Mark Halperin is emblematic of the Beltway Media, like the pustulent infection that "embodies all that’s rotten and shallow about D.C.’s pundit class, which fetishizes bipartisanship even as it only demands it of one political party." And if you think that Halperin's meme broadbrushing "the press" on Hardball to whine of nonexistent bias against Romney is of new vintage, check out Glenn Greenwald's exposé of this weasel back in 2008, as he was in the midst of writing his execrable, derivative, plagiarized, gossipy campaign book. With the benefit of hindsight, it's clear now what the weasel Halperin was doing. He put up a spirited defense of Sarah Palin against the supposed barbs of the "liberal press" with Greenwald's unwitting cooperation so he could gain access to that Mama Grizzly treasure trove of raw book material.
And so it is with access to Romney, as Halperin abuses his connections with the very same "liberal press" to sneak in the front door at MSNBC — as if it were the back door — to hawk his Romney commercial. Did Halperin "make news"? Absolutely not. Romney was as controlled and shut off as Ed McMahon's hermetically sealed jar of mayonnaise containing the unscrutinized answers to who Romney really is and what he thinks. So much so that Chris Matthews led off Hardball with this frustrating admission, in advance of giving MSNBC's infamous "senior political analyst" an entire segment to hawk his Romney propaganda:
Were it not for this hard-hitting intro, the smug grinning Cheshire Cat pundit's victory on behalf of Romney and Halperin's selfish commercial interests in promoting his book sequel would have been complete. Even so, it was an astonishing concession to the crap Halperin was peddling — which had to be covered because, for all its obvious flaws, it was one of Mitt Romney's most extensive sit-down "interviews" to date. Still, the Halperin-Romney controlled propaganda con of the "liberal press" was largely successful; the Cheshire Cat pundit was grinning with the smugness of the cat who had just swallowed the canary."Let me start with Mitt Romney's rules of engagement. He's a man of faith, family and business, and that, ladies and gentlemen is about it. This is also a statement of what his opponents, the press, and the public is not supposed to ask about. we're being asked to let a man lead us in the world without knowing what his world is all about. He's a candidate for our highest office who holds himself well beyond the rope line. Who complains about the need to explain himself. There is something strangely and defiantly weird about a man demanding to enter the public world who commands that we keep our distance, do not try too hard to enter his world. We can't talk about his faith, we can't talk about his time as governor, we can't talk about Bain Capital — what CAN we talk about?!"
After that, it was Halperin acting as Romney's press liaison, smoothly parrying any attempts by Chris to open that hermetically sealed jar, scoring more brown-nosing points with his GOP clients. When Halperin brings up Bain Capital Romney immediately "pivots" to lying about the President's record. Halperin's response — *crickets*. When asked about Romney's "nervousness" sweating bullets, a lá Nixon's upper lip sweat, at the very mention of Bain, Halperin comes to the rescue: "Well, he's getting over a head cold so you got to give him a little bit of a slack on that." Then, Halperin immediately (as in his own pivot to try to erase the "nervousness" perception) volunteers this laughable bit of bullshit:
My Lord, what a master propagandist is Mark Halperin ... ROMNEY IS MAKING THIS UP! And the fact Halperin REFUSED, at any point in the interview to raise the issue of Romney's LIES, his veracity with regard to the President's record or, heaven forbid, to correct him, exposes Halperin for the fraud that he is. Watch Chris, Joan Walsh, and David Corn set the record straight; and David being disingenuous about Halperin: "I was just wishing for Mark to stop the interview just there and say, 'wait a minute, that's really not true, is it — can you defend this comment?'" C'mon David, stop insulting our intelligence and acting as if Halperin is a REAL journalist. I think we've established that he's not, don't you:"I think right now one of his great strengths is he's not all caught up in the election ... Gov. Romney's engaged and all that, but in my time with him I found him to be very calm, the same guy from the first time I met him, calm, relaxed, he ... just like the President believes Mitt Romney would be a horrible President" — [actually not; it's the media scrutinizing his lies, the public, particularly those who lost their jobs because of Bain who have expressed such doubts; Chris, unfortunately you never challenged Halperin on this point, but Team Obama's critique is based on FACTS while Romney has consistently LIED about the President's record; where was that question, Halperin?!] — "Gov. Romney in his heart believes the President's been a horrible president; and that really animates him, gives him the ability, I mean, quite naturally to talk about this stuff ... He's not making this up; this is what he believes."