Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford debate on Oct. 22, 1976, in Williamsburg, Va. (photo: AARP.org)
Does Romney still have bushels of money stashed away in offshore accounts in the Cayman Islands? He certainly appears to, with $30 million in Bain Capital funds alone in the Cayman Islands, according to Vanity Fair. How bizarre that no one in the corporate media is talking about that. Perhaps they don't have time with all the attention they are paying to the Obama Style Points Deficiency Scandal.
Heard the one about the the factory in Freeport, Illinois, that Bain Capital is closing? The workers are being forced to train their replacements -- in China. Bain took control of Sensata Technologies in 2006. Romney still holds an interest in Sensata and still appears to share in the financial rewards, according to Think Progress. TP points to a Washington Post report that "under Romney's leadership Bain invested in a series of firms that specialized in relocating jobs." That should matter; it should be central to the US media's reporting of the 2012 presidential race. It is not. It is worthy of note that Romney is as corporate-friendly as any candidate who has ever run for the US presidency. Why should the corporate press look any further? They are not.
Romney's tax returns, or the lack thereof, were a big news item up until three weeks ago. At that point Mr. Romney did American voters the grand favor of releasing one year's returns, 2011's. That was good enough for every major news outlet in the US. They dropped the story like a bad habit, never to touch it again. But the story is there just the same, waiting for the attention the nation deserves that it be given.
Close Elections Are Good for Business
Listening to the media chatter after the first presidential debate of 2012 you might well have thought that there had been a major gaffe by Obama, like Gerald Ford's blasphemous dismissal of the most fundamental precept of the cold war when he argued in his 1976 debate with Jimmy Carter, "There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe." Or a gotcha moment by Romney like Lloyd Bentsen's "Senator [Quayle], you're no Jack Kennedy" stunner. But beneath the bluster, nothing. So why then the media crucifixion of Obama?
Part of the problem with the influence of money in elections is that all players in the game are affected by it, the corporate media included. Presidential elections are big money. Ratings, readership and advertising rates all soar, particularly when the game is close in the fourth quarter. But not if it's a blowout.
If one candidate has a comfortable lead, it is in the best interest of news reporting organizations, driven by the bottom line, to depict a tightening race. It's as easy picking cherries, or convenient facts. There were two major polls released Monday and Tuesday, a Pew Research poll showing Romney ahead by 4 points and a Gallup tracking poll showing Obama ahead by 4 points. Which one did you hear about? For the sake of accuracy Nate Silver, in The New York Times' "FiveThirtyEight blog," does a good job of putting the polls in perspective.
Effectively promulgating a faux voter stampede for Mr. Romney amounts to a very large campaign contribution. The US corporate media should either report it as a donation or stop it. Mitt Romney is utterly transparent in his greed -- let's get back to talking about that.