Rucker and Gardner, one day before!


Here too, the Washington Post refused to serve: In all likelihood, it isn’t Rosalind Helderman’s fault that she refused to serve.

Last Thursday, Helderman reported Romney’s Medicare charges—and she made no attempt to say if his “fierce” charges were accurate! That constituted a journalistic failure to serve. See our earlier post, diectly below.

In all likelihood, it wasn’t Helderman’s fault.

In her refusal to serve, Helderman was almost surely enacting her newspaper’s policies. Consider this earlier news report, which appeared in the hard-copy Post last Wednesday.

The report was written by Philip Rucker and Amy Gardner. As Helderman would do the next day, the scribes included Romney’s charges about the Medicare program:
RUCKER AND GARDNER (8/15/12): Throughout the summer, Romney has taken umbrage at the tone of the Democratic advertising barrage, but this week he ratcheted up his criticism. He and his advisers wrote much of the speech Tuesday on his campaign bus riding between stops in Ohio.

His campaign is also airing negative television advertisements. The latest, released Tuesday, accuses Obama of diverting more than $700 billion from Medicare to pay for his health-care overhaul.


Since Ryan's selection, Democrats have celebrated the chance to use his controversial budget plan to alter the Medicare program to hammer the newly minted Republican ticket.

The Romney campaign launched a preemptive strike on Tuesday to embrace Ryan's idea and say that it is Obama who is "actually damaging Medicare for current seniors."

In a new television ad and in remarks delivered across the critical battleground state of Ohio, Romney accused Obama of raiding $716 billion from Medicare to pay for his health-care overhaul.

"He is taking your money to finance his risky and unproven takeover of the health-care system," Romney said in Chillicothe. "He is putting Medicare at greater risk. He is putting health care at greater risk. He is putting your jobs at greater risk. We will not let Obamacare happen."
One day later, Helderman reported these charges in more detail, including charges by Paul Ryan and RNC chairman Reince Priebus. But in this earlier report, Rucker and Gardner reported Romney’s basic charge about the Medicare program:

Obama has “raided $716 billion from Medicare to pay for his health-care overhaul.” So Mitt Romney had said.

In a country where seniors rely on Medicare, that sounds like a very serious charge. But go ahead—read the full report! See if Rucker and Gardner made any attempt to evaluate the accuracy of Romney's assertion.

If you search, you’ll search in vain. Rucker and Gardner made no attempt to evaluate the accuracy of those charges. They had a different focus this day—a focus which was reflected in their headline and their opening passage:
RUCKER AND GARDNER: Romney calls Obama ‘angry and desperate’ as campaign turns uglier

Mitt Romney lashed out at President Obama with some of the harshest rhetoric of his campaign at a Tuesday night rally here, accusing Obama of leveling “wild and reckless accusations that disgrace the office of the presidency.”

The already divisive presidential contest took on an even uglier tone after Romney seized on the latest campaign-trail skirmish—a comment at a Virginia rally by Vice President Biden that Romney’s plans to loosen Wall Street regulations would “put y’all back in chains”—to go after his opponents.
The journalists focused on the fact that the “rhetoric” was getting “ugly.” But were these ugly charges true?

That wasn’t their concern.

The next day, Helderman took the same approach to her more detailed report about the Medicare charges. According to Helderman, experts were concerned that Romney’s charges were “fierce.” But she made no attempt to say if his charges are accurate.

Your nation’s intellectual processes are almost completely broken by now. But your favorite fiery liberals tend to keep their traps tightly shut. As the Post and the Times keep behaving this way, the well-paid children of the “press corps” know what they’re paid to do


  1. The Anonymous IdiotAugust 23, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    I have no comment about this.

    I'm disappointed in myself that I can't find a way to spin this column to show how awful Somerby always is.

    But you have to admit...


    OK, fine mom, just a minute...

  2. The problem may seem simple, but through your pen, it impresses me.