Color me surprised to see that Greta Van Susteren is openly expressing displeasure with Mitt Romney’s inaccessibility to the press during his trip abroad. In a blog post yesterday, she complained that being in the press was like being in a “modified petting zoo.” (H/T Huffingston Post)
Van Susteren wrote:
There has been no press access to Governor Romney since we landed in Poland. We (press) are in a holding pattern (I can’t help but feel a bit like the press is a modified petting zoo since we are trapped in a bus while Polish citizens take pictures of us.)
Yet Van Susteren said not a word about that during her interview with Romney on On The Record last night.
Well, Grets, as much as Fox acts like a lap dog for the GOP, you ought to be used to that . . .
And that’s about a brazen a rewriting of history as I’ve seen in a while. The only thing Palin did was momentarily get some of the harder right GOP voters excited at the convention when they saw her on the ticket. But the second she opened her mouth and began to actually say anything about her worldview, about politics, about history, the train went off the tracks. Her gaffes were even worse than the ones done early in the current campaign by Rick Perry. And like the gaffes by Romney, they were all what they call “unforced errors”. Palin wasn’t destroyed by the media – she did it to herself with her own statements and her own ignorance of the issues upon which she was opining. And once she started doing that, yes, the media had a blast with it. But they were just following the story she was creating. You could call it ambulance journalism, but Palin was the one creating the accident that was getting their attention.
The funniest part of this is that the right wing pundit who really spearheaded this myth of Palin being attacked for her success – John Ziegler, has already publicly turned on Palin. But Fox continues to use Ziegler’s talking points…
The reality of the Romney international junket is that it was a PR disaster. Starting with Romney stepping on himself to insult the London Olympic prep, continuing with the gaffes in Israel and now being topped off by his press secretary telling reporters “Kiss My Ass”. One can understand why the secretary was this upset, but really…
The Bill O’Reilly attempted defense of Romney insulting the British sounds partly like O’Reilly’s usual problems with England, and partly like defensiveness. And even if you allow O’Reilly his factual point – it’s very hard to put together an Olympics competition in the middle of a busy city – then you have to ask why any prominent public figure visiting that city would make that his first statement to the press. Just because it may be a defensible point doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea to tweak your hosts like that. It’s bad form, and it’s insulting. Let’s try it a different way. What if during the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, a British PM candidate running against Margaret Thatcher came to Los Angeles and his first comments to the press were to note that he expected there would be some big snafus and breakdowns inevitably? He might have a point, but would that be a politically smart thing to do?
The strangest thing about this whole debacle has been Fox doubling down with it, at least so far. Last night, there was the spectacle of Dick Morris announcing firmly that Bill Clinton would be voting for Mitt Romney. And to go with that chaser, you had Bill O’Reilly and Brit Hume talking down the upcoming Clinton speech at the convention by musing about how he would somehow undermine Obama’s campaign. And the spit-take moment of hilarity came with Hume saying that the inclusion of Bill Clinton was somehow the act of a fictionally desperate Obama who’s “in serious trouble with his re-election”. Huh? Isn’t Hume supposed to be the “serious senior journalist” at Fox? (And this of course avoids Hume’s barely restrained hatred of Bill Clinton, dating back to his being publicly disciplined by Clinton for attempting to “gotcha” him at a press event in the 90s.)
It’s very possible that Greta’s response upon returning to the US and her regular Fox perch will be a continuation of her frustration. Which will either be in the form of chastising Romney for badly running this junket, or in the form of beginning to prepare the post-election post-mortum on his campaign. It will be interesting to see where she goes with this. Past history indicates that when she gets frustrated or angry about something, she digs in. (Witness her evisceration of Tucker Carlson as but one example of that.)
After this gaffe-a-rama debacle, rMoney will need to be kept in some modified petting zoo until the election. Only teabaggers, neocons and Fux Noise will be allowed to view and talk to rMoney.