WaPo's Woodward Demands Media Combat Super-PAC 'Poison' With 'Clear-Eyed View' of Candidates
Appearing on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, Washington Post associate
editor Bob Woodward mounted his high horse in condemning the role of
Super-PACs in the 2012 race: "...under the Supreme Court decision all of
the new 21st century robber barons, let's call them what they are, can
put tens of millions of dollars into the campaign. It's negative, it's
poison, it's venom..."
Woodward then laughably told viewers who would protect them from the villains: "...we – NBC, The New York Times, Washington Post, the people in the media...we're going to be tested to say can we present a clear-eyed view of who the candidates are and not just have this negative atmosphere." The only problem with that call to action is that the media have acted like the largest Democratic Super-PAC money can buy.
Case in point, earlier on the same broadcast, supposed moderator David Gregory lifted language directly from the Democratic National Committee as he asked Senator John McCain: "Do you think that there is something of a war on women among Republicans?"
It's easy for people like Woodward to condemn Super-PACs when he knows the liberal media will do all the Democrats' dirty work for them throughout the 2012 campaign.
Backing up Woodward, fellow panelist and author Wes Moore warned: "...this point about Citizens United, I think one of the most dangerous things about the decision...it's the question of access, it's the question of if your campaign is essentially being, being funded and bankrolled by one or two people, they're the ones who you're always going to pick up the phone when they call."
Woodward concluded: "Like I said, it's going to be a scandal, it is a scandal."
When will the "scandal" of media bias be a topic of discussion on one of these Sunday show panels?
Here is a transcript of the March 18 exchange:
DAVID GREGORY: Bob Woodward, the reality is that Mitt Romney is a weak front-runner. And he can't put away what a lot of people think is a weak field. And you hear from Senator McCain, his concerns about the accumulating toll on Romney as a candidate, on the party by the time that they get to the general election. What are you, what are you expecting the next week?
BOB WOODWARD: Well, it's not just the week, it's what the campaign's going to be about. There will be a Republican running against Obama, and Senator McCain said under the Supreme Court decision all of the new 21st century robber barons, let's call them what they are, can put tens of millions of dollars into the campaign. It's negative, it's poison, it's venom, and we – NBC, The New York Times, Washington Post, the people in the media – are going to be under – I think we're going to be tested to say can we present a clear-eyed view of who the candidates are...
WOODWARD: ...and not just have this negative atmosphere. I mean that is – I've never seen anything like it. And during the Nixon era they had a slush fund of $700,000. Now the slush fund is probably going to be $100 million. My God, what they're going to do.
GREGORY: And, Jon Krakauer, if you look at the President's job approval right now, he's hovering around a place where he'd like to hover and stay hovering, and that's 50 percent in terms of his own approval. Thank goodness you're outside the beltway in Washington, out there in Boulder, Colorado. What's your view of how strong or how weak President Obama is at this point as you look at this Republican field?
JON KRAKAUER: I don't, I don't know how strong or weak he is except the Republican field is in such disarray that he's got to be very happy. I mean, you know, Colorado is an interesting state. It's, it's largely conservative, but places like Boulder, Denver are these islands of – they call it the "People's Republic of Boulder" for a reason, you know. So, you know, so you don't – I don't have – you're in this beltway, I'm in my own little beltway.
GREGORY: Your own little...
KRAKAUER: So I do like it.
HELENE COOPER: But, Jon, you're at ground zero for the Obama re-election campaign because Colorado is a state that he really needs.
GREGORY: Yeah, yeah.
COOPER: And they are really banking and so this whole part is really key to his whole Western strategy.
KRAKAUER: Well, I think when it comes down to it, it's going to be the economy. I mean, you know, Coloradans are concerned about many things, but, you know, your pocketbook is what – you know, if the economy keeps improving even slightly, he's in good shape. If it doesn't, if it's any – you know, all bets are off, even with this really unimpressive Republican field.
GREGORY: Wes, quick point. Yeah.
WES MOORE: Yeah, and I'd say, and actually, this point about Citizens United, I think one of the most dangerous things about the decision isn't necessarily that they're keeping more candidates in the race than need to be in the race, it's the question of access, it's the question of if your campaign is essentially being, being funded and bankrolled...
MOORE: ...by one or two people, they're the ones who you're always going to pick up the phone when they call. That's the problem with the process.
GREGORY: Alright, I got...
WOODWARD: Like I said, it's going to be a scandal, it is a scandal.
GREGORY: Where going to leave it there.
-- Kyle Drennen is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow Kyle Drennen on Twitter.