BEATING HIS WIFE: The doctor was IN!


Part 2—ABC News “quotes” Mitt: On July 25, Mitt Romney sat down with Brian Williams, the NBC News TV star.

Brian wanted to know about the upcoming Olympics. Candidate Romney literally “had a horse in the race,” the famous newsman quipped.

Slightly cleaning the punctuation-laden NBC transcript, this was the first of two Q-and-As on the pointless topic:
WILLIAMS (7/25/12): It seems to me this completes your Olympic experience. You get to run the games and now you actually have a horse in the race. (Laughing) What's that gonna be like?

ROMNEY: Well, it’s a big exciting experience for my wife and, and for the person that she's worked with, the trainer of the horse, who’s riding the horse. And obviously, it's fun to be part of the Olympics in any way you can be part of them.
That may not seem like an insulting response—but we liberals increasingly love to hate. As we continue adopting the culture of the pseudo-conservative world, we continue advancing our skills at this broken-souled activity.

Within days, we liberals were enraged at the way Romney had been beating his wife during his session with Williams. Not beating her literally, of course: We were upset with the way he insulted his wife about her Olympic pursuits.

Good grief. Even the sensible Kevin Drum was incensed at Romney’s “really contemptible behavior.” A few days later, Digby checked in. Declaring that Romney’s conduct had been “low even for him,” she linked to the National Memo, where Henry Decker had semi-emoted about this very bad conduct.

Eventually, the liberal world’s biggest fraud rose to speak. (Last Friday's program convinced us that she has attained that high rank.) Last Thursday night, Rachel Maddow presented three—count em—three examples in which Romney has been beating his wife. To recall these examples, see THE DAILY HOWLER, 8/6/12.

This satisfied the Rule of Three, thus driving our fury higher.

In fairness, Romney wasn’t exactly beating his wife in Maddow’s three examples. He had just been insulting his wife, our fiery leader let us know, as she showcased her vast disapproval and her own high character.

Was it Romney’s lying which had us upset? Or was it the way he’d been beating his wife? Our moral arbiters couldn’t decide, as they declaimed about a worthless tale which began with a misquotation.

Oops. As best one can tell, this big pile of brainless crap got its start at OTUS, a silly sub-site of ABC News which isn’t quite built around straight news reporting. At OTUS, Amber Porter (real name) had penned this piece, which looked like a news report, about Romney’s extremely rude conduct.

Before long, Decker was linking to Porter’s report and Digby was linking to Decker. But here’s where the liberal world’s sense of outrage began:
PORTER (7/26/12): Romney Puts Horse-Sized Distance Between Himself and Dressage

Much is made during the Olympics of the robust support systems needed to send an Olympian into competition. The parents, families and employers who rally around their athlete to get them to the games. The village it takes to make Olympic dreams come true.

But for Mitt Romney, whose wife Ann’s horse Rafalca will compete in the Olympic event of dressage, he makes it clear it’s really not his thing.

In an interview with NBC News Wednesday night, Romney spoke of the experience of being in the Olympics with the disengaged tone and shrug of a husband who doesn’t quite get his wife’s hobby.

“It’s a big, exciting experience for my wife. I have to tell you, this is Ann’s sport,” he said. “I’m not even sure which day the sport goes on. She will get the chance to see it, I will not be watching the event. I hope her horse does well. But just the honor of being here and representing our country and seeing the other Olympians is ... something which I’m sure the people that are associated with this are looking forward to.”

But it was just recently that Mitt Romney was one of “the people that are associated” with team Rafalca. During the Dressage World Cup in April, Rafalca performed to music personally chosen by the Republican presidential candidate.
We have cut-and-pasted directly from Porter’s report. The punctuation—and lack of same—is entirely hers.

In a piece which looked like a news report, Porter performed quite a bit of mind-reading. She was able to describe Romney’s “tone.” She had spotted a “shrug.”

She had also misquoted the hopeful.

