Writing for the Joan Shorenstien Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy, CNN’s Peter Hamby took a 95-page look at the effect Twitter had on the 2012 presidential election, especially as it related to Mitt Romney’s losing campaign. It is an interesting read that exposes how personally petty and small the media is, but it was how reporters themselves described their relationship with the Romney campaign that is especially interesting:
Among the words the Romney reporters used to describe their relationship with the campaign they covered: “toxic,” “poisonous,” “shitty,” “sad,” “spiteful” and a “joke.”
A print reporter who traveled with the Romney campaign and, obviously, all the other reporters covering Romney, went even further and told Hamby that the hatred of Romney’s campaign staff was so bitter that he was “hard pressed to name a reporter on that [campaign] plane who wanted to see Romney win and spend the next four years working with those people and covering that term.”
Hamby’s report blames this toxic relationship in equal parts on a Romney campaign that became increasingly cautious and distant from a group of young, inexperienced, cynical, self-involved, and snarky reporters who used social media and their online outlets to report on everything but what mattered.
Hamby, however, doesn’t see left-wing political bias as a problem with our media. It was all personality, inexperience, arrogance, and the pressure of constant deadlines created by social media.
As I said, Hamby’s report is worth reading, but his willful blindness to what was an obvious desire on behalf of the press corps to win Obama a second-term does leave a gaping hole in his analysis.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC