Politico Adopts Breitbart’s Ridiculous ‘Vetting’ Frame

Just a terrible article
Politics • Views: 25,155

When I first clicked a link to this article at Politico today, I thought my browser had been hijacked and redirected to breitbart.com: To GOP, Blatant Bias in Vetting.

In their constant quest for that Drudge Report link and the resultant millions of page views, Politico even adopts breitbart.com’s ridiculous “vetting” catchphrase. What a joke. They’re so invested in the “horse race” view of the 2012 election that their pandering to the right is now completely out in the open.

On the front page of its Sunday edition, the New York Times gave a big spread to Ann Romney spending lots of time and tons of money on an exotic genre of horse-riding. The clear implication: The Romneys are silly rich, move in rarefied and exotic circles, and are perhaps a tad shady.

Only days earlier, news surfaced that author David Maraniss had unearthed new details about Barack Obama’s prolific, college-age dope-smoking for his new book, “Barack Obama: The Story” — and the Times made it a brief on A15.

No wonder Republicans are livid with the early coverage of the 2012 general election campaign. To them, reporters are scaring up stories to undermine the introduction of Mitt Romney to the general election audience – and once again downplaying ones that could hurt the president.

“The New York Times has given Obama the longest wet kiss in political history, and they have done him a favor again,” former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said. “The New York Times does a huge expose that Ann Romney rides horses. Well, so does my wife, and a few million other people. Watch out for equine performers!”

Republicans cry “bias” so often it feels like a campaign theme. It is, largely because it fires up conservatives and diminishes the punch of legitimate investigative or narrative journalism. But it also is because it often rings true, even to people who don’t listen to Rush Limbaugh – or Haley Barbour.

Who are these people to whom the GOP’s “media bias” argument “rings true,” even though they “don’t listen to Rush Limbaugh?” This is the laziest sort of “argument by assertion” journalism, because there’s absolutely nothing to back up this statement.

Devin Gordon at GQ has one of the best takes I’ve seen on this ludicrous article: Five Points About Politico’s Hatchet Job on NYT and WaPo.

Let’s get macro for a moment. This Politico story was written by Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen, two people at the very top of the organization’s masthead. It’s effectively an unsigned house editorial. And it levied a charge of journalistic malpractice at two of Politico’s biggest rivals. The house position of Politico, as evidenced by this piece, is that they are fair and their chief competition is not. It’s a thinly disguised, fundamentally craven argument for Politico’s superiority in the world of political coverage. Let’s call this article for what it was. It wasn’t journalism. It was business.

It’s all about the Drudge links.

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