We’re sorry, but Porter’s “quotation” of Romney just isn’t a real quotation. At one point, she executed a large deletion of Romney’s remarks—a large deletion she failed to mark. (Under the circumstances, the deletion would have been inappropriate even if marked.) For unknown reasons, she did insert a mark of deletion a bit later on—at a point where nothing had been deleted!

So it goes when ABC News tries to engage in “reporting.”

Just for the record, this type of pseudo-quotation has plagued the country for decades. During the various pseudo-scandals of the 1990s, Hillary Clinton’s statements were sometimes doctored in this way, by the likes of Lisa Myers—doctored in ways which made the resulting “quotations” drive a preferred story-line.

Today, it’s pitiful players like Porter who doctor, chop and re-arrange, apparently without even knowing how to mark a deletion. It’s our fiery liberals who get upset and run with the ramped-up results.

In truth, Porter’s quotation wasn’t a quote; her puzzling use of ellipses was an especially pitiful manifestation. Tomorrow, we’ll look at the two answers Romney did give—and we’ll see how the culture of the pseudo-conservative and mainstream press worlds continues to creep into liberal circles, dumbing us all the way to the ground and frustrating chances for progress.

Tomorrow: Doctor Porter fixes things up

Friday: Maddow extends the scam


  1. Romney is staying in character.
    Why would a busy, dynamic, world changer, who would strap his dog to the roof of his car and drive to Canada, waste time watching horses get subtle,invisible signals from their riders?

    Come to think of it, maybe Ann should have Mitt trained to pick up subtle, invisible signals. After all, aren't his campaign staff called "handlers"?

  2. The Anonymous IdiotAugust 8, 2012 at 10:23 AM

    Answers to two separate questions pushed together somehow, to look like one answer.

    It is hard (impossible) to see how the first question "what's it like to be involved in the Olympics?" and answer "it's really Ann, but it's fun to be involved in any way" are demeaning to Ann Romney.


    The second question was "how does the event work?" Romney basically avoids answering the question. SHAMEFUL!

    He doesn't know or pretends not to know how dressage events work?

    Even though his wife owns a horse?

    I for one am OUTRAGED!

  3. Bob, why didn't you bother to cut and paste from the other half of Romney's two part answer before you accused Porter of misquoting him?

    According to the NBC News transcript to which you link, it goes like this: "I have to tell you. This is Ann's sport. I'm not even sure which day the sport goes on. She will get the chance to see it, I will not-- be-- watching-- the event. I hope-- her horse does well. But just the honor of being here and representing our country and-- seeing the other Olympians is-- is something which I'm sure the people-- that are associated with this are looking forward to."

    Joe Scarborough had it right this morning. He said if his wife qualified for the Olympics in her sport, he'd be right by her side, and if anybody dared to say their sport was hoity-toity, he'd tell them what to kiss and where to go.

    Romney could have easily told Williams: "I am so proud of Ann, and I deeply regret that the demands of the campaign won't allow me to share this proud moment with her. While I won't be there, my heart certainly will be with her, cheering her on."

    Instead, he blows the whole thing off as no big deal, just his wife's thing. Not his.

    And when anyone points out how callous that is, here comes Somerby, once again disengenously riding to the rescue out of one side of his mouth of the person who he says out of the other side is the "worst candidate" in history.

    And how does he do this? By the complete dishonesty of accusing critics of saying that Romney is "beating his wife."

    Just as an aside, since Bob introduced the phrase "beating his wife" into this discussion, perhaps he should spend some time in a shelter for battered women, lest he be tempted to toss this phrase around again in a lame attempt to score debate points against subjects he hates because they are younger, brighter and/or much more successful than he is.

  4. I cannot see how Porter's description of Romney's actual statement can be challenged. Scarborough is hardly a liberal and he certainly took it that way. Somerby sometimes really scrapes the bottom of the barrel, regretfully even with false characterizations, to feed this "all other liberals are stupid" script. This is one of those times.

