Been wondering when the print media is going to call Mitt Romney out for fanning the flames of bigotry in his ads? I know I have. So have others on this site, like chaunceydevega (whose post I highly recommend).
Maybe now we're seeing some progress. Earlier this week Mitt Romney released an ad attacking President Obama's welfare policy. Correction, Romney attacked a made-up version of the President's welfare policy.
In today's Philadelphia Inquirer, their National Political Columnist Dick Polman told the truth about the Romney welfare ad. I'll let Mr. Polman speak for himself:
Lying is endemic to politics, but Mitt Romney may have pioneered a new low this week. His TV ad attacking President Obama's welfare policy collides with empirical fact, but that's not the worst of it. Aimed at working-class whites, it also implicitly traffics in toxic racial stereotypes.It's one column, in one newspaper. But it's a daily, venerable newspaper, in the biggest city in a crucial state. Mr. Polman is of course absolutely right to remind us of the parallels between Romney's welfare ad and what Reagan and George H.W. Bush did during their campaigns. Maybe if those Republicans had been swiftly and resoundingly called out by respected media figures for the racist stereotypes in their rhetoric, Mitt Romney wouldn't be so willing to traffic in those stereotypes today.
(snip) When I listen to Romney on this issue and see that ad, I am reminded of what the writer Mary McCarthy famously said of Lillian Hellman: "Every word she writes is a lie, including and and the."
(snip) What a shame that the GOP nominee has seen fit to slum in this manner. It's bad enough that the welfare ad bears no resemblance to factual reality. What's worse is that he has dredged up the racially coded tactics that Republicans employed so often in the '80s and '90s, including Ronald Reagan's loaded references to "welfare queens" and George H.W. Bush's TV ads equating crime with blacks. Romney is traveling the same low road, tapping the old stereotypes about how Democrats supposedly want to shovel taxpayer money to shiftless welfare recipients - now with a black president wielding the shovel.
Is this one column enough? Hell, no. Not even close. But one is where you start. Media, we're waiting for more truth-tellers to do their job.
PS-I'm scheduled to be on DailyKos Radio at 9:15 this morning to talk about my book. You can listen here.