Would you let the New York Times sit in on a GOP presidential campaign strategy meeting? The politicos over at American Crossroads did, and as to be expected, the NYT covered it a little differently than they would have for the Democrats.
The New York Times gets some credit, I guess, for trying to divine how the conservative opposition plans to go after Hillary Clinton. And the paper had cooperation from one such PAC, American Crossroads, founded by Karl Rove. The organization allowed a reporter to sit in on a focus group as different anti-Hillary lines of attack were tested.
But the headline sounded like the Times was offended: “The Best Way to Vilify Hillary Clinton? GOP Spends Heavily to Test It.”
Vilify? As in, use bad-guy methods to blacken her reputation? The dictionary definition says it means to “defame,” to “slander,” which kinda sorta implies that it’s unfair.
Of course, campaign strategy is a double standard when it comes to the media. In their eyes, what’s fair for the Democrats is considered smear tactics for the Republicans.
Fox News’ Howard Kurtz observes this phenomenon in his commentary:
So let’s fire up the Google machine and see how the Times handled it when Priorities USA went after Mitt. Here’s a piece that said the group was “highlighting a study by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center and suggesting that Mitt Romney’s plans would raise taxes on the middle class while cutting them for the wealthy.”
Here’s another one on how the Priorities commercials —“including the ‘coffin ad,’ featuring workers laid off from a plant acquired by Bain Capital, Mr. Romney’s former firm — helped define Mr. Romney early in the campaign.”
See? Romney wasn’t vilified by a liberal PAC, he was “defined.”
Words matter. While the liberal bias of the NYT is no secret, it’s nice to know that people like Howard Kurtz continue to monitor their coverage and call them out for their double standards.