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Erik Wemple
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Posted at 03:13 PM ET, 07/13/2012

Romney and the media: A trend line

BuzzFeed’s Zeke Miller brings us the news that Mitt Romney will do interviews with all three major network news outfits today. The sessions on ABC, NBC and CBS, write Miller, “come on the heels of a grueling week of campaign press for him — dominated by a Boston Globe story yesterday that re-awakened concerns over Romney’s record at Bain Capital.”

Within Miller’s story lies another story, and that’s how the Romney campaign chooses to respond to stories. Examine the record:

May 10: Washington Post publishes a long — and ultimately controversial — story detailing bullying by Romney as a high-school student. One line from the story: “Campaign officials denied a request for an interview with Romney.”

Yet: On the very day the story came out, Romney appeared on Fox News Radio to apologize for any long-ago misconduct.

June 19: ABC News’s Jon Karl breaks the news that the Romney campaign hadn’t asked hot-veep-name Marco Rubio to turn over background materials for veep consideration. One line from the story: “Officially the Romney campaign has no comment.”

Yet: On the very day the story came out, Romney appeared on Fox News with Sean Hannity to say that he gets a “kick out of some of the speculation that goes on” regarding vice-presidential selection.

July 12: The Boston Globe reports that Romney “remained chief executive and chairman of [Bain Capital] three years beyond the date he said he ceded control, even creating five new investment partnerships during that time.” One line from the story: “The campaign declined to comment on the record.”

Yet: On the day after the story came out, Romney is set to appear on the networks. The Bain-departure theme will likely hog a good portion of the interviews. Even so, the arrangement may represent a win for the Romney people, for as well briefed as the network’s people may be on the Bain-departure story, they won’t have the granular familiarity of the Globe people who put together the story in the first place.

Globe Editor Martin Baron said he has to “beg off” answering questions about this dynamic, including one about whether it’s frustrating to do the legwork and watch others get to cross-examine the candidate. The Romney campaign didn’t immediately respond to questions about how it deals with mini-investigations from news outlets.

UPDATE 3:42: Romney will be interviewing on Fox News and CNN as well.

By  |  03:13 PM ET, 07/13/2012

Tags:  mitt romney, romney campaign, fox news, abc, jonathan karl, boston globe, bain departure, washington post

 
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