Crossposted from Addictinginfo.org
The Romney campaign has decided that their candidate should not have to answer questions he may not like.
In a stunning interview with Breitbart.com, two top advisers to Mitt Romney revealed the campaign’s plan to largely ignore journalists in favor of right-wing conspiracy websites.
From the beginning of the campaign, Romney has pointedly avoided news outlets who might pose tough questions. The press dubbed it “the Mittness Protection Program.” As the campaign wore on, Romney has refused to answer direct questions about major policy issues central to the campaign. For example, Romney has still not stated whether he would undo Obama’s order ending deportations for many young undocumented immigrants.
This worked for Sarah Palin and Sharon Angle who made a show of avoiding the “liberal” media after initial, disastrous interviews. Palin got away with it because it was a new tactic and the press was terrified of being seen as “picking” on an obvious intellectual light-weight. Angle didn’t really get away with it as the press was not as kind to her. Romney is taking a huge gamble here.
The right wing has spent decades and billions of dollars creating an echo chamber in which they can create whatever narrative they want in a fact free zone. In this zone, Climate Change is a myth, Evolution is “just a theory” and Ronald Reagan never raised taxes or granted amnesty to immigrants. Fox News is the crown jewel of this alternate reality and Republicans often snuggle into the warm folds of extreme partisanship while fielding the softest of softball questions.
On the other hand, this is a presidential election and the public will not be content with softballs. Further, the mainstream media, which has bent over backwards to accommodate the tender sensibilities of the right, will not appreciate being given the cold shoulder. While Fox may be the most powerful news network, they cannot carry the Romney campaign alone. Should the other networks decide to give Romney the Al Gore/John Kerry treatment, Romney will find that all the glowing praise in the world from Sean Hannity will not overcome negative reporting from a spurned mainstream media.
The real question is whether Mitt Romney will be the first presidential candidate in fifty years to avoid the presidential debates entirely. While one of them will surely be run by Fox, the rest will not. Palin barely held it together for her debate and that was only because Joe Biden handled her with kids’ gloves. Romney will be afforded no such courtesy and President Obama is far better at unscripted events. Remember, Obama debated the entire GOP leadership at once. And won. Romney doesn’t even want to talk to non-sympathetic reporters; what’s he going to do when faced with an opponent that is more intelligent, capable and far more comfortable discussing the issues?
My guess? Lose the election.