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A Shameful Attempt at Gotcha Journalism From the WaPo

The Washington Post embarrassed itself and its poor victim by attempting to set Mitt Romney up on the issue of health care.

A WaPo reporter (term used loosely) went into a diner before Mitt Romney arrived and baited a waitress there to challenge him on heath care. Then the Post was then dumb enough to post the video including the part where they where trying to bait the woman up.

They where trying to manufacture a moment where a simple waitress, stewing over the lack of socialized medicine, challenges a Republican candidate and puts him in his place. Because WE ALL KNOW to the modern media, a waitress making 5 bucks an hour plus tips is more qualified to run the country than a dual Harvard grad (JD/MBA) who is a former Governor of a state that passed an extensive heath care reform package.

Instead of the waitress putting him in his place, Romney got video he could use in a campaign commercial and she was so befuddled by his replies she was reduced to sniveling that she wasn't making any tips while he was in the restaurant.

BUT DON'T GET ME WRONG. I don't blame her at all. I'm sure paying for the health care her family receives is a financial burden for her. I don't blame her for heckling him, SHE IS A VICTIM of the Washington Post.

[Note: You can watch the video here, since, according to Firebug, it threw 56 javascript errors when we took the Post up on their offer to embed the video. IE7 users were may have been having browser crashes due to the video.]

Romney hits it out the park. He only missed one thing... He could have helped defuse the situation while injecting humor AND making himself look good by smiling from ear to ear and jokingly inviting the woman to move to his state. THAT would have been classic, but still he nailed it.

I do hope we're not going to have to suffer this type of "journalism" from now until November. This is truly an embarrassment for the Post. Although I guess it is to be expected in the Michael Moore era. Silly me I thought the Post was supposed to, you know, report the news and not try to manufacture it.

(disclaimer after the jump)

BTW: This is the first time I've written anything about any Republicans in the 2008 race. If you take this as proof I'm a Romney supporter, well, you're more confident in my decision than I am. I'm mostly ignoring the race right now, but what the Post did was too shameful not to blog.


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Comments (62)

I hope no one is seriously ... (Below threshold)

I hope no one is seriously waiting for the WaPo to sandbag Barak Obama in a similar fashion with questions about Iraq, al-Qaeda, Iran, and Pakistan.

It will be a really, really long wait.

I've got some advise for yo... (Below threshold)

I've got some advise for you lady, get off your fat ass, quit sniveling and whining, make your skill base more valuable through retraining/education, and you'll be able to afford better. If you wait around bitching and complaining the bus to prosperity will pass you buy.

Oh wait, maybe you're waiting for the govt. handoutmobile.....sorry, I confused you with someone with self esteem and drive. Sorry for interupting your hash tossing complain-a-thon.

That is your definition of ... (Below threshold)

That is your definition of setting-up and baiting?

A little bit sensitive aren't you?

So many things occur to me ... (Below threshold)

So many things occur to me while watching that clip.

I don't really care that the WaPo tried to set up Romney. I'm a conservative and I want my candidates to be challenged on the campaign trail. I don't want them coddled like liberals do, who demand their candidates are treated with kid gloves. That the dem candidates won't be sandbagged like that...who cares? That's not ever going to change so to moan about it just sounds like sour grapes.

What really irritates me, makes me loathe so many of my fellow citizens, is the crap attitude of that waitress. Boo-freakin-hoo, okay?

God created her a Waitress? No, He didn't. But somehow because that was the level to which she settled on the career ladder, her government needs to subsidize her economic situation. "What are you going to do for me? For ME?" I hate that attituded, God!

Her husband works two jobs? Good for him. She was 'disabled' for two years because of her back? Try taking off 50 lbs and see how that might improve things. Maybe her back condition led to her obesity, I don't know, but I don't see where in the Constitution it says the US Government needs to remedy her personal woes.

It's the "Pursuit of" not the "guarantee of" life and liberty, and a common defense.

You don't like your life? Then YOU make a change, don't wait for somebody else to set you up.

