COMMENTARY | When Mitt Romney works the media, it reminds me of a coach working the referees, screaming that the game is fixed and biased against him, even when evidence and instant replay say otherwise. Yet the headline claims Romney has it tougher with the press than Obama.
In the past week, the Washington Post revealed that while in school, Mitt Romney and some prep school pals bullied a supposed gay kid, even cutting his hair. Romney apologized, and that should have been it.
I think most folks would accept that we all do dumb things. Obama admitted using drugs when it came up in the campaign. Candidates have had spotty service records, scandalous affairs, drove when they shouldn't have, and experimented with illegal stuff. Revealing that is all part of American politics.
But the Romney campaign is convinced that they are the first to have their candidate's past investigated. They cried foul, leading some to speculate that Obama is getting a free ride, and the press is biased against the likely GOP nominee. Even Ann Romney got in the act.
In sports, there's instant replay, which often shows the bullying coach doesn't have a case. In this case, there's the Pew Research Center, which found actual evidence that the media gave Romney twice as many positive stories as Obama. I'm sure the next step from the Romney campaign is to claim the Pew Research Center is biased in favor of Democrats too.
This silliness is similar to a 1992 Time magazine article claiming that the media were dumping on Bill Clinton, unfairly, and that President George Herbert Walker Bush was getting "a free ride," conveniently forgetting how he was unfairly blamed for the economic mess, and had been dubbed a wimp, and had been attacked by Dan Rather.
Walter Shapiro compounds the silliness by claiming there should be some statute of limitations on such stories. Evidently he never heard of the Obama "birther" controversy. Where was he when people claimed George W. Bush went AWOL from the National Guard, or had a DUI, or Bill Clinton was accused of being a draft dodger, or Al Gore admitted smoking pot? So we should only have a moratorium on such stories now?
Let's face it: When you get into the political arena, you'll get dumped on by the media. Nobody gets a free ride. Anyone thinking otherwise is biased or blind to the facts.