|One question: Ever heard of the
importance of a free press to democracy?
As the press corps with Romney realized there would be no tour-end press avail with the candidate in Poland, they began to shout questions at him, most of which were to do with how Romney felt about having such a lousy tour. At the time, Romney was walking back from laying a wreath at Poland’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. For the record, from what I understand, he was a good 100 yards away from the site.
At that point, Rick Gorka, travelling press aide for Romney actually yelled at the assembled press: “Kiss my ass; this is a holy site for the Polish people.” Now, I’m not sure the words “kiss my ass” and “holy site” necessarily go together all that well, but that’s me.
Anyway, the press in general is fairly annoyed, which begs the question, does Romney care about the mainstream media, or does he think he can win by appearing only on Fox News and in selected other right-wing media outlets? I really don’t know the answer. I don’t know if it’s the case that he thinks he can win that way or if in fact it’s possible to win that way.
But even at that, Fox News personality Greta Van Susteren was unhappy being shut out as part of the travelling press contingent. So, maybe even the right-wing press isn’t going to get access unless things are perfectly scripted.
Think about this. Mitt Romney will be able to spend more money than God on his campaign so he’ll be able to craft his message through paid advertising in a way that no presidential candidate as ever been able to do before. Typically candidates love so-called “earned media,” e.g., being on the news, or on public affairs programs, because it’s exposure and it doesn’t cost anything. But Romney is, to be kind, telling all sorts of untruths that he doesn’t want challenged by reporters. In many ways, that is his central campaign strategy. And he is very actively hiding as much information about himself as he can and running on the strength, again, of images crafted by well-paid political consultants with the cash to buy oodles of air-time.
Maybe Romney’s whole point is: “Kiss my ass; I can afford to buy the presidency without having to worry about what any damned reporter thinks.”
Maybe he’s right.
(Cross-posted at Lippmann’s Ghost.)