I hate the whining and excuses. Grrrrrrr!

Of all the things to go aft... (Below threshold)

Of all the things to go after Romney for, I can't believe they picked health care - it's so obviously right on the tip of his tongue all the time after talking about it so much. And boy did they make her look bad with her whining about fancy cars and such. You're right, she didn't follow anything he was saying.

That is your defin... (Below threshold)

That is your definition of setting-up and baiting?

A little bit sensitive aren't you?


Yes, yes I am. I don't think it is the medias' job to try to make controversy where there is none. I don't think it is the Washington Post's job to play Jerry Springer.

I don't think we need the news dumbed down any more.

You're free to think otherwise.

This lady apparently has ne... (Below threshold)

This lady apparently has never heard of Kennedy's inaugural speech....

Diabetes in one of her kids... (Below threshold)

Diabetes in one of her kids? Wonder why.

Seriously, if you can't take care of yourself, how do you expect to take care of your children?

Then again, on a waitress' salary, what are you doing having 3 kids?

Hell, Alice only had the one (Tommy), and she had troubles making ends meet (not to mention the aggravation of dealing with Mel, all damn day long).

Doesn't TV teach us anything about personal responsibility?

Our guys do great even when... (Below threshold)

Our guys do great even when ambushed. And the wussy weeny dems won't even go on Fox News. "Ooooooooh, mommy, mommy, they might ask a tough question"

Speaking of waitresses, too bad there wasn't a video cam going when Hillary stiffed that single mom waitress in NY awhile back. You know, right after one of her "I care about the little people" speeches.

Bwhaahahahahahahah.....you can't make this stuff up.

Paul, please explain to all... (Below threshold)

Paul, please explain to all of us how the WaPo set up Mitt.

Man that waitress was sexy.... (Below threshold)

Man that waitress was sexy. I'll give her a hundred bucks now that she can use for a couple co-pays if she'll co-accompany me to the back of my car (will have to be an SUV size or similar).

The Wash Post was heading f... (Below threshold)

The Wash Post was heading for paper of record status while the NY Times was heading for the sewer.
Sometime around 2004 the Wash Post seemed to make a conscious decision to just be an arm of the Democratic party.
It's too bad, they could be a great paper but they're just too steeped in BDS.

You're free to think oth... (Below threshold)

You're free to think otherwise.

Barney think!? Surely you're kidding!

What an absurd post and wha... (Below threshold)

What an absurd post and what a bunch of jerk asshole comments!

A setup by the Post? What kind of retard takes a pre-campaign appearance question like this from the WaPo reporter, "What do you think...what would you say to Romney when he walks in?"

Waitress: "What are you gonna do for my family..." Call that a setip? Yep, the reporter fed her every line. You left out the part of the vid where the reporter slips her $100 to go get Romney w/ the questions he fed the waitress. What a delusional Ass!

Your hatred of the Post comes thru loud & clear if you think you could call that a setup. You are nuts. You embarrass yourself in front of anyone other than the puppies here that come running and wimpering to the ring of your bell. One thing for certain, given the inane comments above, you've proven why someone in China thought that they could use cardboard to stuff dumplings and that people wouldn't know the difference. You've used cardboard for dog food, rung the WaPo bell and all the Wizpuppies are wolfing down their imaginary feast.

No one watching that vid except a nutcase would see any of the bilge that you

FreedomFries, Man ... (Below threshold)


Man your astuteness just makes me wonder why liberals cannot break the IQ above 80 mark when you are pulling them up with your obvious high triple digit IQ. Why can't all Marxists just march out the wonderful medical care that was existent under Stalin and Mao and prove once and for all WHAT TOTAL F*UPS you are?

The Wash Post is trying to ... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

The Wash Post is trying to compete with TNR for the second place (after the 1st place NYT) in the liberal hall of shame of corrupted journalism.

