Thursday, July 26, 2012

Good Example of the Lack of Objectivity and Superficiality of Western Mass Media

The recent British and American articles on the apparent Romney adviser uttering statements about the Anglo-Saxon heritage and special relationship between the U.K. and the U.S., has turned into a superficial media frenzy based again on assumptions. The western mass media needs to sell newspapers, magazines, attract viewers, and not necessarily inform the western public with objective, well-researched findings. Where has the rigor of the mass media gone? Was there ever rigor? Perhaps this story is symbolic of the final nail in a struggling industry as internet based news and freelance media persons capture increasing market share of media corporations' advertisement dollars.

If you don't believe us, read the article below. There is this mysterious Romney adviser who is never mentioned by name, and then we are told by the writer of the story from The Daily Telegraph, that the adviser is a member of Romney's foreign policy advisory team. No name. No background specifics. No articulation of this person's relationship to Romney and his campaign team. A story built on assumptions and an unnamed person's statement.

What can Americans take away from this flimsy, superficial story? Romney's spokesperson Amanda Henneberg says the Anglo statement is not reflective of Romney's views nor of the Romney campaign. That is fact. Whether or not you believe her is another issue. Be our guest to assume.

Vice President Biden's comment should make Americans question his leadership ability as he bites into the story and likely for political purposes:

"Vice President Joe Biden, in a statement about the Telegraph article, said in part:

Not surprisingly, this is just another feeble attempt by the Romney campaign to score political points at the expense of this critical partnership. This assertion is beneath a presidential campaign."


Anglo-Saxon Heritage, Multicultural Future
By CHARLES M. BLOW

On Tuesday, The Daily Telegraph, a leading conservative newspaper in Britain, quoted an anonymous adviser to Mitt Romney commenting on the so-called special relationship between Britain and the United States:

“We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and he feels that the special relationship is special,” the adviser said of Mr. Romney, adding: “The White House didn’t fully appreciate the shared history we have.”

The paper pointed out that the comments “may prompt accusations of racial insensitivity,” and they did.

The reporter who wrote the story said later on Twitter that the anonymous adviser “was a member of the foreign policy advisory team.”

The Romney campaign sought to distance itself from the remarks. As Talking Points Memo reported on Wednesday:

“It’s not true,” Romney spokesperson Amanda Henneberg said in quotes confirmed by T.P.M. “If anyone said that, they weren’t reflecting the views of Gov. Romney or anyone inside the campaign.”

Vice President Joe Biden, in a statement about the Telegraph article, said in part:

Not surprisingly, this is just another feeble attempt by the Romney campaign to score political points at the expense of this critical partnership. This assertion is beneath a presidential campaign.

Rebutting the vice president’s attack, Ryan Williams, another spokesperson for Romney, said that Biden had “used an anonymous and false quote from a foreign newspaper to prop up their flailing campaign.”

Whew, that’s quite a bit of back and forth, and yet it remains unclear, to me at least, what the Romney campaign is saying. If it is accusing the newspaper of misquoting someone or fabricating quotes, it should demand a retraction.

But according to T.P.M.:

The Telegraph, which stands by the piece, told T.P.M. that the paper has not received a request from the Romney campaign to retract or correct the story.

If Romney’s team is suggesting that someone in the campaign could have said it without Romney’s knowledge or blessing, then the campaign should seek to identify the adviser and dismiss him or her from any role in promoting Romney’s candidacy.

But as is often the case with this campaign and with the modern Republican Party, Romney’s team stopped short of issuing a complete repudiation and demanding a total cleansing of these poisonous ideas from their ranks.

The phrases “if anyone said,” and “weren’t reflecting the views” are weak and amorphous and don’t go far enough towards condemnation.

The reason is simple: the Republican Party benefits from this bitterness. Not all Republicans are intolerant, but the intolerant seem to have found a home under their tent. And instead of chasing the intolerant out, the party turns a blind eye — or worse, gives a full embrace — and counts up their votes.

Take Romney’s relationship with Donald Trump. Trump, one of America’s most prominent and vocal birthers, is also a Romney surrogate and major fundraiser. Just last week, after Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Ariz. held a press conference to announce that he believed that the birth certificate that the president supplied is fake, Trump went on a radio show hosted by Fox’s Sean Hannity to say: “The fact is Sheriff Arpaio is, in my opinion, correct.”

The problem with courting or even countenancing the fringe is that it’s an incredibly short-sighted strategy. With every new gaffe the gulf between the Republican Party and our ever-diversifying nation grows.

As The Atlantic’s Max Fisher pointed out, assuming that the term Anglo-Saxon is a “colloquialism for the English people”:

In the 2000 U.S. census, only 8.7 percent of Americans identify their ancestry as English, which is ranked fourth behind German, Irish, and African-American.

The bipartisan National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund projects that in November the Latino vote will be almost 26 percent higher than it was in 2008. That would be a staggering increase.

No amount of corporate money and voter suppression can hold back the demographic tide washing over this country. As each of these gaffes further reaffirms the Republican Party’s hostility to minorities, the shorter the party’s lifespan becomes.

I for one don’t believe that this is a coordinated effort. It’s the seepage from a hateful few slipping in like water through a compromised dam. But it will not be enough for the Republicans to plug the holes. They must drain the reservoir.

2 comments:

  1. Forget the anglo-saxon remark. The rest of the statement is comical: "he feels that the special relationship is special".

    This sounds like something a stuttering small child would say (or perhaps an empty suit bozo or bimbo, desperately trying to get credit for saying anything). What's next? "Romney is special because he is special?" It would not surprise me!

    The real story here is that the Romney campaign is full of people of little intellectual substance. They relied entirely on their monied connections to get in the campaign, and it is sure showing through.

    What a gong show!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. good point: "special relationship that is special": repetitive, circular, and no substance. Like fast food?

      I can't comment on the persons in Romney's campaign, because I don't know them.

      Delete

Thank you for sharing your perspective.