Mitt Romney addressed an Associated Press luncheon today to chit-chat with his good friends, the reporters, who fawned over his every word. What do you think about us!, the giggling media children demanded. Do you like us?? OMG you hate us maybe??? And so, to the delight of this hard-nippled assembly of navel-gazers, Mittens shared a basic critique of the political media’s obvious shortcomings — superficial, cynical, smug, lazy, shitty sourcing, thoughtless, 100% wrong all the time. All the bad habits that the Romney campaign loves engaging reporters with, every day, basically.
Here’s Romney version of the standard What Ever Happened To The Good Ol’ Days Of Journalism moral superiority spiel:
In just the few years since my last campaign, the changes in your industry are striking. Then, I looked to Drudge or FOX or CNN online to see what stories were developing. Hours after a speech, it was being dissected on the Internet. Now, it’s Twitter, and instantaneous reaction. In 2008, the coverage was about what I said in my speech. These days, it’s about what brand of jeans I am wearing and what I ate for lunch.
Most people in my position are convinced that you are biased against us. We identify with LBJ’s famous quip that if he were to walk on water, your headline would read: “President Can’t Swim.”
Some people thus welcome the tumult in your industry, heralding the new voices and the unfiltered or supposedly unbiased sources. Frankly, in some of the new media, I find myself missing the presence of editors to exercise quality control. I miss the days of two or more sources for a story – when at least one source was actually named.
Haw haw haw. Yes, sources.
Your Wonkette, [sigh], read that damn POLITICO EBOOK about the last few months of the campaign last night, vomiting the whole way through. That story about Rick Perry getting high and singing everywhere was easily the best part; otherwise it was mostly tick-tock accounts of every deputy communications aide’s telephone calls with focus group leaders, pollsters, message gurus, “prominent lobbyists,” etc., over the course of several months, as well as authors Mike Allen and Evan Thomas’ self-defeating effort to name-drop all of the very important people they’ve had dinner with while keeping them anonymous. Don’t read it. It’s twisted, man, it’s nuts. There *is* noble work to be found for reporters who want to expose the extraordinary cynicism and depravity of campaigns’ anonymous-political-consultant culture, and how a few behind-the-scenes psychopaths manipulate the entire nation in order to collect their fees, but only when it’s correctly framed as muckraking. POLITICO writes it all out with an earnest, adoring smile. It’s fucked up. And even worse, boring.
Anyway, the point is that 150% of that damn POLITICO EBOOK was sourced by Romney aides and supporters bragging (anonymously) about all of the lies and smears and unfair nonsense attacks they planted in the media to destroy rival campaigns, and how much they enjoyed doing it and look forward to doing it more down the road. So Mitt Romney is full of it, like everyone, the end, though maybe he’s right somehow.