Anti-Romney Dog Show News Boomlet Dem Activist-Driven
By Tom Blumer | February 17, 2012 | 00:47
It's bad enough when items which should so obviously be leading the news aren't. It's worse when you realize that one of the reasons for the deliberate avoidance is that the press is allowing itself to be coopted into treating insignificant orchestrated political stunts to chew up scarce time and resources.
Readers who are wondering why outfits like CNN (covered yesterday by Matt Hadro at NewsBusters), the New York Times (as noted by NB's Clay Waters) and the Associated Press (caught Tuesday by yours truly) would bother to prepare reports on a dozen-person anti-Mitt Romney demonstration at the Westminster Dog Show can stop wondering. At Polititicker, Hunter Walker and Colin Campbell report that Americans United for Change (home page; Facebook page), a Democratic Party-connected group, is driving it (bolds are mine):
... while much of the coverage of Dogs Against Romney characterized the group as a purely grassroots movement, its recent notoriety got a substantial boost from the behind-the-scenes support of Americans United for Change, a super PAC-like group with extensive ties to the Democratic establishment.
Dogs Against Romney spokeswoman Kitty Hendrix admitted the group’s much talked about protest outside the Westminster Kennel Club dog show in Manhattan last Tuesday was planned and executed with a discreet push from AUC.
“They basically wanted more grassroots people with dogs to talk about this issue, because it just made sense. It’s always suspect when someone is a professional political operative getting in front of the camera trying to pull emotional content out of anyone,” Ms. Hendrix said. “People are always a little more suspect of that.”
Dogs Against Romney does indeed have grassroots origins. ...
... AUC, on the other hand, is hardly a grassroots operation. Its Executive Director Tom McMahon was previously the Executive Director of the Democratic National Committee, and its Deputy Executive Director Caren Benjamin was an aide to Nancy Pelosi during her time as Speaker of the House. FactCheck.org describes AUC as a “liberal group whose message closely mirrors that of the Obama White House.” According to its website, AUC aims to use “aggressive earned and paid media outreach, grassroots and online organizing” to “build broad public and congressional support for policies that move America in a new, better direction.”
... Members of Dogs Against Romney said AUC encouraged them to hold the Westminster protest and aided with media outreach. Kitty Hendrix, a spokeswoman for Dogs Against Romney, said AUC “was definitely interested in us having a little demonstration.”
“They knew this organization existed and it could be a powerful organization,” Ms. Hendrix said. “They got the ball rolling and, certainly, the press probably paid a little more attention, but this is very much an organic organization that was created by dog lovers who felt it was important for people to understand what kind of man Mitt Romney is.”
AUC’s media efforts on behalf of the protest were an unqualified success as more reporters attended the event than protesters.
Indeed. An 11:30 p.m. Google News search on "Romney Westminster dog" (not in quotes, sorted by date with duplicates) returned 456 results.
When AUC, with likely Obama campaign coordination, throws the establishment press a bone, its reporters can be counted to salivate at the opportunity to take a shot at a conservative or Republican with greater likelihood than Pavlov's canines before their food arrived.
What a pathetic, irresponsible pack of lapdogs.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.