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Sunday, July 29, 2012

American Free Speech and "Mitt the Twitt"

No answer yet from Tweets to Twitizens, when I asked esteemed American media the Washington Post and New York Times if either would consider a headline like "Mitt the Twitt".  

In my opinion, the British Press's boldness in printing the headline boasts more than a sensational way to sell newspapers. Their freedom to print an international eye catching headline is the result of free speech rights more liberal than the American media!

This attack ad was a bargain for Democrats, who can take a week's vacation while the British press does their political work. But, our American media could learn a thing or two about Free Speech, as a result of Romney's new international "Mitt the Twitt" label. American media are often cowardly when compared to the British press.  England's politicians are usually thick skinned about their media, but Americans are often paranoid - like President Nixon, for example, when several journalists were put on a watch list.

Democrats saved money, as well as finger pointing political grief from Republican fact checkers, by simply allowing "Mitt the Twitt" negative publicity to define Romney, the unofficial GOP presidential candidate.  

"Mitt the Twitt" himself brought the slogan on, when the former one term Massachusetts governor opened his mouth during an American television interview, by impolitely criticizing London's readiness to host the 2012 Summer Olympic games.  

Given an enormous value added, just about every news organization in the world showed "Mitt the Twitt" headlines, creating a reverberating negative political message, for free.

After just three days in London, on a tour that was supposed to demonstrate Romney's qualities as a statesman and a leader, he left the United Kingdom widely reviled as a laughing stock and, worse, a "twitt". 

Although Romney's remarks made British tabloid entertainment, the serious overriding issue is about how his candidacy, as potential leader of the free world, is perceived by the international community. Okay, let's give Romney the benefit of the doubt, knowing how most of the international press has no idea who he is (likewise, many Americans). So, he was an easy tabloid target.  Nonetheless, the "Mitt the Twitt" headline is a difficult image to over come, especially when it fits.

But, for Democrats, it's free negative publicity, brought on by Romney's inability to engage in civil discourse.  He should have instinctively known that an interview with news anchor Brian Williams was supposed to be a non-headline type of puff piece. Yet, he simply didn't demonstrate the ability to spontaneously connect with the viewing audience on the salient Olympic theme.  

In other words, he was supposed to say "London's Great!" (stupid!).

Apologetic pundits risk saying the "Mitt the Twitt" headline has "no legs". This means, the story will eventually go away.  But Romney, the candidate, continues to accumulate bumbling media missteps. Having this much "candidate fatigue" showing up early in the campaign doesn't bode well for Romney's media image. Which is precisely why a billion or so contributions are begged from filthy rich supporters to pay for his political messages. Romney can't deliver a salient message himself, because he wastes time talking about why he won't disclose the sources of his enormous wealth.

Since it's obvious Romney is a flawed candidate, he needs paid political action committee ads to prop up his campaign. But all the money in the world won't fix him as a presidential candidate.

Nevertheless, I suspect Romney's "Mitt the Twitt" message will get a pass from main stream American media because our Constitutional right to freedom of the press is mitigated by the need to generate profits. Rich advertisers don't like negativity.  Of course, the Brit newspapers have the same bottom line incentives, but they seem to understand just how to sell newspapers. So, while the American media hides from sensational headlines, the Brits trump our own stoic moguls by truthfully exposing the real Mitt Romney. Even Twitter's 140 character limit can't compete with "Mitt the Twitt".

I'll probably never hear from the New York Times or the Washington Post about their feelings on the British sensational, character grabbing, Romney headline. But, maybe Saturday Night Live comedy will get the message, instead.



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