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‘The Media’s Terrible Trip’


In Politico today, I write about the atrocious coverage of the Romney foreign trip

On gaffe high alert in Israel, the press fastened on Romney’s observation at a Jerusalem fundraiser that culture has a large hand in Israel’s economic success and, by implication, in the Palestinians’ economic stasis. The Associated Press rushed to Palestinian official Saeb Erekat — last seen falsely alleging an Israel massacre at Jenin — who obligingly called the Romney remark “racist.”

Boom! Mission accomplished: another Romney gaffe.

Two-for-two, the press needed just one more gaffe in Poland to achieve the “mistake-ridden trip” trifecta. Pay dirt came in the “shove it” exchange with the Romney staffer.

Notice the steadily diminishing quality of the Romney miscues. The Romney trip started with the candidate supposedly offending an entire nation; it ended with his traveling press secretary offending three reporters.

No matter. Gorka got nearly as much play as Lech Walesa, the legendary Polish human rights activist and former president, who, unaccountably, endorsed Romney despite his gaffe-plagued foreign trip. Walesa must not be following the twitter feeds of enough American journalists.

The shouted questions were instructive — all emanating from deep within the media’s own narrative. There was: “Do you have a statement for the Palestinians?” Then, there was: “What about your gaffes?” Finally, that original follow-up: “Do you feel that your gaffes have overshadowed your foreign trip?”

Seriously, we send people to journalism school for this? Why not outsource the work to Media Matters and be done with it?


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