As the media positively and glowingly report high-profile presidential fundraising events for President Barack Obama and the Democratic National Committee, they report on GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s and the Republican’s big-dollar fundraising gatherings in and around Tampa, Florida during the Republican National Convention with total suspicion and even worse.
This has become all too typical in the campaign of 2012 reporting of events leading up to the November 6 presidential election throughout the country. When Obama does something, it’s reported positively, but when Romney does something – possibly more successfully, as in fundraising – it’s reported negatively. Extremely negative.
When Obama has a fundraising event, the event is reported as anything but underhanded with news programs and media Internet sites posting “select” celebrity photos of the President and First Lady Michelle Obama alongside George Clooney and his ilk. The Hollywood elite are shown in carefully-chosen photos with Obama as if the Hollywood star is endorsing a commercial product or their favorite charity. Yet, Romney and his non-Hollywood-types are reported so very differently.
Instead of trying to say “look at the wonderfully successful people throughout the country” who support Obama, the press continually tries to say “look at those skeptical wealthy business people” who support Romney. Why does the media obviously approve of financial success and donations from Hollywood donors for Obama but not financial success and donations from persons successful in American business? After all, which group is more important to the American jobs and the American economy, therefore deserving more respect? The media clearly shows that it feels millions of dollars raised in the entertainment field is more respectful and worthy of their positive press than persons finding wealth by business means. The question is: Why?
Many stories coming out of the American press claim that voters watching the Republican National Convention aren’t seeing the high-priced donors “sip tequila with NFL cheerleaders.” ABC and Huffington Post both featured such stories yesterday, on Romney’s biggest day to date. They claim that Romney’s big donors are whisked away in SUVs and kept from the press. One account was about Romney’s biggest donors gathering on a yacht. So what!
Anyone donating big bucks likely appreciates something “special” in terms of a party during the donating process. Obama does it with a Clooney party, and Romney does it with a yacht party or whatever in Tampa.
Why is a fundraiser for Obama at Clooney’s house reported as practically “the event of the year” when a fundraiser for Romney in Tampa during the Republican National Convention reported as if it’s a sin. They are obviously events that should be equated, but they are not being treated as such by the press.
Both candidates are following the laws of the land with their methods of accepting donations. At this point in time, it is reported that Romney is raking more donations than Obama. In the past, Obama raked in more than McCain. Why is the outcry of donor amounts all of a sudden an issue? Naturally, it’s because Obama isn’t making the record-breaking fundraising headlines as he did four years ago.
It would be “just” – it would be “fair” – for the press to treat Obama and Romney equally – as well as their voluntary donors – during this political process in 2012, but they obviously aren’t treating them the same.
About Scott Paulson
Scott Paulson writes political news and commentary for CBS Local and Examiner.com and teaches English at a community college in the Chicago area. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.