Both the Obama administration and the liberal media have been working together very hard lately to try and switch the focus onto anything but the catastrophe that has been Obama’s presidency. When confronted with evidence of the economic failures of the Obama administration, it is often cited as “Bush’s fault”. When they’re cornered on a failed policy, they try to create division with social wedge issues. When the narrative points to an elitist national executive more like a monarch than a president, the go-to response is, “Well, Romney’s worse! After all, he’s rich, he must be out of touch!”
But as hard as the liberal media may try to shift focus, people keep asking tough questions, and the media can only spin things so much. That’s where outright manipulation comes in.
On June 18th, Andrea Mitchell, a journalist for MSNBC, aired a clip of Governor Romney speaking in Pennsylvania to a crowd of supporters. The clip seemed to depict Romney amazed at ordering a sandwich at WAWAs, a chain of convenience stores. In the 35 second clip, bits of Romney’s speech are played to where he appears to marvel at the regular-man’s task of ordering a sandwich. The host then has a good chuckle at Romney’s expense. This jibes with the liberal media’s portrayal of Romney as an elitist, out of touch with Joe Everyman. The problem is that the clip had been altered deceptively to illustrate this point.
Luckily, the speech was captured on a cell phone and we can see what Romney was actually saying. While the aforementioned clip was edited Michael Moore-style, the truth was radically different. Romney used his trip to WAWAs as an example of the efficiency found in the private sector as compared to the inefficiency found in the public sector. What Romney said was,
“By the way, where do you get your hoagies here, do you get them at WAWAs?… Well, I went to a place today called WAWAs, have you ever been to WAWAs? I know some people haven’t…We went to WAWAs and it was instructive to me, because I saw the difference between the private sector and the governmental sector. People who work in government are good people and I respect what they do, but you see, the challenge with government is that it doesn’t have competition- the federal government that is, the states compete all the time, I learned that… So we find ways to do things better or we’ll lose jobs to each other.”
In the speech, the governor juxtaposed the trip to WAWAs against a trip to an optometrist that had him fill out a 33 page change of address form so that the post office could send his reimbursement checks to his new location.
While the manipulated clip certainly painted Romney in an elitist light, it cannot even compare to Obama’s “the private sector is doing fine” remark which, amazingly, was not edited. To try and relieve the pressure from his remark, the Obama Campaign has released an ad with out-of-context Romney remarks that paint him as out-of-touch, but it has largely fallen flat.
News sources have an ethical responsibility to avoid such blatant manipulation. While commentary is fine in the appropriate channels, news programs cannot attempt to engage in honest discussion predicated upon manipulated material. The media’s ethical standards and what we, as citizens, expect from the media have gotten far too lax. When confronted with the evidence, Mitchell admitted that the clip was not played in its entirety, but claimed that she had not had enough time to play it. Fine, but that does not mean she may hack up the video any way she chooses. While omitting phrases of no importance to the subject at hand is fine, editing the video to such a degree that it makes no mention of the private sector- the subject of the speech- is unacceptable. Instead, we are left with a hacked up clip of a seemingly deranged man saying “WAWAs” over and over.
As Mitchell and her liberal co-conspirators may try to divert the conversation away from real issues, no amount of shady video editing will change the fact that this country is in big trouble and the onus is on President Obama to explain why we should endure four more years of him, when 3 years have brought us from bad to worse. If his presidency could produce one accomplishment of note, then perhaps we wouldn’t be forced to suffer the constant attempts to redirect the narrative. Fortunately, the calls for hope and change have quieted to a whisper and have been replaced by calls wondering what’s being done. The attempts to dodge the issues are only stalls, and come November, Obama should have either a more solid game plan, or have packed his bags. I’m betting on the latter.