where I get all political and analytical

I was about to lay out a disclaimer about expressing my thoughts on politics but then realized 1) this is my damn blog and I can say whatever I want and 2) no one reads my damn blog anyway.

But if I ever wanted to give a lesson on “The Impact of Media Bias” I could start with yesterday’s visit by Mitt Romney to Manchester, NH.  Mitt Romney, quite simply, went into an eating establishment in Manchester, sat down next to a Vietnam War vet, and was asked to give his stance on gay marriage.

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*Note:  Honestly, why is there anyone left who opposes two people of the same sex getting married?  Gay people would like the same kinds of rights and recognition.  And I cannot for the life of me figure out why straight people give a shit.  Or why they’d want to prevent it from happening.  Really.  Why?*

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Anyway, my point is…this exchange became more interesting when the Vietnam vet revealed (after his chat with Romney) that he is gay and married.

Even more interesting to me is how this exchange got spun in the media.

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Here’s a sample of headlines:

NPR:  Romney Confronted by Gay Vietnam Vet on Same-Sex Marriage Stance

Boston Globe:  Romney defends same-sex marriage stance to gay veteran

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:  Romney grilled on gay marriage by gay NH veteran

ABC News:  Gay Veteran Steals the Show at Romney Endorsement Event

Washington Post:  ‘You can’t trust him,’ gay vet says after exchange with Romney in N.H.

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You know what a buzzword is?  It’s something used in media to inflate an idea beyond its importance or to sway someone by hiding the real issue.  When the word “grilled” is used, as in “Romney was grilled”, it implies something negative has occurred.  It is meant to elicit sympathy for the grill-ee.  In this particular article, they state the veteran who grilled Romney did so because he is gay.  That’s probably a fair assessment in retrospect, but the “gay veteran” never tells Romney he is gay when he asked the questions.

And really?  Grilled is a misnomer here.  Watch the clip or listen to the audio and you just hear a citizen asking a question or two.

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Likewise, the Washington Post leading with “You can’t trust him”  in the title certainly appears as if they tried to sway the reader immediately.  So, if you did not read the actual article, or watch/listen to the exchange, you walk away with “Romney is untrustworthy”.  I don’t necessarily believe that.  He stuck to his opinion.  I think his opinion is a load of donkey shit, but he stuck with it.

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My favorite headline blurb so far is ABC’s reference to the veteran “stealing the show”.  The inference being that this is all for entertainment.  And, sadly, that’s mostly true.

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The Boston Globe, however, prints the most ridiculous comment with the following:  “With that, it started to become clear that a routine campaign conversation could become hostile. Though Romney had no reason to know it, Garon – a 63-year-old from Epsom, N.H. — was sitting at the table with his husband.”

Okay?  Hostile?  Another buzzword, and seriously not accurate.  “Uncomfortable” was used a lot, and I get behind that.  But hostile?  No.

And, no, Romney had no reason to know he was talking to a gay man.  But why is that relevant?  The implication is that somehow Romney was “tricked”.  What, we disguised a gay man as a war veteran?  Is that what this means?

Furthermore, it sounds inappropriately ominous.  I could see the same tone being used in a mystery novel –  “The detective had no way of knowing he was interviewing the axe-wielding maniac.”

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And, by the way, Fox News (as of last night) made no mention of this exchange on their web site.  I am pretty sure it’s because all their heads were exploding at the thought that a Vietnam war vet is gay and married.  Glenn Beck is no doubt rocking and weeping in a corner somewhere.

Yes, I can use hyperbole here because it’s my blog and I don’t have to be unbiased.  But these news sites?  They do.

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