New York Times reporter Jeff Zeleny followed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to Tampa and filed “Democrats Scowl at Romney Joke” for Friday's edition, treating as a weighty matter a harmless joke by the candidate to a group of unemployed people as one of a series of “occasionally awkward...off-the-cuff remarks.” Yet the Times has remained silent as President Obama has reeled off a series of gaffes about the high unemployment under his watch.
Mitt Romney sat at the head of the table at a coffee shop here on Thursday, listening to a group of unemployed Floridians explain the challenges of looking for work. When they finished, he weighed in with a predicament of his own.
“I should tell my story,” Mr. Romney said. “I’m also unemployed.”
He chuckled. The eight people gathered around him, who had just finished talking about strategies of finding employment in a slow-to-recover economy, joined him in laughter.
The references to Mr. Romney’s own unemployment status added yet another humorous, but occasionally awkward, moment to his ever-growing catalog of off-the-cuff remarks that he makes as he seeks the Republican presidential nomination. He spent the morning doing more listening than talking -- a woman in the crowd openly urged him to talk about the deficit -- and it was unclear whether he persuaded any voters to join his effort.
Yet the Times has totally ignored Obama’s recent jokes related to the lack of jobs under his administration, even though Republicans have responded with criticism. The paper has failed to mention the crack Obama made at a June 143 meeting with his “jobs council” in North Carolina where he quipped, "Shovel-ready was not as shovel-ready as we expected." The Times did not issue a headline reading “Republicans Scowl at Obama Joke.”
Also conveniently ignored: Obama's claim on the June 14 NBC Today show that ATM’s shared some blame for the persistently high unemployment rate: “There are some structural issues with our economy where a lot of businesses have learned to become much more efficient with a lot fewer workers. You see it when you go to a bank and you use an ATM, you don’t go to a bank teller, or you go to the airport and you’re using a kiosk instead of checking in at the gate.”
A nytimes.com search indicates the Times has yet to mention either Obama gaffe, either in print or online.