Over at Plum Line today, I'm not at all nice to an awful NYT article about the Hilary Rosen phony controversy, following up on Greg's item about it earlier. His item: the article was misleading about Rosen's connection to the campaign. My post: the article was generally far too gullible about the idea that there was a real controversy between the campaigns.
But wait! There's more!
Greg likes me to keep things short over there, so this didn't fit. But while most of the article bought the Romney spin, there's a detour that, I suspect, conservatives would take as confirmation of serious bias against them at the Times. Michael Shear and Susan Saulny wind up pivoting away from botching the campaign story to covering the supposed “cultural debate.” We get interviews with two “real” women. From both sides of the issue? Nope. One is “not a Mitt Romney supporter” who says that people should leave his wife out of it…and then talks about GOP attacks on contraception and other Democratic talking points. The other is an Obama supporter who brings up Ann Romney’s wealth. Now, of course it’s true that women tilt strongly to Obama in the current campaign, but still, I suspect any Republican reading that part of the article would accuse it of bias.
After which, they return to the campaign story, and give the Romney campaign an unanswered shot at the “Obama economy.”
Generally, complaints about media bias miss the point; there's plenty of bias in the "neutral" press, but it's rarely the product of ideological or partisan bias. And overall, this is the story that the Romney campaign wanted written -- they want to pretend that Democrats in general, and the Obama campaign in particular, have no respect for "stay at home moms," and the article supports that (false) version of the Rosen affair. But the women-on-the-street portion of it winds up putting Democratic talking points in the mouths of ordinary citizens, which is certainly not what the Romney campaign would want.