All we hear from the media is how important they think it is for private citizens to get more involved and engaged in politics and the American political discussion. But we know, of course, that what they really mean is LIBERAL citizens -- those who will vote in favor of The State every time. We know this because we keep seeing private citizens who oppose Obama getting whack-a-moled by a media desperate to protect him.
Thus far, going back to 2008 and Joe the Plumber, Politico has been the one leading the way, but yesterday, under the radar in the crucial swing state of New Hampshire, the Union-Leader's John DiStaso went full-Politico. My apologies for the longish excerpt, but it's important to see the amount of
oppo-research investigative work the Union-Leader put into this:
MONDAY, JULY 23, UPDATE: HE GOT HELP. In the Mitt Romney campaign web and television ads that received national attention last week, a blunt Jack Gilchrist of Gilchrist Metal Fabricating in Hudson tells President Barack Obama that he, his father and his son _ and not the government _ built his company.
But as it turns out, Gilchrist did receive some government help for his business, albeit a long time ago.
In 1999, Gilchrist Metal received $800,000 in tax-exempt revenue bonds issued by the New Hampshire Business Finance Authority “to set up a second manufacturing plant and purchase equipment to produce high definition television broadcasting equipment,” according to a New Hampshire Union Leader report at the time.
The federal government allocates to each state a certain amount of tax-exempt bonding capacity each year for business and housing loans.
Because the bond buyers do not pay federal taxes on the interest, the interest rate for the borrower is typically lower than that of standard bank financing.
Last year, Gilchrist Metal also received two U.S. Navy sub-contracts totaling about $83,000 and a smaller, $5,600 Coast Guard contract in 2008, according to a government web site that tracks spending.
The Romney camp released a web ad featuring Jack Gilchrist last Thursday after Obama had said a week earlier that “if you were successful, you didn't get there on your own” and added, “If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help.”
"If you've got a business," Obama said, "you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen."
Romney called the comments insulting to private business people and Gilchrist, in the initial web ad, said, “My father's hands didn't build this company? My hands didn't build this company? My son's hands aren't building this company? Did somebody else take out the loan on my father's house to finance the equipment? Did somebody else make payroll every week or figure out where it's coming from? President Obama, you're killing us out here. Through hard work and a little bit of luck, we built this business. Why are you demonizing us for it?”
Is this really a priority at the Union-Leader -- digging into the personal lives of private citizens who step forward to let their voice be heard? And I'm not sure which is worse -- if the Union Leader did its own oppo-research or if it just reprinted whatever was handed to them by Team Obama.
I'm not saying private citizens are completely off-limits, either. If Jack Gilchrist was caught lying, that's worth reporting. But Gilchrist didn't lie nor was he in the least hypocritical, which is what the Union-Leader is obviously implying. Part of building a business on your own requires doing the hard work required to get loans -- government or otherwise -- and doing the proactive work necessary to receive government contracts.
How in the world is taking advantage of what your tax dollars help make possible a form of hypocrisy?
Let's go back to what the president said:
If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.
Obama didn’t say "You didn’t build that WITHOUT HELP."
He said. "YOU didn't build that."
Obama didn’t say, "Somebody else HELPED you make that happen" or, "the government HELPS make this possible."
Obama did say, "Somebody else made that happen."
In other words, YOU didn’t make that happen.
A few sentences earlier in that off-teleprompter baring of the soul, Obama openly mocked (and this isn’t getting enough media attention) those who dare believe they did "build that": [emphasis mine]
--look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.
Har-har-har, you think you’re so smart and work so hard, har-har-har, get over yourselves.
To say the President screwed up by telling the truth about what he believes is an understatement, and this is why the Union-Leader is attacking Gilchrist, implying he's a hypocrite, and worse, trying to make a case that what Obama said is true.
The Romney ad Gilchrist appears in is extremely powerful, as is his testimony in it, and the media knows that what the President said could be defining. Today, the President was forced to respond directly, and right now the media is talking a whole lot more about "build that" than Bain Capital.
If any of this sounds familiar, you’re thinking of Obama's infamous 2008 "spread the wealth" comment that backfired on him, until, that is, the media tore into Joe The Plumber and made a small unpaid tax bill The Issue to divert attention from Obama's uncharacteristic fit of honesty.
So here the media goes again, but this time below the radar (though ABC News did pick it up online --which is how I found it) trying to change the subject and in the process not only targeting a private citizen but sending the message to private citizens everywhere that there's a price to pay for coming out publicly against Obama.
Finally, if there's ever been a similar example of the media doing this to a Obama supporter, I am unaware of it.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC