Mitt Romney walks on water at NAACP, media proclaims him a lousy swimmer

Fred J. Eckert | Former Member of Congress

It’s pretty much a given that if Mitt Romney walked down to the shore of Lake Winnipesaukee and then proceeded to walk atop the water all the way over to the opposite shore, the mainstream media would barrage us with reports that Mitt must be a lousy swimmer.

So it is no surprise that when Governor Romney turned in a walking-on-water performance Wednesday with his speech before the NAACP’s national convention, the mainstream media strove to find a way to create the impression that his superb presentation was abysmal.

“Mitt Romney Met with Boos in NAACP Speech,” headlined a Washington Post piece posted online on Wednesday afternoon. “Romney’s Speech to NAACP Draws Boos from Audience,” headlined the Los Angeles Times. Other newspaper and magazine websites pretty much echoed these headlines.

Here’s the truth: Romney did receive a smattering of boos, but he received more smatterings of applause. And when he finished his remarks, the audience gave him a standing ovation.

Why didn’t the headlines read, “NAACP Gives Mitt Romney Standing Ovation”?

Why didn’t they at least read, “Romney Draws Jeers but Also Cheers at NAACP”?

Come on, you know why.

So biased is The Washington Post that it reported that Romney “appeared visibly unsettled” when some booed his saying “I will eliminate expensive non-essential programs like Obamacare” — when, in truth, far from appearing unsettled he appeared quite the opposite: calm and strong. He stood tall and stood firm and proceeded to coolly make a compelling case that Obamacare is killing job creation.

While The Post reporting acknowledged that Romney did receive “polite but subdued applause,” it did not mention anything that he said that triggered applause for him. Neither did the LA Times. Nor did either one of them mention his receiving a standing ovation.

One line that received applause any objective reporting would label enthusiastic rather than subdued: “As president, I will promote strong families — and I will defend traditional marriage.”

Why didn’t the headlines — or some sub-heads — read, “NAACP Delegates Cheer as Romney Contrasts with Obama on Gay Marriage”?

Why didn’t the reports cover both the cheers and the jeers?

Take a wild guess.

Today’s media is not only biased, but incompetent. Often, what the media describes is not even close to reality.

A few people in an audience made up largely of Barack Obama supporters booed the man running against Obama a few times. So? That should be tangential rather than nearly the whole story.

You wouldn’t know it from the media reports, but what happened Wednesday is that the Republican presidential candidate gave a great speech covering a wide range of important issues before an audience overwhelmingly stacked against him and came across as a strong leader who is extraordinarily intelligent, knowledgeable, reasonable, sensible, serious, polite, respectful, gracious — and tenacious.

You also wouldn’t know it from the media reports, but the overwhelming majority of the audience was polite and respectful.

Pundits will say Romney probably didn’t win over many votes in that audience. But clearly he earned their respect. And he should win both the respect and vote of most people who watch the whole speech.

Opponents will claim that the speech was just a clever ploy; that Romney actually wanted to be booed by a black audience. Nonsense. But some will keep saying it right up until he returns next year to address the NAACP as president of the United States.

What did Mitt Romney say to the NAACP? That’s what the media should communicate effectively but, as usual, hasn’t. It’s a speech well worth watching. To do so, click here.

Fred J. Eckert, author of the new book, That’s a Crock, Barack, is a former conservative Republican Congressman from New York and twice served as a U.S. ambassador (to the UN and to Fiji) under President Reagan, who called him “a good friend and valuable advisor.” He’s retired and lives with his wife in Raleigh, N.C.

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