Barney, I know that you alw... (Below threshold)

Barney, I know that you always do anything you can to be against whatever wizbang is up to (you're an against-bot, after all), but dude, Paul did explain exactly how the WaPo reporter told the waitress to tell Romney a specific thing about health care. That's called 'setting him up'. You're a partizan hack Barney. How do you live with yourself having sold out everything good about yourself in the name of partisanship? Maybe you are a robot...

Fries:Pe... (Below threshold)


Peut etre c'est moi, but it stands to reason that, without the intervention of the WaPo in cajoling this woman to address Romney, she might not have done anything of the kind. "What are you going to ask Romney" seems a pretty direct inducement to me. In so doing, the reporter has "actualized" her their attention and encouragement, and she was fully vested in seeing their request through. People are eager to please those who have made them feel good.


Speaking of waitresses, too bad there wasn't a video cam going when Hillary stiffed that single mom waitress in NY awhile back. You know, right after one of her "I care about the little people" speeches.
I'm usually the last person to defend Hillary, but my guess is that one of her staffers was supposed to see to it that the waitress was tipped. The whole campaigning atmosphere is such a circus atmosphere (as we see in this video) that a smart woman politician won't be carrying around a purse, and will instead ask one of her people to make sure matters like that are attended to. In the small amount of work I've done as a campaign volunteer, this is the case with most canidadtes, female or male.

Tony, you are delusional. ... (Below threshold)

Tony, you are delusional. Did you even bother to watch the vid? The report came into the shop and conducted interviews prior to the campaign stop. The reported did not tell the waitress anything.

Tony writes "Paul did e... (Below threshold)

Tony writes "Paul did explain exactly how the WaPo reporter told the waitress to tell Romney a specific thing about health care. That's called 'setting him up'."

Yea, you moron, that's what Paul wrote and I guess that's all you need. That's why you are an idiot Republican.

If you had watched the vid you would see that Paul is a delusional fool who must have been hearing voices...in his head.

God...there are some real f**king dumbass people on this blogsite proving that most Republicans shopuld be required to have a lobotomy so that they can do no public harm.,

Langtry, well I might tend ... (Below threshold)

Langtry, well I might tend to agree with you except there IS a video out there (replayed on Hannity over and over awhile back) where a homeless man asks Hillary for some money and she/her assistant hand him a voter registration card.

All caught on tape. And hilarious.

"a smart woman politician w... (Below threshold)

"a smart woman politician won't be carrying around a purse, and will instead ask one of her people to make sure matters like that are attended to"

You mean like when she had Bill buy all the reporters campaigning with them ice cream a couple of weeks ago?

FF is back spewing his garb... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

FF is back spewing his garbage from the liberal sewage again.

Barney is a known spinner. Yup, I watched the video and the reporter simply asked "what are you going to ask Romey? etc...". Here is Barney 's standard: since there are enough evidence about the dishonesty of the liberal media, so it is expected that this is a definite setup. But Barney is right that this is small fish compared to the new low standard set by the NYT and TNR.

I don't know about most of ... (Below threshold)

I don't know about most of you, but isn't it just great that almost no one that comments on Wizbang really bothers to read the actual posts anymore? Sort of like what happened with Yahoo comments and we all know how that turned out. I guess now we can all just look forward to trolls refreshing Wizbang all day long waiting for the next post so 8 or 10 of them can all breathlessly post "FIRST!" Ah, good times, good times.

I love the little spat y'all got going on here, arguing about the legitimacy of what Paul wrote, critiquing his every word...and yet no one even bothers to point out that you're debating a straw man of made up speech, since what Paul actually wrote was: "A WaPo reporter (term used loosely) went into a diner before Mitt Romney arrived and baited a waitress there to challenge him on heath care." Yes..."baited"...not told, not fed words to..."baited". And the video clearly shows that, all the way down to their having their camera positioned to get a good shot of her when she (tries to) ask her question. Poor thing, looked like she wanted to cry she was so nervous.

