Sunday, May 13, 2012

Defending WaPo's Romney story

In a column last week, the ombudsman at the Washington Post defends the newspaper's reporting of an alleged bullying attack it says 18-year-old Mitt Romney took part in some 47 years ago:
I think biographical stories on presidential candidates are fair game even if controversial incidents contained in them are far in the past. Of course we all change and mature. But these stories give clues to the character of the flesh-and-blood human beings we pick to lead us.
Meanwhile, best I can tell, the Washington Post has never shown much interest in unauthorized biographical stories about the current president. The Post has failed to dij deep into President Obama's youthful affiliations and activities in the era when Obama himself says he aligned himself with Marxists in college. Or how about telling us more about young Obama's early politics while running on the slate endorsed by the socialist New Party in Chicago?

With so many gaps in the incumbent president's bio, and so many of Mr. Obama's records sealed by his own deliberate actions, it's hard to believe the Post now justifies biographical stories because they give us clues to the character of the candidate.

Biographical stories are indeed fair game. It's just that the Post seems to give selective attention. Why hasn't the Post taken more interest in Mr. Obama's past outside the president's carefully crafted authorized narrative? There's so much we don't know about O.

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