Skip to main content

This Politico story about a Mitt rebound, quoting Mike Allen, is like watching the universe collapse on itself.
@joshorton via TweetDeck

"Ugh we want this race to be tighter SO HARD" -Politico, basically
@jesseberney via web

There was no way the political media was going to get through the final weeks before the election without trying to create an "Obama stumbles" or "Romney surges" narrative, and Politico really, really wants the startling new video of a public speech Barack Obama gave in 2007 to be just such a moment. The problem for Politico is that few think this video is newsworthy, let alone scandalous, outside the acknowledged right-wing media. The solution? Politico is creating its own buzz chamber to breathlessly report all the sides of this non-story.

Just hours after Tucker Carlson unveiled the tape, Politico's Dylan Byers reported that the hype fell flat and even Allen West and Newt Gingrich thought it was basically a non-story. But that didn't stop Mike Allen from, hours later, listing the video as a component in a possible Romney rebound. Allen's speculation about what might happen was then used by Politico's Bobby Cervantes as one of the pieces of schmevidance in a piece speculating further about how if Mitt Romney can totally dominate in the debate, and anyone who isn't already a dedicated Obama opponent gives a damn the 2007 video, making the right's wet dreams come true, and a whole bunch of other stuff, then Romney might be able to come back.

Having reporting and out-your-ass punditry that gave very different ideas of the import of the story wasn't enough, though, so Politico forged ahead with a tale of how "In the political blogosphere, commentators on the left and right clashed" over the tape. But the story itself reveals that it wasn't so much a clash as a frantic attempt by the right to whip up outrage while the left alternated between mocking and patient debunking. So the Republicans quoted in the article are all screeching about Obama being a lying racist and the progressive media quoted are restricted to two TPM writers making factual points also addressed by many in the traditional media, Greg Sargent calling it "ridiculous," and Steve Benen saying it "just reeked of desperation."

This is not a clash. It's also terribly unfair to progressive bloggers, many of whom produced quality mockery that Politico's Katie Glueck has to ignore because it doesn't fit the clash narrative. Wonkette's Rebecca Schoenkopf describes the dynamic much more accurately:

Boyle and Carlson and Twitchy and the crew have convinced themselves that the vile left is wetting its pants in terror over these revelations; this seems belied by the fact that out of the couple dozens of vile leftist tweets Twitchy posts, only two are earnestly outraged and the rest are just cold laughing their asses off.
But the far right screaming and yelling about something that everyone else either shrugs off or laughs at does not produce enough horserace drama for Politico, so Politico using Politico as a source and "the left and right clashed" it is.

1:19 PM PT: Oh my word. Politico keeps churning 'em out, with at least eight stories so far devoted to this non-story.

Most recently you've got a piece that took the combined reporting firepower of Glenn Thrush, Reid Epstein, and Alexander Burns: Video potential worry for Obama campaign. The problem with the story? They couldn't find anyone on the Obama campaign to say they were worried, even anonymously. The story opens:

Obama’s aides and top Democratic officials projected an air of nonchalance and nothing-to-see-here Tuesday night as Fox News and Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller promoted the 2007 speech at Hampton University as a racial rant with the capacity to change the game. But the reelection campaign is concerned especially by the possibility of re-litigating Wright’s role in Obama’s life — a storyline long seen in Obamaland as among the most damaging to the president.
But it goes on to say that a "top Democrat" sees the tape as "gift from our enemies" and that the campaign hasn't even bothered to distribute talking points on the video. If three Politico reporters can't get an anonymous source to directly say that the Obama campaign is worried about this, that's a real good sign of a manufactured story.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 10:01 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site