“Even the media’s had enough“, reports Politico’s Kevin Cirilli:
The race for the White House has grown so toxic that it’s become a top topic among reporters and analysts covering the contest — and some are even calling on President Barack Obama and presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney to call a truce.
The media have had enough? You mean, the media that have parroted Democratic talking points about Mitt Romney’s dog, asked his neighbors for dirt on him and sough information about his high school years from classmates on the opposite side of the political fence?
Geez, wasn’t Mr. Obama supposed to elevate the tone of American politics? And which candidate was it whose team first raised issues unrelated to his opponent’s ability to lead the country? “You have“, writes Commentary’s Alana Goodman
a Democratic campaign that’s painting its opponent as a felon, a tax-dodger, a dog-abuser, and a killer who will bring back slavery. On the other side, you have a Republican campaign that’s responding to these attacks as “hateful” and “inappropriate.” The media spin? Both sides need to tone down the “toxic rhetoric”
She reminds us that
Romney has basically stuck to attacks on Obama’s policy, it’s the Obama campaign that’s gone into the gutter. In fact, the only “negative” remarks from the Romney campaign cited in the Politico story were made in response to Democratic smears.
Emphasis added. Mark Halperin has been asking for the two candidates to call a truce, but Goodman asks, “How can anyone expect Obama to do this in good faith, after his campaign told Politico last year that it’s plan was to ‘destroy’ Romney?” Do wonder if folks like Mr. Halperin will report how hope and change quickly became attack and destroy.
Perhaps Halperin and his cohorts in the legacy media should ask if their own reporting contributed to this “toxic” campaign. Maybe if they didn’t parrot Democratic talking points and highlighted Democratic gaffes and attacks (instead of ignoring or downplaying them), Democrats might be more careful about what they say.
No, the problem is not that “both campaigns” are doing it, but that all too many legacy media outlets play along when Democrats attack. They might not now be having “enough” had they spent more time covered more substantial issues instead of rooting around in Mr. Romney’s personal life.
UPDATE: This morning in his Morning Jolt (available by subscription), Jim Geraghty wonders if “maybe the Obama campaign pushed its luck too far, and is behaving in ruthless ways that some big-name reporters can’t ignore”:
. . . .
Neither side has had to look far to find an excuse to launch an attack or cry foul. Obama’s allies took the campaign over the edge last week and the Obama campaign did nothing to stop it. The most egregious example of a campaign out of bounds was the ad prepared by Priorities USA, the super PAC supporting Obama. This is perhaps one of the biggest dividends of the Ryan pick. It is an article of faith among most Washington journalists that the seriousness of a national figure can be measured by their willingness to address hard issues like entitlement reform, and tell voters what they don’t want to hear. Paul Ryan passes that test with flying colors, perhaps better than any other figure in Washington. The Washington press corps quite credulously believed President Obama would do something on entitlements, too. Here we are, Obama’s term nearly done, with nothing proposed, much less any serious risk of Obama’s dwindling political capital.