A great piece by John Nolte on Tuesday documents the coordinated attack on Romney’s wealth in an attempt to insinuate some sort of financial impropriety.
Nevermind the fact that Romney has unequivocally been squeaky clean in releasing and documenting every bit of his finances.
Nolte goes on to discuss how both the Washington Post and Politico coordinated with Obama’s campaign to hint at potential indiscretions with Romney’s money while covering a pro-Occupy article in Vanity Fair.
Though both Politico and the Post lie through the act of omission by not telling their readers Romney has complied 100% with financial disclosure requirements, what both are doing here (and you can expect the rest of the media to pile on) is laying the foundation for a media-narrative that will demand more disclosure from Romney. The tactic is an old one, for the media knows that the simple act of demanding this kind of information is in and of itself a way of making Romney look slippery and dishonest — you know, like a rich jerk with something to hide — which is exactly how the Obama campaign (and therefore Politico and the Washington Post) intend to define Romney.
Not only is this an attempt to discredit Romney, it is also part of a larger Obama anti-rich campaign narrative. We’ve heard them before: “the rich need to pay their fair share”, “millionaires and billionaires“, “Buffett Rules” and other class-warfare rhetoric. Painting Romney as a rich shyster allows the campaign to continue to push the idea that Obama is one of us…not a big-bad-rich-guy.
Yet, back in January, when Romney disclosed his taxes, the media story then was similar too; Romney paid only about a 15% tax rate — which means (according to their playbook) he didn’t pay enough. Interestingly however, was one aspect of the tax return that went wholly unreported by many news outlets, and not just the overtly liberal ones either (remember in January, Romney was one of several potential GOP candidates). Having reviewed Romney’s returns, I noted that he paid taxes on more than $1 million worth of income that existed on paper only, due to the nature of hedge funds, IRS deduction rules, etc. You can read that report here. Yet no less than five news agencies — liberal and conservative — chose not to cover and discuss a story that had Romney paying “more than his fair share of taxes”. That wouldn’t sell. That didn’t fit the rhetoric. Would have it been different if the returns came out now, now that he is our nominee — and therefore we are more unified against Obama?
Reflecting on that, one thing is certain: we can expect more of these baseless, factless attacks on Romney from the leftist media as the summer marches on. Thankfully, articles like Nolte’s help to expose and dispel the bias and campaign mouthpieces that are indeed active.