In the past few days, Brown University-educated journalist Alex Wagner has shown a penchant for deliberately distorting a remark that former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) made on the campaign trail, wherein he slammed as a "snob" President Obama for, as Santorum believes it, Obama's having said every American should go to college.
Wagner repeated the distortion again on the Leap Day edition of Now with Alex Wagner. Fortunately for her viewers, a campaign staffer was on hand to address the distortion.
"So much for all that talk about the snobs who go to college," Wagner smirked after playing a sound bite of Santorum talking fondly about his 93-year-old mother who went to graduate school. Wagner made the snide remark as she introduced Hogan Gidley, the Santorum campaign's national communications director.
"On February 25, [Santorum] questioned whether going to a four-year college was snobby," Wagner insisted to Gidley, listing it as one of many "bombs" that Santorum threw out on the campaign trail lately. "So maybe there is some culpability on Sen. Santorum's part, perhaps" for the negative media coverage, the Center for American Progress alumna suggested.
Gidley wasted no time taking Wagner to task for her and others in the media for their part in distorting Santorum's actual comments on the stump:
Perhaps, but it would be better, perhaps, if you would quote him accurately and what he was talking about and of course the nature of the comment...
When you were talking about college, he wasn't saying it was snobbery to go to a four-year college, his mom did that, [his] mom went to graduate school. He's pushing all, of course, his children to go to college, but the fact of the matter is, if one of them comes to him and says, I think this is a better path for me, he knows it's not the government's role to tell them what to do. And that was the point he was trying to make, and this whole election from the get-go has been about freedoms.
And that's what he's been talking about, whether it's your decision to go to college or not, it should be your decision...
For her part, Wagner failed to apologize or at least acknowledge her misleading spin on the "snob" comment by Santorum, instead responding to Gidley's protracted and detailed answer to Wagner's litany of complaints dismissively.
"Hogan, I can sense how loathe you are to talk about these social issues. Definitely not a talking point for the Santorum campaign," Wagner snarked as she drew the conversation to Santorum's economic platform.