump speech, about the impact of culture on the economy of these four countries and others, and wrote about it in his book. In complaining that the AP made the fundraiser remarks appear aimed solely at the Palestinians, [Romney strategist] Stevens says: “We’re talking about two sentences.”
Also noteworthy is that Hunt did not bother to get any response from the Romney team, in spite of the fact that while she was on the 41/2 flight to Poland, during which Stevens made himself available to the media.

Kurtz writes:
This is the nub of the dispute. The AP “could not have given Erekat a correct quote to respond to because they didn’t have it” with its reporter in the air and unreachable, Stevens told me. “The greatest sin here is that this was not a breaking news story. They could have waited three or four hours and gotten the story right.” [emphasis added]
And that is how news is created in today's media.
And it goes a step further.

In How the Obama team works the media, Jennifer Rubin writes about the unsourced story, denied by the Romney team that originally appeared in The Telegraph, claiming that Romney made a comment comparing African to Anglo-Saxon heritages.
Some mainstream reporters confess to the Romney campaign that their editors tell them they have to write on it. (Have to? What if it’s not true?) Well, if one of them writes on it, others will follow.

And how did the Telegraph quote magically get to so many reporters? The Obama team sent it to them. Nothing wrong with that, if the press would be honest about the origin of the story.

...Repeating an unsourced quote at the behest of one campaign without verification, and with zero evidence that anyone in the campaign said it, isn’t journalism. It’s political propaganda. And reputable news outlets should stop it.
The Obama team and The Democratic National Committee have turned their exploitation of the media's willing sloppiness into an art form.

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