Leave it to the New York Times to greet its vast audience of Sunday edition readers with a front-page hit job on Ann Romney. Everyone knows that Mitt Romney’s wife, along with his flock of sons, is one of his greatest strengths. Ann Romney is beautiful, smart, a great campaigner, and an all-around asset to Mitt Romney’s campaign for the presidency.
So what does the old “paper of record,” as it used to be called before everyone realized it is a left-liberal rag that regularly fails to separate outright propaganda from its news stories, do to tarnish Ann Romney?
It does the only thing possible. Run a story to prove what we already know: The Romneys are rich, they are part of the hated 1% (to use OWS lingo), and Mrs. Romney is someone who engages in a horse sport called “dressage.” Yes, it is so rare that you undoubtedly never heard of it before.
The Times informs us in the second paragraph that the sport attracts “wealthy women” in particular; that the horses who are in it cost “seven figures”; that Ann Romney goes on horse buying trips to Europe; and that Ann and Mitt floated a loan of $250,00 to $500,000 to one Jan Ebeling, Ann’s tutor in the sport and a horse scout.
You get the idea? The Romneys are filthy rich, are not like you and I, and participate in a rare sport that only the “elite” partake in. No down-to-earth ice hockey for them, not to speak of baseball or football.
On Facebook today, Univ. of Chicago professor Charles Lipson, from whom I first heard of the story before opening the Sunday paper, wrote the following quiz:
NEWS QUIZ!!! Really hard one!
FACT: Ann Romney rides horses in a sport called dressage. Some people in Manhattan think it is a sport for rich people.
QUIZ QUESTION: Does The New York Times Sunday edition think the story is:
A) Trivial and should not appear in the newspaper at all?
B) Mildly interesting and should appear in the Style section?
C) Important and should appear somewhere in the Sunday news sections?
D) Earth-shattering and should appear on the front page of the Sunday paper with the words “elite,” “expensive,” and “deep-pocketed” prominently featured in the lede paragraph about Ms. Romney?
This is a really hard one.
No peeking at today’s New York Times.
Well, you already know the answer to Prof. Lipson’s quiz. Reporter Trip Gabriel, if we can call this person a reporter, writes that this little-known sport is part of the Romney family’s “way of life, which they have generally shielded from view.” Get it? They don’t want it out that Ann Romney engages in the elite sport of dressage.
Of course, she was doing this before the campaign, and one can argue that it is hardly relevant to the issues facing the country. Moreover, if the Romneys just wanted to enjoy their wealth and retire and live off their vast savings and profits, Mitt Romney did not have to subject himself to the tiring effort of running for president. Perhaps he might be doing this because he believes he can help the country return to its greatness, and use his expertise and know-how to get our economy in better shape. Such a common-sense conclusion, of course, is something that hardly occurs to whatever editor commissioned this bit of old-fashioned yellow journalism.