Friday, May 11, 2012

‘Bullying’ Case Against Romney Falls Apart

The Washington Post can always be relied upon to come up with some story that purports to expose someone – always a conservative opponent to a Left and media (but I repeat myself) favored Democrat – before its reportage falls apart.  After all, the Post practically invented the ‘October Surprise’ with Caspar Weinberger in 1992 (no foundation), followed by allegations that George H W Bush had had an affair (not true), George W Bush had received a drunk-driving citation some years before (old news and minor), and the stories about Representative Mark Foley and former capitol pages (delayed for months for impact in October).  Other examples from the usual suspects include the supposed disappearance of a large amount of munitions from an Iraqi ammo warehouse at al Qa’qaa (not true), and the story that Saudi ambassador Prince Bandar convinced the Saudis to reduce the price of oil to improve the chances for a Bush election victory (unfounded and practically impossible), and perhaps the most egregious: the story that George W Bush received favored treatment as an Air National Guard fighter pilot in keeping him away from Viet Nam (quickly proven to be a hoax despite press denials).  A continuing example is the coverage of the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case, with too many examples to list for the purpose of this post. 

A recent example of a smear campaign at the behest of the Left involves digging up the old news of a road trip of the Romney family many years ago, when their pet dog was secured in a dog carrier on the roof of the car, failing to mention that the dog was protected and comfortable.  The story ceased abruptly when the Republican campaign response showed that Obama had admitted to eating dog when he lived in Indonesia with his adoptive father. 

Now comes the allegation that Mitt Romney, as a teenager, had bullied a schoolmate by holding him down and cutting his long hair.  As an added fillip, the schoolmate was purportedly gay, conveniently tying the story to Obama’s gay marriage endorsement the day before.  Not convenient to fact-checking the story, the alleged victim has been deceased for eight years and is thus unavailable for comment. 

The story started falling apart almost immediately. First, the story quoted a source who quickly denied having made the comment, was not present at the alleged prank, and who was unaware of the story until contacted by the Washington Post. 

Second, the family of the ‘victim’ was unaware of the incident as well and released a clear and unambiguous statement, calling the claim “factually inaccurate”, including their anger that his name is even mentioned (which I will not):
"The family of [the person] is releasing a statement saying the portrayal of [him] is factually incorrect and we are aggrieved that he would be used to further a political agenda.  There will be no more comments from the family. . . . Even if it did happen, [he] probably wouldn't have said anything." . . .  She added she and her sisters will likely put out a statement later via a family attorney.  "if he were still alive today, he would be furious [about the story]," she said with tears in her eyes.

The Post updated the story to soften the involvement of the “source”, without acknowledging the update.  Stacy McCain included a number of questions about the purpose and writing of the story in an excellent disposition, including comments from a retired DC news editor with more than ten years experience:
Two of the three scenarios I've outlined are discipline cases in any story; on a 5,000-word A1 feature on a presidential nominee, it's firing.

The Post has some explaining to do about this blatant attempt at character assassination, but based on past history, it won’t.  Meanwhile, like the dog story above, an admitted incident from Obama is coming to light.


  1. We may soon be rid of the dishonest and corrupt WaPo. It has lost money in each of the last 15 quarters. The only thing keeping it afloat is the parent company's for-profit college and SAT-preparation materials.

    1. One would think that money from the DNC would be involved too, considering how they pander.

  2. Can't wait to hear the story from the family's attorney.

    1. The Post will always lawyer up, but I've felt that Absence of Malice is one of my favorite movies.


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