FIRST! Go ahead and 'score' all the comments again, FF, including tweaking your own...here's a hint, no one's looking at those, it was an insteresting idea, but in the end 'signifying nothing'. I'd say Kevin can go ahead and yank the comment ratings, it probably just unnecessarily complicates the software.

Once again, Fries displays ... (Below threshold)

Once again, Fries displays the tolerance for different points of view that is the hallmark of leftism.

Mr. Freedom Fries seems to ... (Below threshold)

Mr. Freedom Fries seems to be seething with rage at...anyone who doesn't think like he does.

FF I bet your BP is sky high most days. Tsk tsk

"But Barney is right that t... (Below threshold)

"But Barney is right that this is small fish compared to the new low standard set by the NYT and TNR."

Brave Sir Robin, the TNR? Are you referring to this:

It turns out that all those actions did take place with the exception of one took placed in Kuwait and not Iraq. So, the right went from the Prvt was a fake, to the story was a fake to oops, we were wrong never mind.

You know what,Thos... (Below threshold)

You know what,

Those dudes in middle school who used to kick the ass of kids like FreedomFries -- remember that they seemed like worthless bullies?

The ones that actually did that to Freedom, and all those girls who said not on your life to him, I'm going to drink this Stella Artois for you all, and wish I could buy you all one if it were possible.

Sir genocide lover (ie Barn... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Sir genocide lover (ie Barney), TNR has been caught red-handed publishing fiction and Barney still thinks it is a vindication. Even when TNR admitted an "error" in a key story, Barney still thinks it is accurate. Quite a standard of facts. That 's why I said facts don't matter to Barney.

Norman Mailer wannabe Scott Thomas Beauchamp admits he erred (i.e. lied) about a key part of his New Republic report about Iraq. He says that the incident in which he and his buddy mocked a disfigured woman took place not in Iraq but in Kuwait, prior to his departure for Iraq. The New Republic "sincerely regret[s] this mistake."

Barney, you exaggerate the ... (Below threshold)

Barney, you exaggerate the TNR's claim for verification. TNR's statement only refers to a portion of Beauchamp's work. Interestingly, the unit that Beauchamp is a member of says that his stories don't check out.

As far as the incident occuring in Kuwait, instead of Iraq, even though Beauchamp writes repeatedly about how it occurred in Iraq and the context of his abuse of a maimed woman in an operating base; changing the venue of an incident for dramatic effect has a definition. We call that "fiction" where I come from.

You now have a reputation of misrepresenting references.

RR, Here is the lib... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Here is the liberal standard of truth. WE don't need our story 100% accurate. Even if we write a fiction (as facts) and we have some unverifiable "facts", we are still telling the truth.

[pulls tin-foil hat out of ... (Below threshold)
Peeved Guy:

[pulls tin-foil hat out of drawer]

You know, I think that Mitt actually hired the reporter to bait the waitress to ask about the topic that he (Romney) wanted to discuss.

[places TFH back in drawer]


Pathetic appempt to sandbag... (Below threshold)

Pathetic appempt to sandbag using a person that's supposed to be beyond reproach..
I used to wait tables but then I realized it sucked and I went back to school and got a job after I graduated.
The dems always manage to get some toothless loser with a chip on her shoulder pissed at the fact that someone else dares to have more than she does to pose some pointless qustion with no answer.
What will they do for me?.. puhleeze lady, the gummint won't be taking care of you and yours just like they won't take care of me and mine.

It's not Mitt's fault you are fat, dumb and waiting tables at a NH diner..

Mikey... since you are a gr... (Below threshold)

Mikey... since you are a graduate, maybe you should learn how to spell "attempt"...


You could tell Romney got a... (Below threshold)
Son Of The Godfather:

You could tell Romney got a good smack-down in, when the lady went from her health-care concerns to her "have vs. have-not" argument near the end.

Romney scored some pretty large points here.

I don't know that I would a... (Below threshold)

I don't know that I would agree that in this case the WaPo reporter actually primed the waitress to ask this question but the conduct is on the edge.

