COMMENTARY | A number of news organizations have begun to cast doubts about some of the details of the Washington Post story of an alleged incident of bullying that young Mitt Romney is said to have participated in.
The story related an incident in which it is said that Romney, then in prep school, led a gang of fellow students to forcibly hold down another student named John Lauber and cut his long, bleach blond hair. It was implied in the story that the incident was motivated, in part, by Lauber's presumed homosexuality. In a previous commentary, I opined that the story seemed to be a blatant attempt to dredge up a 50 year old incident to cast doubt on Mitt Romney's humanity and fitness to be president. But now questions are being raised about some of the details of the story and the way the Washington Post is reporting it.
Draw and Strike notes that the original story stated that a fellow student of Romney's, Stu White, had been "long bothered by the incident." But then White was interviewed by ABC News where he said that he had not even been aware of the incident until this year when he had been contacted by the Washington Post. The Post quietly corrected its story without commenting on the original error.
ABC News notes that Christine Lauber, the sister of John Lauber, who is now deceased, stated that she had no knowledge of the incident. She suggested that the story in the Post had a number of errors concerning her brother. She denounced the story for using her brother to advance a political agenda, that is to say a takedown of Mitt Romney.
Of course whether the Washington Post got crucial details of the story wrong or even if the incident actually took place is beside the point. The point was to paint Romney as a vicious, gay-bashing bully on the same day that President Obama had finished his "evolution" toward acceptance of the concept of same-sex marriage. The LA Times is already running with the meme of Romney as a thug and a bully.
The former rap against Romney is that he is too square and too straight laced. Now he is being painted as a kind of Harry Flashman, terrorizing the vulnerable in a latter day version of "Tom Brown's School Days." It is transparent to a fault.