“Rosengate” The Latest News Media Overreaction

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how badly the mainstream media and punditry class had miscalculated the public reaction to the Obamacare contraceptives policy. You’ll recall that the national news media originally declared that President Obama was getting slaughtered due to the “controversy” and “firestorm” he had caused by proposing to provide contraception to women.

Then polls showed that the issue had actually helped expand a gender gap in favor of Obama.

A few days ago, a similar cycle started again, although this one didn’t even have anything to do with Obama or an Obama policy. It all started with lefty pundit Hilary Rosen’s comment that Ann Romney had never worked a day in her life, forgetting three important words “outside the home.”

Reporters and pundits immediately became aroused. Forget that Rosen isn’t Obama. Forget that Rosen doesn’t speak for Obama, or work for him. Forget that most people know what Rosen presumably meant – that millionaire stay-at-home moms don’t have much in common with non-millionaire working moms — and that is an absolutely fair and relevant point. Once again, the national news media and pundits declared that Obama had a huge political problem on his hands that was crippling him with lovers of motherhood everywhere.

U.S. News blared the headline “Damage Already Done By Rosen’s Ann Romney Comment,” relying on conservative pundit Frank Luntz, who assured us:

“What she said is an insult to millions of American women,” Luntz told me, adding that even though Rosen apologized, the damage had already been done because many stay-at-home moms were offended.

CBS News went with the headline “Hilary Rosen flap a ‘win in every regard’ for GOP, says Nicole Wallace.” It quotes the giddy conservative pundit explaining:

“Ann Romney was able to connect in an instant to every woman in the country, with every woman in the country” by defending her decision to raise five boys.”

Talking Points Memo (TPM) even broke out The Suffix of Political Death, “-gate.” I kid you not, they went with “Rosengate” in their headline.

Holy Cuban plumbers, a “-gate!?” Because a supportive pundit mangled her soundbite?

Despite all that hyperventilating about Rosen’s comments and the dire consequences they supposedly had for Obama, today we’re starting to see some polling on the issue. From the Examiner:

A new Reuters poll out Tuesday shows Obama with a comfortable 14-point lead on Mitt Romney among women likely to vote in November’s general election, 51-to-37 percent. That split is more or less the same as a similar poll taken back in March that showed Obama with a 54-38 advantage.

A CNN poll out Monday offered similar numbers. The survey gave the president a 52-to-43 percent lead over Mitt Romney among registered voters, and also gave Obama a 16-point lead over Romney among women, 55-to-39 percent, almost as good as last month’s 18 points.

Another interesting development in the survey: “Despite Republicans’ efforts to portray themselves as the party of the family, Obama even had a big edge on family values among women, with 51 percent picking him as better on that issue compared with 36 percent for Romney.”

In fact, the poll found women rating Obama stronger on all issues, including the economy, jobs, health care and foreign policy.

So, after all of that talking head drama, apparently what we actually have is Nobodygivesashitgate.

- Loveland

10 Responses

  1. “…it is a tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

    as is, sadly, so much of what we will be hearing for the next seven months.

  2. Why does an Obama supporter’s (Rosen) misstatement become a media obsession for a week while a Romney supporter’s intentional and oft-repeated threats of violence (Nugent) gets largely blown off?

    Because political reporters’ strongest bias is neither liberal nor conservative. Their strongest bias is a “we want a close and colorful race to cover” bias, and for that reason they were anxious for the candidate bloodied by his contraception policy to get a lick in on the gender front.

  3. Do you suppose “Cookiegate” will replace Rosengate?

    http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2012/04/mitt-romney-cookies-video.html

    (well, not, of course, on Fox News, which will look more and more like this as November approaches: http://www.salon.com/2012/04/19/sean_hannity_to_the_rescue/)

  4. Rosen followed up with three more trash-talk tweets within minites of the first radioactive bomb she dropped. She was appropriately villified and appropriately linked to Obama, having visited the WH 35 times in recently.

    Liberals like Rosen are under the misguided belief that offending and attacking = persuasion.

    I’d like the debate to continue through November.

  5. Anything bearing the -gate suffix should be ignored as at best a story created by intellectually lazt.

    • This is terrific. Excerpt:

      “Facts held on for several days after that assault — brought on without a scrap of evidence or reason — before expiring peacefully at its home in a high school physics book. Facts was 2,372.”

    • That is hilarious, but I wonder how Gary Alan Fine, who used to be in the Sociology Dept. at the U, got hauled into the story.

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