Posted on | May 10, 2012 | 33 Comments
After public schools have spent the past two years engaged in elaborate (and federally funded) “anti-bullying” programs — with especial emphasis on protecting kids from the evils of homophobia — the Washington Post publishes a 5,000-word article portraying Mitt Romney as having been a high school bully who picked on gay kids.
By the way: The typical news story is 450-750 words. Five thousand words is enough copy to fill two entire pages of a newspaper.
We’ve never seen Barack Obama’s college transcripts, or senior thesis, and the only former girlfriend of his we know about is a composite perhaps based on a dead ex-girlfriend of his ghost writer, radical terrorist Bill Ayers. But the Washington Post can send a reporter out to do deep investigative journalism on Mitt Romney’s high-school days.
This is probably just a coincidence.
UPDATE: Question the timing, you say?
Funny how this appears one day after Obama’s forced-by-my-daughters’-emotions evolutionary announcement of support for same-sex “marriage.”
I once participated in a group which gave someone a wedgie when I was at summer camp in the 1960s. That’s why I’ll never run for President, my record is stained.
Dang it — another possible GOP contender fails the media vetting. At this rate, I’ll never get that ambassadorship to Vanuatu.
Some critics saw the timing as evidence of media bias, suggesting that the motive had to do with making Romney look intolerant just as Obama had voiced his support for same-sex marriage.
Fox News host Brian Kilmeade, interviewing Romney on his radio show a few hours after the story landed online, said that since “everyone’s talking about same-sex marriage and tolerance and unions and what do you stand for, it’s amazing the timing of this Washington Post story … would seem to me it was somewhere shrink-wrapped, waiting to be unwrapped at the right time and this was the right time.”
Indeed. To report a story like that — to track down and interview somebody’s high-school classmates from a half-century ago — must have taken many weeks, if not months. The writing and editing of a 5,000-word story is not easy work. If you cranked out a thousand words a day (quite a rigorous pace, for original reporting), that’s a full week just to write the story, once you’d done all the interviews.
So, yeah, maybe they had it “shrink-wrapped,” ready to go.
UPDATE II: To give you some understanding of what it takes to produce 5,000 words of original reporting, I’ll cite a an article I wrote for the print edition of the American Spectator a couple years ago. “Battle Cry in the North Country” was 1,417 words and was written during a daylong gonzo frenzy in an airport lounge in Buffalo, N.Y., after I’d spent three weeks covering the Doug Hoffman campaign in NY-23. (I’d only been told that morning that I’d have to file by 5 p.m. to be able to get it in the December-January print edition.)
Cranking out 1,400 words in a single day left me completely fried. Now, try thinking about the amount of work needed to produce an article more than three times that long.
UPDATE III: You might ask, “How can the Washington Post afford to make such a massive investment of journalistic resources in vetting a politician’s activities in high school 50 years ago?” Well, if you’re willing to lose $22.6 million in a single three-month period . . .
UPDATE IV: Yeah, you get in a hurry on a 5,000-word story, and you’re bound to make a few mistakes, like claiming a guy has “long been bothered” by an incident he didn’t even know about until your reporter asked him about it. (Hat-tip: Ace of Spades.)