It didn't take long for liberal members of the press to spew venom at Ann Romney after she stated during an interview on last weekend's edition of “Fox News Sunday” that she's “happy to blame the media” as one of the reasons her husband, GOP former Mass. Governor Mitt Romney, lost the 2012 presidential election.
The fast and furious insults have ranged from a declaration by Jonathan Capehart of the Washington Post that she “is suffering a serious case of sour grapes” and “needs to move on” to a sarcastic Tweet about her from David Bernstein of the Boston Phoenix as “still blaming media” even though he “lost count of stories she and Mitt refused to participate in.”
For reference, the video of the Romneys' interview is below:
One of the most curious comments regarding the interview came from Nicole Wallace, a panelist on MSNBC's “Morning Joe” program who stated on Monday:
The Romneys are trying -- have been dignified in defeat, but I think whenever you come out and talk about what went wrong, there’s just -- it sort of reeks of the bitterness and the regret. It’s hard to watch.
Wallace added that “it takes years to get over losing a presidential campaign” and is especially hard for the candidate's family, including Ann Romney -- who is “still angry” over the election results.
Another remark Ann Romney made during the interview with moderator Chris Wallace dealt with her frustration “that people didn’t really get to know Mitt for who he was” despite her efforts to let the candidate be himself on the campaign trail.
But it was not just the campaign’s fault -- I believe it was the media’s fault as well. He was not being given a fair shake.
Washington Post columnist Erik Wemple blogged on Monday that there's “a mound of contradiction” in her critique.
“On one hand, Ann Romney confirms her frustration that the campaign kept too tight a lid on the candidate,” he noted. “On the other hand, she complains that he wasn’t portrayed more completely in the media."
The resulting problem? “The campaign controlled the media’s access to the candidate, so blaming them both at the same time is a touch precious,” Wemple stated. “Or perhaps it’s a luxury you’re afforded in the rearview mirror.”
Jason Easley of Politicususa.com also came fo the media's defense:
It wasn’t the media’s fault that the Romneys were completely unlikable. It wasn’t the media’s fault that Ann Romney spent her time on the campaign trail torn between acting entitled to the presidency and pitying herself.
The media didn’t worry that Mitt Romney was losing his mind on the campaign trail. The media didn’t lecture the Republican Party that they were lucky to have Mitt.
Lee Goaa of UniteBlue.com joined the fray by tweeting that Ann Romney is a “Stepford Wife” who “needs reprogramming” and claimed that the GOP ticket lost because Romney and vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan "alienated every major voting group except old rich white guys “
But not everyone in the media was critical of Ann Romney's remarks during the interview. Peter Grier, Washington editor of the Christian Science Monitor, viewed the comments from a different perspective.
As you can see from that context, she was not blaming the media only for the Republican defeat. She wasn’t even blaming the MSM exclusively for the particular problem she was citing.
Grier then added that the couple also admitted they and the campaign underestimated the Obama campaign's ability to get out the vote and connect with ethnic minorities.
“So in the end Ann and Mitt blamed ... themselves. Plus the media and the opposition,” which the editor claimed was “pretty comprehensive, no?”
Not exactly a contradiction, either, contrary to what Wemple thinks.
As Noah Rothman noted at Mediaite (where he also aggregated many of the quotes seen above), it was obvious that the press favored Obama in 2012. Raging against Ann Romney for stating the truth does not change the facts.