Wednesday, August 29, 2012

HuffPo or Obama Campaign? Hard to Tell

by Bethany Mandel

Have the Huffington Post and the Obama campaign spin doctors finally become indistinguishable? Today the site is breathlessly reporting on a statement made by Mitt Romney’s VP pick Paul Ryan that they believe should remove him from the ticket. The Huffington Post claims that Ryan “referred to rape as a ‘method of conception’” and that this should force him to resign. What did Ryan actually say? “The method of conception doesn’t change the definition of life.” This statement is consistent with his pro-life stance barring abortion in all cases and is far from newsworthy. After Ryan’s extensive vetting, Romney and his team are most certainly aware of his well documented position on abortion and chose Ryan anyway.

The Huffington Post’s sensational headline “Paul Ryan Said Something That Should Force Him Off the Ticket, But You Probably Didn’t Hear About It” is purely an effort to sensationalize this Ryan interview in an attempt to keep rape and abortion in the headlines. The liberal media is playing along, predictably, trying to rebrand the Republican party as the Party of Rape, a party full of Todd Akins.

Last week, the Huffington Post had another attention-grabbing–and completely factually incorrect–headline. They proclaimed, “Mitt Romney Campaign Forbids Reporter From Asking About Todd Akin, Abortion” and only well into the piece do they explain what actually transpired between the reporter and the Romney campaign. They admit, “Because they knew they wouldn’t get an answer out of Romney on abortion or Akin, [the station's news director Tim] Wieland said the station decided to avoid the topics entirely, so long as they explained to viewers why.” Romney’s staff warned the reporters in question that he wasn’t interested in discussing Akin or abortion, and to the Huffington Post, that somehow forbade the reporters from ever asking. Whatever headline fits the Democratic narrative is posted on the Huffington Post, where incidentals like facts inevitably come later in the form of updates, if at all.

Back in the real world, all sectors of the GOP are still calling for Akin to step aside in the Missouri Senate race in an attempt to save the seat from near-certain defeat. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus was asked at the GOP convention yesterday if the party would support, financially or otherwise, the Akin campaign in the event of a close race. Priebus was unequivocal in his response, “No, no. No. He could be tied. We’re not going to send him a penny.” But don’t expect to see that reported in the Huffington Post, except maybe under the headline: “RNC Chairman Reince Priebus declares ‘Akin could be tied.’”

Bethany Mandel


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