They say that the real value of an investigative article is whether it exposes something as an isolated incident or a regular pattern of behavior that points to something larger.
The Washington Post’s article about Mitt Romney’s high school days does just that — it exposes a pattern of behavior.
But, the pattern isn’t Romney’s behavior. It is the Post’s.
The Washington Post publishes a front page, above the fold 5,472 word article about Mitt Romney as a teenager in 1965 — 47 years ago — with a focus upon an allegation that he and others held a fellow classmate down and cut his hair. Just for good measure, the reporter throws out the “presumed homosexuality” of the victim by his tormentors — never mind there is no evidence that Romney or any of his classmates presumed that to be the case. (If anything, nearly 50 years ago that would have been a far removed thought from such minds and this would more likely have been a preppie vs. hippie showdown.)
The bottom line of this article is meant to portray Romney as . . . wait for it . . . a bully.
Sound at all familiar?
How many articles did the Post publish about “macaca” — a stupid, made-up word that was quickly retconned into being a “racial slur” in certain obscure places — in their attempt to portray George Allen as . . . a bully? (I still wish he had just said what he meant and called him “$#!T HEAD.”)
And then there was the little matter of the Post’s articles about Gov. Bob McDonnell’s thesis that attempted to portray him as the original warrior in the trumped up “GOP War On Women” — not just a regular bully, but one who picks on girls!
Yes, with this Romney article, a pattern has been detected. Here is what the WashPo’s modus operandi is —
STEP 1: Identify a Republican threat
STEP 2: Find some ancient story / college paper / recent gaffe of said threat
STEP 3: Go completely overkill on the inane story in an attempt to portray said threat as an anti-gay / anti-minority / anti-woman “bully”
Well, we’ve got news for you, Post. Not only are we on to your game and have your limited playbook figured out, but we’re calling you out as the biggest bully in the neighborhood. No one is afraid of you anymore. You’re a sad, pathetic joke of a newspaper that is a shallow reflection of its former glory — one that you only had because someone dropped the biggest story of the decade in the laps of your reporters.
Your electoral influence is ZERO. Just compare your Virginia endorsements to the electoral results and you’ll see what I mean.
So, keep on writing about stupid high school hi jinx. (But for heaven’s sake don’t write about any stupid things that Democrats did back in school, you can’t have that out there. /SARC) Now that Kaplan, your only corporate subsidiary that was turning a profit is being targeted for predatory practices, your well is about to go dry. You inflicted a $23 million loss for the first quarter of 2012 on your parent company and the bigger picture is even worse than that.
The Post’s newspaper division (which includes Slate) has posted losses in thirteen of the last fifteen quarters, a trail of red ink that has led to cumulative losses of $412 million over the period. Its revenue has declined in twenty of the last twenty-two quarters and last year it brought in fully one-third less—$314 million—than it did at its peak in 2006.
How much longer do you think you can keep this up? It is only a matter of time before you get cut loose.
As I used to say in high school . . . and you can quote me on this:
See ya, wouldn’t want to be ya!