For Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, et, al. to be claiming that someone else is harassing anyone is rich. After all haven't they been furiously printing up shirts that took the President's words out of context-'you didn't build that?'
Yet listen to Rush wail:
"“Now the reporters are harassing Romney,” Limbaugh said, referring to a Tuesday morning incident where a Romney press aide told journalists to “shove it.” “They’re trying to create gaffes. They’re working on behalf of Barack Obama. They are attempting to carry forth the meme that Romney’s foreign trip is a disaster, that it’s one gaffe after another. They’re trying to do this in the mainstream. And the fact of the matter is Romney is having a home run of a trip.”
Where to start? Rush claims that journalists are trying to create gaffes? They sure don't have to try very hard with Mitt-born with a silver foot in my mouth-Romney. Romney's having a home run of a trip? He must have slept through London. Indeed, everywhere Mitt goes he loses friends. The rascally media hardly has a very hard time of somehow tricking him into making gaffes:
"In one week abroad, Mitt Romney has managed to enrage both the Brits and the Palestinians. Now add to that roster his own press corps."
"Over seven days in the UK, Israel and Poland, Romney held just one media availability for the U.S. traveling press — and even then, standing outside 10 Downing St. in London, he answered only three questions. While he gave a series of interviews to the major television networks, he granted no interviews to other U.S. outlets.
"The snub has become the straw that broke the back of an already bitter press corps, long frustrated by limited access to the Republican candidate on the campaign trail. And those frustrations, which traveling reporters are voicing loud and clear online, are putting unprecedented pressure on the Romney campaign’s communications team."
Isn't this actually all of a piece with the narrative on Romney? That he is incredibly secretive and not accessible? Remember when Stephanie Cutter accused Romney of running the most secretive campaign since Nixon? In reality I think he's worse than Nixon.
Nixon was a secretive President-although remember the reason we even have the Nixon Tapes is because he got this weird idea in his head that he should tape all his conversations in the White House the better to protect himself.
I don't think we've ever seen such a secretive candidate:
"The tensions came to a head in Warsaw today when reporters, increasingly aware that there would be no end-of-tour press avail with the candidate, began shouting questions at Romney as he walked back to his vehicle from a wreath-laying at their Tomb of the Unknown Soldier."
“Kiss my ass; this is a holy site for the Polish people,” shouted Rick Gorka, a traveling press aide who has tussled with reporters before. “Show some respect.”
"Gorka then told a reporter to “shove it.” (He would subsequently apologize to some of the reporters, calling his outburst “inappropriate.”)"
There you go: Kiss my ass. I think that's an apt message. Remember it's not just directed at a particular reporter. This is Romney's attitude to the American people. This is why he doesn't think they deserve to even see his tax returns as every other Presidential candidate since his father, George Romney has done, since the 1960s.
This is why when people ask him what he will do he says they should elect him not and he'll tell them later.
"Members of the traveling press corps now wonder why they went all the way to Jerusalem and Gdansk to watch the candidate tour the monuments and hold meetings behind closed doors."
“So it’s official: Romney is leaving a 7-day foreign trip after answer only 3 Qs from the media,” Ashley Parker of the New York Times tweeted Tuesday morning.
”Romney trip by the numbers: Three foreign countries, and three questions from the traveling press,” Kasie Hunt of The Associated Presstweeted a few minutes later."
“We didn’t need to come all the way over here to handle photo ops,” another member of the press corps told POLITICO. “There is a growing frustration among reporters, a growing sense that the campaign doesn’t get it — we don’t want to screw you, we just want to do our job.”
“Here’s a guy making his audition on the world stage, his trip has been defined by gaffes, and he gives us five minutes and three questions in front of 10 Downing,” said another. “The appetite grows with each gaffe, and the campaign isn’t making it easier on themselves.”
"High-profile media personalities have also complained. Last week, NBC News political director Chuck Todd and his co-authors at NBC’s First Read blog lamented Romney’s decision to ignore the U.S. press even as he took questions from members of the UK media."
“[T]hose of us that have traveled overseas and been involved in these VERY limited press avails have rarely seen heads of democracies TOTALLY ignore their own press corps but answer ANOTHER press corps’ questions,” hewrote in NBC’s First Read newsletter (Todd confirmed to POLITICO that he was the author of this paragraph). “Sure, it would have looked REALLY bad had Romney ignored the U.K. questions. But is the campaign so intent on limiting media access that the candidate won’t call an audible when standing next to a leader from another country who DOES want to take questions?”
“There has been no press access to Governor Romney since we landed in Poland,” Van Susteren wrote on her blog. “We (press) are in a holding pattern (I can’t help but feel a bit like the press is a modified petting zoo since we are trapped in a bus while Polish citizens take pictures of us).”
"Van Susteren, who interviewed Romney for Fox News but observed the distance the candidate kept from reporters in the press pool, expanded on those comments Tuesday afternoon."
“I think it would be smarter if they interacted with the press,” Van Susteren told POLITICO. “What struck me is that when the candidate got on board, he never waved to the reporters in the back of the plane. Lots of times candidates will come back and talk. I was struck that there was no off-the-record chatter, not even a wave.”
Van Susteren is from Fox News of all places-though she is a real reporter. Romney is not someone who aspires to be the head of a democracy but rather an aspiring Duke or Noble. He thinks it's his turn. He has a right to it.
"But those television interviews, with the likes of Matt Lauer and Wolf Blitzer, have hardly satisfied the expectations of the press corps, who now envy the access they had to candidates Barack Obama and John McCain in 2008. When then-Sen. Obama went overseas in 2008, he held four press conferences in as many countries and took at least 25 questions, according to the Obama campaign. McCain, meanwhile, was known to visit the back of his press bus frequently to talk with reporters."
"The governor kept a very full and busy itinerary from the U.K. to Israel and on through to Poland,” Madden said. “The governor also made time for interviews that included every broadcast and cable news network, consisting of almost two hours of questions and answer time with those news organizations.”
“The people who are assigned to work with the press are generally less experienced, less familiar with policy or presentation,” one member of the press corps told POLITICO. “They have some really good people in Boston, but they need to put someone better in place — someone who is not going to scream, ‘kiss my ass.’”But with 98 days until the election, some reporters said it might be too hard to repair relations. On occasion, Romney has been known to make the occasional trip to the back of the press plane, handing out chips or cookies to reporters. But reporters say such attempts at detente will be harder to make following his European tour.
“You can’t hand out cookies now when there are serious questions to ask, and there are very serious questions to ask that the campaign has refused to answer,” one reporter told POLITICO.
“I don’t think anyone wants cookies anymore,” said another. “This is the rough and tumble now. There are going to be tough questions — the American people want that, the campaign should know that, and they should know that it’s better for them if the answers come out now.”
Thank you. That is a very important, vital point. These members of the press that a Rush Limbaugh loves to demonize have a very important, sacred job. It's to ask the questions we want answered. If Mitt Romney doesn't start answering them soon he won't have to worry about harassment much longer.