The Right Scoop reports that unnamed mainstream media journalists were caught on a live mic coordinating hostile questions for Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney before his press conference today on the U.S. embassy attacks.
Their goal was to make sure that no question would address the substance of the crisis but instead put Romney on the defensive about made-up mistakes in his criticism of President Obama.
In the event, six out of the seven questions were almost exactly the same, all questioning Romney for his supposed mistake. (Romney handled the questions very well.)
By contrast, President Obama did not take questions at his press conference today--and rather than criticize the Obama administration's failure to anticipate the 9/11 embassy attacks, the State Department's eagerness to apologize for any offense caused by an obscure anti-Islamic film, or the Obama campaign's immediate departure for a Las Vegas fundraiser in the midst of a profound crisis, the mainstream media is attacking Republican Mitt Romney for criticizing the president--and lying about what he said.
Here's Time's Michael Scherer:
Mitt Romney began the 2012 anniversary of September 11 by calling for a suspension of politics. “There is a time and a place for that, but this day is not it,” Romney told a morning National Guard gathering in Reno, Nev.
Just hours later, Romney could no longer resist.
Hold it right there. Romney did suspend politics for the entire day, issuing a statement only late at night, for the morning news bulletins. By contrast, Barack Obama broke his campaign promise not to attack his opponent, letting Bill Clinton loose on the stump in Florida to launch false attacks on Romney and Paul Ryan.
Scherer ignores just about every fact about the violence and the Obama administration's amateurish response--then lies about Romney's press conference today, calling it an attempt to explain himself rather than what it was: a plain statement of his position on events and his differences with President Obama.
Here's NBC's David Gregory:
Romney did not launch an "attack" before the facts were known. The relevant facts were already apparent--that our embassies had been attacked, and that the Obama administration had apologized for the so-called pretext for the attack, rather than expressing outrage at the Egyptian attack (it condemned the Libya attack). That was the basis for Romney's statement, and those facts have not changed since yesterday, even though more facts have become known about the causes of the attacks and the terrible consequences.
And here' the New York Times' David Kirkpatrick:
Bracing for trouble before the start of the protests here and in Libya, the American Embassy released a statement shortly after noon that appeared to refer to Mr. [Terry] Jones: “The United States Embassy in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims — as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions.” It later denounced the “unjustified breach of our embassy.”
Apparently unaware of the timing of the first embassy statement, the Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, put out a statement just before midnight Tuesday saying, “It’s disgraceful that the Obama administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.” Mr. Romney also said he was “outraged” at the attacks on the embassy and consulate.
Note that Kirkpatrick provides no evidence that the embassy was referring to Terry Jones, or that Romney was "unaware" of the timing of the embassy's first statement. And Romney was exactly right that the embassy's first response--like the State Department's and the administration's as a whole--was to empathize with the protestors rather than to defend U.S. interests or American values of free speech.
The mainstream media has often shown appalling bias in favor of President Obama, but this is a new low. In 2004, Democratic nominee Sen. John Kerry blasted President George W. Bush on the day several U.S. troops were killed--and the media showed little outrage, much less a determination to attack the opposition.
The nation is in the midst of a profound national security and foreign policy crisis, and the American people deserve to know why their government was asleep at the switch--as well as what the position of the political opposition is. Yet the mainstream media is trying to quash that critical discussion and debate. Not even the fact that free speech itself at stake is enough to move them to outrage at events rather than at Mitt Romney.