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Media Bias, Stage Two

Scott wrote this morning about the absurdity of Republican debates being moderated by liberal activists like George Stephanopoulos and David Gregory, who, as Scott put it, are “on a mission to take down the candidates by making them appear crazy or by separating them from the base of the Republican Party.” But that is just stage one of the liberal press’s effort to control the presidential election cycle. Stage two comes when Democratic Party activists posing as journalists report on the proceedings.

From now until November, the leading offender likely will be the Associated Press. Today the AP described last night’s debate in November; its account began:

Mitt Romney brushed aside rivals’ criticism Saturday night in the opening round of a weekend debate doubleheader that left his Republican presidential campaign challengers squabbling among themselves far more than trying to knock the front-runner off stride.

Three days before the first in-the-nation New Hampshire primary, Romney largely ignored his fellow Republicans and turned instead on President Barack Obama. “His policies have made the recession deeper and his policies have made the recovery more tepid,” he said, despite a declining unemployment rate and the creation of 200,000 jobs last month.

The AP’s gratuitous editorializing is intended to suggest that Romney’s assertion that Obama’s policies have worsened the recession and weakened the recovery is self-evidently false. But that is absurd: the nation’s “declining unemployment rate” is all the way down to 8.5%, whereas it was 7.6% when Obama took office. Moreover, that comparison understates the deterioration in the nation’s employment since Obama took office, since hundreds of thousands of people have given up and left the labor force. Further, as I noted here, the slow rate of job creation under Obama has made this the slowest recovery from a major recession on record.

So it is the Associated Press, not Mitt Romney, that has no idea what it is talking about. Nevertheless, this sort of misleading, biased and outright false editorializing will we constant from now until November.

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