It must be frustrating to be a Fox News producer or editor these days knowing that your professional mission is to advance the campaign of Mitt Romney for president, while Romney himself seems to be working as hard as he can to sabotage any possibility of victory.
Last week was widely considered to be disastrous for the Romney campaign, but what is most notable about the Romney Ticket’s Series of Unfortunate Events is that they were all the fault of Romney’s own missteps. Which makes it all the more curious that he appears to be so completely clueless as to his shortcomings. He told an interviewer that there is not a thing wrong with his excellent campaign and that it doesn’t require any turnaround:
Someone must not have conveyed that positive message to the rest of Romney’s staff. As Rachel Maddow noted last night, Romney’s campaign has undergone a steady stream of makeovers, resets, retoolings, reboots, and recasting of messages:
So what does poor Fox News do when faced with such a rolling calamity (as conservative columnist Peggy Noonan described Romney’s campaign)? Well, they litter their reporting with nothing but anti-Obama stories in a desperate attempt to unlevel the playing field and boost Romney’s fading prospects. Yesterday on the Fox News web site the following stories appeared:
- ’60 Minutes’ interview causes headache for White House
- Libya latest example of Obama administration downplaying initial reports of terror?
- Obama heads for taping of ‘The View,’ as UN summit begins
- Romney accuses Obama of trying to ‘fool’ voters
- Ryan: President Obama will let Medicare go belly up.
- Ryan: If Obama ‘can’t change Washington’ we need to change presidents
- Obama admits some ads go ‘overboard,’ Romney defends campaign in dueling interviews
- Obama Shifts Further on Libya Strike, Says Attack Not ‘Just a Mob Action’
- White House: Obama Too Busy for Side Meetings at UN
- White House pressed on why Obama UN itinerary doesn’t include meetings with world leaders
That’s ten stories with obviously anti-Obama spin. And to make this unfair and unbalanced presentation of the “news” all the more apparent, there was not even one story that similarly treated Romney. Not one. Zero. Zilch. In fact there wasn’t even a single story wherein Romney was the lede. That must be because even Fox couldn’t find anything positive to say about his campaign. Therefore, they stuck to burying Obama in an avalanche of mud.
Meanwhile, on the air at Fox News, they approached their political reporting with a peculiar slant. Just about every story was framed along the lines of “What Can Romney Do To Turn Things Around?” Or “How Will Romney Respond To All The Negative Media?” Or this bit of breaking news: “Gov. Romney Revs Up 2012 Campaign.”
These are characteristic representations of Fox News’ partisan perspective. They would, of course, never lead off with a headline like “What Can Obama Do To Maintain His Lead?” The Pro-Romney editorializing at Fox News could not be more transparent. They have gone into overdrive as they recognize the near futility of pulling Romney’s ass out of the fire of his own making. It is almost painful to watch them squirming like worms on a hot sidewalk who know that it’s just a matter of time before they become so desiccated they can no longer wriggle in the sun.
The desperation of Fox News is manifest in their manic hyperactivity to pile on Obama, while virtually ignoring the hapless misadventures of Mitt & Co. And this is the sort of misbehavior that we can expect to increase in the few weeks left before the election. At this point does anyone expect to see any future headlines from Fox praising Obama’s speech at the United Nations or declaring him the winner of a debate? Don’t bet on it.
As the days grow short, so will Fox’s fuse on their rhetorical bombs. The good news is that no one but Fox’s glassy-eyed disciples will ever know there was an explosion because, more and more, Fox’s influence is confined to an insular group of fanatics who can still tolerate their brand of dishonest and disreputable pseudo-journalism.