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Romney ‘Prank’ Family Angry At — The Media

From the New York Times:

Bullying Story Spurs Apology From Romney

May 10, 2012

The day after President Obama endorsed gay marriage, Mitt Romney found himself responding to allegations that as a teenager he harassed a prep school classmate who later came out as gay.

The account put Mr. Romney, who has struggled on the campaign trail to cast off his rivals’ image of him as privileged and insensitive, on the defensive about events nearly 50 years ago.

Notice the headline and the first and second sentences. The Times takes the opportunity to repeat in detail the original allegations, which we will skip. But then suddenly, we have some actual new news:

Mr. Lauber is no longer alive, but several classmates confirmed the account. Others, in interviews on Thursday, said that they were surprised by the accusations, and that they had never known Mr. Romney to act in a vicious or cruel manner.

“One of the last words I would ever use to describe Mitt would be bully,” said John French, a Cranbrook classmate. “If you’ve ever been around guys in a boys’ school, you kid each other and pull little pranks on things, what you might call sophomoric humor, but I really, honestly, do not remember anything being malicious.”

And then, ten long paragraphs into the story we get:

Reached for comment, Mr. Lauber’s family said in a statement that they were “aggrieved that John would be used to further a political agenda.”

Isn’t that bigger news than the old news that Romney had apologized? It is also a scoop, since Ashley Parker was the first to "tweet" about the Lauber family making a statement.

And we never even get to hear the full statement from the family. Instead we get reactions to the Washington Post’s article from various political operatives, and then this:

For months, the Romney campaign has been trying to turn away from questions about the candidate’s character and focus on his proposals to improve the economy.

Really? There have been questions about Romney’s character for months? Who knew?

On Thursday, his aides struggled to deal with the account, first telling The Washington Post that Mr. Romney had no recollection of it. Mr. Maxwell, however, said he was skeptical that Mr. Romney did not remember something that had haunted all of the other men involved, even years later.

“I would think this would be seared in his memory,” said Mr. Maxwell, who identified himself as an independent who tends to vote Democratic. “Certainly for the other people that were involved, nobody has forgotten.”

"An an independent who tends to vote Democratic." Right. By the way, this incident was so terrible it even haunted a man who was not even there at the time.

In fact, the original 17 page, 5,472 word Washington Post article reported: “I always enjoyed his pranks,” said Stu White, a popular friend of Romney’s who went on to a career as a public school teacher and has long been bothered by the Lauber incident.

But an ABC News article accidentally reports a slightly different version:

Romney Friend Stu White Says Campaign Wants Him to Counter Prank Accusations

Emily Friedman, Emily Stanitz and Steven Portnoy
May 10, 2012

One of Mitt Romney’s closest friends and a high school classmate has been asked by the Romney campaign to come out and offer “supporting remarks” in defense of the candidate following a Washington Post article that described pranks at the Cranbrook School in the 1960s that focused on a student who was “presumed” to be gay. Romney has denied that the pranks were targeted.

Romney’s older brother Scott called White, asking him to act as a surrogate for Romney on their high school years. White, in an interview with ABC News, said that he is “still debating” whether he will help the campaign, remarking, “It’s been a long time since we’ve been pals.”

"While the Post reports White as having “long been bothered” by the haircutting incident,” he told ABC News he was not present for the prank, in which Romney is said to have forcefully cut a student’s long hair and was not aware of it until this year when he was contacted by the Washington Post."

Notice how ABC buried it’s own scoop, just like The Times did. Of course, it’s clear that the article was meant to be damning to Romney, by chronicling his campaign’s desperate efforts to try to find people to defend his actions back in 1965.

In fact, the ABC News hit piece goes on to quote an anonymous source, whom they describe as a "former classmate and old friend of Romney’s," as saying:

According to White, he knows of several other classmates that have also been approached by the campaign to counter the article

One former classmate and old friend of Romney’s – who refused to be identified by name – said there are “a lot of guys” who went to Cranbrook who have “really negative memories” of Romney’s behavior in the dorms, behavior this classmate describes as “like Lord of the Flies.”

“[A] lot of guys” who went to Cranbrook who have “really negative memories” of Romney’s behavior in the dorms, behavior this classmate describes as “like Lord of the Flies.”

“It makes these fellows [who have owned up to it] very remorseful. For [Romney] not to remember it? It doesn’t ring true. How could the fellow with the scissors forget it?” the former classmate said."

Yep, that sure sounds like an old friend. Don’t you just love our unbiased news media?

By the way, another ABC News article gives a little more information about the family’s feelings on the matter:

Sister of Alleged Romney Target Has ‘No Knowledge’ of Any Bullying Incident

Matthew Jaffe
May 10, 2012

The older sister of Mitt Romney’s former high school classmate said she has no knowledge of any bullying incident involving her brother and the GOP presidential candidate.

Christine Lauber of South Bend, Ind., had not seen the Washington Post’s story that described an incident when Mitt Romney bullied her brother, but said she was aware of the story…

Betsy Lauber, one of John Lauber’s three sisters, spoke with ABC News Tuesday night regarding the accuracy of the story.

“The family of John Lauber is releasing a statement saying the portrayal of John is factually incorrect and we are aggrieved that he would be used to further a political agenda. There will be no more comments from the family,” she said.

Christine Lauber, older sister of John Lauber, who died in 2004, told ABC News she had ”no knowledge” of the incident involving her brother and Romney…

“If he were still alive today, he would be furious [about the story],” she added with tears in her eyes. ”It’s two 16-year-old kids at school. And it was 40 years ago!”

Funny how the New York Times article left all this out.

When will the bullies in our news media ever apologize?

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, May 11th, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “Romney ‘Prank’ Family Angry At — The Media”

  1. River0 says:

    Come on! It’s only fair! Obama was subjected to ruthless, blistering, and thorough investigation. Every little thing he said and did from age 12 on was vetted…… right? Americans hate double-standards and hypocrisy…. right? We love fairness, blind justice, and equal rights for all…. don’t we?

  2. tranquil.night says:

    MBM hyper-flatulence is driving their kind to exctinction.

  3. P. Aaron says:

    QUOTE:“I would think this would be seared in his memory,” said Mr. Maxwell, who identified himself as an independent who tends to vote Democratic.Seared in his memory like Christmas Eve in Cambodia?

  4. finebammer59 says:

    ised to believe this kind of attack was unsolicited.

    gay groups pressuring the president.

    biden’s sunday “gaffe”. (don’t believe it was a gaffe anymore)

    obama’s gay marriage flip-flop.

    the washington post hit piece.

    this was clearly coordinated. somebody in or close to the administration (axelrod) set this up with somebody at the post.

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