  5. I cannot see how this set of statements by Romney amounts to something damning about his relationship to his wife/women in general -- which is exactly how it's being spun.

    What Joe Scarborough might do if his wife "qualified for the Olympics" really doesn't tell me why Romney's answers are supposed to be so outrage-inducing.

    Tempest in a teapot?

    More like in a thimble.

    1. First of all, nobody is saying it is "damning about his relationship with his wife." What Scarborough was saying is that Romney is so afraid of the three M's -- Mormonism, Money and Massachusetts -- that he is running away from all three to the point where he wouldn't even join his wife for one of the proudest moments of her life.

      To me, this is once again evidence that Romney has no prinicple he won't sacrifice for political expediency.

      In other words, he's a wimp.

    2. No, some people, like Anonymous 11:03 above, are feigning indignation at how "callous" Romney's remarks were, because their opponents always have to be Bad People in every way, and pretending to be offended on Ann Romney's behalf gives them a moral superiority hardon. But I agree that the "tell" in this is Romney's running from the reality that he's rich and his family has rich hobbies, and his inevitable clumsiness in that evasion.

    3. "pretending to be offended on Ann Romney's behalf"

      That is indeed what's been going on all over the liberalsphere (with some notable exceptions).

      How can he diss his wife so awfully!!

      What a load of crap.

    4. Yes, Romney is indeed awful.

      But these Olympics quotes don't show it, IMO.

    5. These Olympic quotes to me are more evidence of Romney running away from himself and willing to say and do anything to be president -- a pattern that has been consistent (and about the only thing that's been consistent in the Romney campaign) throughout this entire campaign cycle.

      He had to out-Tea Party the wackiest major party field in memory to win the nomination. Thus what Scarborough called the 3 M's -- Mormonism, Money and Massachusetts -- that truly define who Romney is.

      Scarborough said that Romney is a devoted Mormon, but that apparently isn't as important to him as being president. He said Romney has been extremely successful in business, but that isn't as important to him as being president. And Romney had an outstanding record as a moderate Republican governor of a highly Democratic state, but that isn't as important to him as being president.

      Nope, all three M's have been thrown down the memory hole. More important to position himself to the right of Santorum, Gingrich, Perry, et al, to win the nomination, then thinking he can "Etch-A-Sketch" everything he said in the primary season during the general election campaign and grab the center again without alienating the right-wing coalition of fiscal and social conservatives that put G.W. in office twice.

      Romney and his handlers know full well how effective it was to portray John Kerry as an elitist because he was photographed wind-surfing. They weren't going to allow him anywhere near a camera and the sport of dressage.

      Fine. Well and good. But he didn't stop there. Further running away from the second M, he distanced himself even more from dressage and his wife's success in the sport by downplaying her Olympic accomplishment -- this from a guy who ran the 2002 Winter Olympics -- as "her thing, not mine."

      The Romneys are apparently devoted to each other, as devoted a couple as Michelle and Barack Obama. I have no reason to doubt that, as much as Somerby wants to spin this into "beating his wife."

      Which makes it all the worse in my mind that Romney did some sort of political calculus that prevented him in expressing full pride in his wife for her accomplishment.

      And in my mind, a guy who would rather be president than praise his wife for reaching the Olympics is a pretty sad individual.

  6. Slows down to look at train wrecksAugust 9, 2012 at 10:33 AM

    Anon at 9:34, what accomplishment? Ann didn't train the horse and she's not riding it. She just bought it and is paying someone else a fortune to train and show it.

    That said, Romney really did come off like a complete weasel in that exchange, which Bob refuses to acknowledge, because it doesn't fit his precious narrative.

  7. "downplaying her Olympic accomplishment as "her thing, not mine""

    When the interviewer was very clearly trying to make Ann Romney's event, "her Olympic accomplishment," all about Mitt!

    The nerve of him, to give her all the credit for it!