Howard Kurtz Exposes How the AP Manufactured Romney's Palestinian 'Gaffe'

Howard Kurtz Exposes How the AP Manufactured Romney's Palestinian 'Gaffe'

Other than answering a question about the Olympics honestly but less diplomatically than he might have, Mitt Romney’s overseas trip was a pretty big win. But the corrupt media knows that, in order for their failed president to win a second term, his opponent must be toxified into someone who is not an acceptable alternative. This is why Obama’s Media Palace Guards blew up the Olympic issue and then, for the rest of the trip, manufactured gaffes out of whole cloth.

Over at The Daily Beast, Howard Kurtz’s job is to analyze the media, but like a referee on the take, he simply puts the uniform on as a disguise to cover for his appallingly corrupt pals. Even Howie — as he’s affectionately known to those he’s supposed to police — couldn’t cover for the Associated Press, though, and the outrageous behavior they exhibited in manufacturing a gaffe that was intended to trip up Romney’s trip and make him look racist.  

To help water down the AP’s sins, Kurtz spends a few torturous paragraphs attempting to over-explain something that is really quite simple. Bottom line, one AP reporter took Romney’s remarks comparing Israeli and Palestinian culture out of context (not to mention this context), and then another AP reporter presented those out-of-context remarks — which made them sound more provocative than they were — to a top aide to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. This aide then declared the comments “racist,” and a phony gaffe-tastic controversy was born that the rest of the media was more than happy to run with:

An early version of Hunt’s story, labeled “Non-Urgent,” said that “Mitt Romney told Jewish donors Monday that their culture is part of what has allowed them to be more economically successful than the nearby Palestinians.” The story contained only a paraphrase, then quoted Romney as citing the “dramatically stark difference” in per capita domestic gross product figures between Israel and the Palestinian territories. (Romney’s erroneous numbers understated the gap.)

Hunt’s report did not mention Romney’s next sentence: “And that is also between other countries that are near or next to each other. Chile and Ecuador, Mexico and the United States.”

Romney often makes that point in his stump speech, about the impact of culture on the economy of these four countries and others, and wrote about it in his book. In complaining that the AP made the fundraiser remarks appear aimed solely at the Palestinians, Stevens says: “We’re talking about two sentences.”

Moreover, the AP reporter who committed this out-of-context drive-by, Kasie Hunt, not only took Romney out of context but never called the campaign for comment nor took advantage of…

a subsequent 4 1/2-hour flight to Poland, where [Romney strategist Stuart] Stevens sat near reporters for part of the trip. [AP’s Washington bureau chief Sally] Buzbee’s explanation? Hunt “didn’t know whether it was going to cause a big flurry or not.”

Which means Hunt suspected there could be “a big flurry” and chose to run with the out-of-context quote.

This is the nub of the dispute. The AP “could not have given Erekat a correct quote to respond to because they didn’t have it” with its reporter in the air and unreachable, Stevens told me. “The greatest sin here is that this was not a breaking news story. They could have waited three or four hours and gotten the story right.”

But it was never about getting the story correct.


It was only about back-stabbing Romney every step of the way so that the overseas trip and by extension, the candidate, could be portrayed as inept and not ready to be president.

Good heavens, at the end of the trip, Obama’s Media Palace Guards were reduced to openly heckling and taunting Romney on sanctified ground.  

85% of the coverage surrounding Romney’s overseas trip was negative.

That isn’t journalism; it’s open partisan warfare being waged by the so-called referees.  


Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC


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