Sunday, September 30, 2012

A JOURNALISM Primer For The Beltway/MSM Media Re: Romney's Mental State

NO MORE EXCUSES! ANN ROMNEY JUST RAISED THE QUESTION. This is amazing to me; how in this day and age, post-Watergate and Nixon's well publicized crack-up while bombing the hell out of Vietnam, that the ENTIRE journalist class — from the widespread pretenders, from the chattering cable class to the New York Times — have more than studiously avoided this issue, as if it's the Plague; i.e. the journalistic equivalent of bird flu or the West Nile virus. The whole post-Watergate reform idea was to cut such issues off at the pass, before another madman is elected. Despite David Axelrod's Shakesperean observation that election campaigns, in the end, bare the candidate's soul to the public ... That may be, David, as long as the Media does its job.

In this case, you the Media don't even have to go out on a limb and anger your corporate masters: Ann Romney did your legwork, gave you cover, raised the issue, herself, of her husband's "mental well-being" and the "emotional part" of being President and handed it to you on a silver platter. Hello?! Is anybody home? (It's 3:00 AM.)

Memo To The Media (So-Called Journalists): Your job is to ask the questions and seek clarification. Here are a few suggestions: (1) What does Ann Romney mean by Mitt's "mental well-being"? (2) If she is so concerned, does this presuppose it was an issue in his past political incarnations? (3) If so, are they concealing some aspect of Mitt's "mental well-being" that the public should know about? (4) For example, does Romney become unhinged, or "confused" as Chris Matthews has suggested, when under pressure? (5) Has Romney ever sought professional help for "emotional" problems? And so on. This is no joke. The most famous example of such a belated political bombshell was the revelation that George McGovern's vice presidential choice, Tom Eagleton, had had electroshock therapy to treat depression.

Like the concealment of Romney's taxes, Eagleton judged this personal aspect of his life to be inconsequential, so he kept it from the public and the campaign. Richard Nixon, who crushed McGovern, was a well-known caricature of a crazed politician. Turns out it was true, as we read the sordid details of his crack-up in Bob Woodward's books. But not before the election, impeachment, Nixon's resignation in disgrace, and blow to the body politic, described by Nixon's successor, President Ford, as "our long national nightmare." The ultimate irony in all of this is that in breaking Watergate the Media actually did its job. Those days are largely over now.

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