There is a history of reporters unethically priming shills in such events, the most infamous was when a soldier was encouraged to ask of then Defense Secretary Rumsfeld about a fraudulent question about a lack of armor kits for HMMVS.

I'm curious as to his remar... (Below threshold)

I'm curious as to his remark that "Republicans and Democrats got it done" in his state (in regards to their revamping of health insurance) ...

How many Republicans are in Mass. again? 3?

but the conduct is on th... (Below threshold)

but the conduct is on the edge.

Yeah, a reporter *gasp* asking someone an open-ended question about a newsworthy event! Heavens to Murgatroyd, what's next? Photographers taking pictures?!

About a "newsworthy event" ... (Below threshold)

About a "newsworthy event" that hadn't happened yet, Brian.

Reporters urging on people is not reporting, its making news.

Are you folks pretending th... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

Are you folks pretending this was a non-event?

"Today, Massachusetts is leading the way with health insurance for everyone, without a government takeover and without raising taxes."

Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney

BOSTON -- In historic Faneuil Hall, Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney signed groundbreaking universal health-care legislation Wednesday that promises to cover nearly all of the state's 515,000 uninsured residents by 2010. "

But hey...trash the media..trash the waitress...
Do YOU support the Mass. Health care Plan?
Usually when a candidate does something of significance...we hear it in their campaign speeches...can anyone link to a "stump speech" where Mitt brags about this?

If he is not bragging about this...why not?

Do folks really believe Health Care costs are not/will not be an issue?
Do you really believe the majority of Americans are satisfied with the Status Quo?
Do you really believe any candidate can slide by without specifically outlining how they will specifically address Health Care?

Do you really believe most American voters now think their rising insurance costs are the result of legal suits and not the greed of Pharma and HMO's?

Jist askin'....

FreedomFries = Democratic R... (Below threshold)
Son Of The Godfather:

FreedomFries = Democratic Rage Boy!

nogo:Do YOU su... (Below threshold)


Do YOU support the Mass. Health care Plan?

Rather than cut & paste quotes from months old story when this bill was signed into law why don't you spend a bit of time finding the stories that detail how doctors are now leaving the State because of it?

In direct answer to your question.... hell no!

Good post Nogo, I see you'r... (Below threshold)

Good post Nogo, I see you're using some of your "Navel Intelligence" lololol

About a "newsworthy even... (Below threshold)

About a "newsworthy event" that hadn't happened yet, Brian. Reporters urging on people is not reporting, its making news.

Are you freakin' serious?

"Romney is coming to your restaurant. Are you excited? Have you met other politicians before? What are you going to ask him?"

"Mr. President, what are you going to discuss with Putin in your next meeting?"

"Sen. Leahy, Karl Rove blew off a Congressional subpoena. What's your next step?"

"Hey Giuliani, are you going to show up at the YouTube debate? What points are you going to make?"

Are you now going to claim that these are all inappropriate questions for reporters to ask?

Brian, is your reading comp... (Below threshold)

Brian, is your reading comprehension as poor as Barneys?

I noticed the reporter star... (Below threshold)

I noticed the reporter started to say something like, "What would you ask if...", like it's a poll question, then corrects himself by saying, "He's going to be here.." This appears to be somewhat staged with that waitress as the token speaker, because she kept interrupting and talking over him.

Some people just have a string of bad luck, and her frustration had a long history to it. She even dissed Hillary for moving to New York to become Senator, off-topic from the question. Then blamed her for not really making a positive impact on her life with improvements in healthcare, so hers is not a partisan concern.

The thing that had me curious was her stumbled answer about what her co-pay was, like she had come up with what sounded like a reasonable response. She said $20 or $30 as if she wasn't sure, and most prescription co-pays are a set amount with each plan. If her kids need medicine because they are sick, she would have just one answer without having to think about it. Her circumstance is probably real, but she was prompted with questions.

Overall, I thought Romney presented himself well with even-tempered and patient responses.

