It’s been said that all’s fair in love, war and politics, but you have to wonder if the public is served when media outlets let their ideological leanings drive their coverage, leaving collateral damage in their wake.
No, I’m not talking about Fox News, which, almost always, is guilty as charged. I’m referring to the New York Times, which has an obsession with all things Bain Capital, courtesy of the Mitt Romney connection.
Certainly, as the Obama campaign relentlessly reminds us, Bain is an appropriate story line when the issue of Romney’s economic record and management skills are on the table. But what if a story is really designed to attack Romney by proxy. That seems to be the case with the ‘newspaper of record’, which is aggressively leveraging the ‘anything Bain touches is suspect’ meme by suggesting that the private equity firms passion for profits is responsible for questionable medical care at for-profit hospitals.
The Times hit the Daily Double with two August articles on the alleged misdeeds of HCA, one of the nation’s largest hospital chains, which has the misfortune, according to the Times, of being both partly owned by Bain and a for-profit enterprise.
I have no personal affection for the company and support, with caveats, the president’s health care initiatives. But in reading these two pseudo-investigatory pieces by Julie Creswell and Reed Abelson, one is struck by the realization that they are excellent examples of how journalists can ideologically “frame” and bias a story while appearing to be objective.