BY MICHAEL S. JOHNSON
“This was Romney’s moment to make the case, that he is the substantive one, the electable one…But he didn’t. Instead he queued up his talking points…”
Who would you think made a comment like that? A cable news show talking head or a political consultant from the camp of the opposition? A newspaper columnist or a blogger? Not this time.
The opinion, not factual reporting or even analysis– was that of Philip Rucker, reporter for the Washington Post and it appeared in a Page 1 story under the opinion-rich headline: “Up close and way out of his comfort zone; On campaign trail Romney boggles chance to make connection with voters.”
The headline and the story violated what I, and I assume other consumers of American journalism, consider one of the sacred standards of reporting: objectivity.
Rucker’s opinions weren’t confined to the first couple of paragraphs. Most of the piece was opinion or at best subjective analysis. But it wasn’t labeled commentary or analysis or opinion. It was presented as a straight-up news story, on the front page, no less. Continue reading