LOL, from the anger in the ... (Below threshold)

LOL, from the anger in the comments of the leftist trolls it looks like this was a great post! Haha, you leftists make the most comical illogical posts. Your fake outrage at challenging this shameful journalism is quite similar to the journalist's fake news from a left point of view.

Don't know about the rest o... (Below threshold)

Don't know about the rest of you but my vison of what that "fast food" guy looks like would be this:
1--weighs 99 3/4 lbs wet
2--stick a cat in front of the mirror when he "shaves"
3--uses nox-ema for after shave
4--sleeps with light on
5--has casper the ghost jamies
6--eats choc. choo choo ceral for breakfast
7--would faint dead in his tracks if he ran into someone he dissed on this blog
8 last but not least-he don't know a damn thing about what he is talking about.

For those of you who think ... (Below threshold)

For those of you who think Romney was such a master at the diner, you might want to check out his Hezbollahization plan for America here and here.

This should be interesting...hell it would have been a rightie kook blogosphere uproar had a Democrat suggested such.

Jeeez, Freedom Spaz... don'... (Below threshold)
Son Of The Godfather:

Jeeez, Freedom Spaz... don't read much, do ya? Did you see the Romney camp release on the Hizzys?

Mellow out, dude... Avoid the aneurism.

Off topic much freedomFRIED... (Below threshold)

Off topic much freedomFRIED?

Hey... That's "The Red Arro... (Below threshold)

Hey... That's "The Red Arrow Diner" One of the best diners in the country!

More reasons why you cant e... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

More reasons why you cant ever trust the liberal main-stream news media

Romney has the WaPo and som... (Below threshold)

Romney has the WaPo and some of the other larger newspapers to thank for at least some of his success to date.

Even among Mormons (and I am Mormon) many people outside Utah and Massachusetts really ddin't know who the guy even was.

Now, thanks to the obsession of some news outlets to call into question his credentials, he is getting more airtime than quite probably he would have gotten otherwise.

They are handing him free publicity and, as long as he doesn't make any major mistakes, he will continue to take advantage of their gift.

With that entitlement menta... (Below threshold)

With that entitlement mentality, she has Democrat tattooed on her lard butt. With that pleasant face and attitude, I suspect her tips are roughly as lucrative as Whoopi Goldberg, back when she was turning tricks to make a living.

The guy moves up on my list... (Below threshold)

The guy moves up on my list every time I see him....

Actually, she did the same ... (Below threshold)

Actually, she did the same thing to Sen. Joe Biden. Guess you guys missed that one...

"a waitress making 5 bucks ... (Below threshold)

"a waitress making 5 bucks an hour plus tips is more qualified to run the country than a dual Harvard grad (JD/MBA) who is a former Governor of a state"

Actually, the waitress IS more qualified. Because the heartless sonovabith with the big shot degree has no human feeling or empathy. While the waitress knows what it's like to actually work for a living and try to make ends me.

meet.... (Below threshold)


Wow, Publicus..Suc... (Below threshold)

Wow, Publicus..

Such deep insight..

That bloated, miserable skank has done NOTHING to better herself or her postion in life, and we're supposed to feel sorry for her when she projects her feelings of failure on other, more successful people??

Romney gave a thoughtful, substantial response to this ignorant, befuddled hack's prepped questions, and she was thumped by it..

People like you make me sick..

Yeah Pubicus, those Harvard... (Below threshold)

Yeah Pubicus, those Harvard degrees are free and easy, that's why everyone's got them. Stupid lefty dumbass.

Hey, all we know is what we... (Below threshold)

Hey, all we know is what we saw actually on tape. Aren't some of you curious as to how they managed to pick the one person on staff who had three sick kids, who had been disabled herself and whose husband was working two jobs along with hers? Do you really think they didn't interview other employees and found them lacking in outrage? Do you think they didn't jump with glee when they talked to her and found her willing to get confrontational?

She wasn't just random. She was selected. They didn't film any other employees, did they? That was set up. That is precisely the definition of "setting-up and baiting".






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