Research
Print

Conservative Media Fail In Their Attempt To Dismiss Report About Romney Bullying Incident

May 12, 2012 12:34 am ET — 79 Comments

Right-wing media have rushed to dismiss the Washington Post's report that Mitt Romney held down a high school classmate and cut his hair, claiming that "the source" for the story "wasn't actually there." In fact, the Post story relied on accounts from five separate sources, four of whom were named, and as the Post's ombudsman noted, their "accounts remain unchallenged." Romney himself said that he's "seen the reports" about the incident and that he's "not going to argue with that."

Please upgrade your flash player. The video for this item requires a newer version of Flash Player. If you are unable to install flash you can download a QuickTime version of the video.

EMBED

Wash. Post Article Describes Romney Forcibly Cutting High School Classmate's Hair

Wash. Post: "Mitt Romney's Prep School Classmates Recall Pranks, But Also Troubling Incidents." From a May 10 article in The Washington Post:

Mitt Romney returned from a three-week spring break in 1965 to resume his studies as a high school senior at the prestigious Cranbrook School. Back on the handsome campus, studded with Tudor brick buildings and manicured fields, he spotted something he thought did not belong at a school where the boys wore ties and carried briefcases. John Lauber, a soft-spoken new student one year behind Romney, was perpetually teased for his nonconformity and presumed homosexuality. Now he was walking around the all-boys school with bleached-blond hair that draped over one eye, and Romney wasn't having it.

"He can't look like that. That's wrong. Just look at him!" an incensed Romney told Matthew Friedemann, his close friend in the Stevens Hall dorm, according to Friedemann's recollection. Mitt, the teenage son of Michigan Gov. George Romney, kept complaining about Lauber's look, Friedemann recalled.

A few days later, Friedemann entered Stevens Hall off the school's collegiate quad to find Romney marching out of his own room ahead of a prep school posse shouting about their plan to cut Lauber's hair. Friedemann followed them to a nearby room where they came upon Lauber, tackled him and pinned him to the ground. As Lauber, his eyes filling with tears, screamed for help, Romney repeatedly clipped his hair with a pair of scissors. [The Washington Post, 5/10/12]

Right-Wing Media Dismiss Article By Claiming "The Source" For The Story "Wasn't Actually There"

Daily Caller: "Cracks In The Washington Post Story On Romney's 'Pranks' Emerge." From a May 10 post on the conservative site The Daily Caller:

A question emerges in reading the Washington Post piece on Mitt Romney today: How can Romney's old pal Stu White tell the Washington Post that he has "long been bothered by the Lauber incident" -- and then later admit to ABC News that he was "not present for the prank" and "was not aware of it until this year when he was contacted by the Washington Post"?

This is curious.

The Washington Post story reports: "I always enjoyed his pranks," said Stu White, a popular friend of Romney's who went on to a career as a public school teacher and has long been bothered by the Lauber incident."

But ABC News, says: "White was not present for the prank, in which Romney is said to have forcefully cut a student's long hair and was not aware of it until this year when he was contacted by the Washington Post." [The Daily Caller, 5/10/12]

Doocy Claimed That "The Source For The Story, Stu White ... Wasn't Actually There." On the May 11 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy summarized the Washington Post article and then claimed that there are "cracks in the story." He referred to one person named in the story, Stu White, as "The Washington Post's source" for the article and said White "wasn't actually there" for the incident:

DOOCY: Another story that flashed across your computer screen and across your television as well was this 5,000-word story in The Washington Post yesterday where it's alleged that when he was in high school, Mitt Romney was involved in a prank where he and some other guys bullied a kid with long hair, got him down, and cut his hair. Some are now wondering whether or not it was a hit job because there's some cracks in the story. For instance, apparently, The Washington Post's source for the story, Stu White, who said -- is quoted as saying, "I was always bothered by the Lauber incident" -- he wasn't actually there. And he wasn't present for the prank, and he only heard about it this year when he was contacted by The Washington Post.

Co-host Gretchen Carlson then read a statement from Lauber's family saying that the "portrayal of John is factually incorrect and we are aggrieved that he would be used to further a political agenda." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 5/11/12]

Doocy: "The Facts Are Falling Apart, And Falling Apart Fast. So Is It Just Another Media Hit Job?" Later in the broadcast, Doocy said: "Meanwhile, chances are, you saw the report -- a mainstream newspaper calling Mitt Romney a big, bad high school bully. Problem? Well, the facts are falling apart, and falling apart fast. So is it just another media hit job?" [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 5/11/12]

Megyn Kelly: "The Key Guy On Whose Testimony This Is Based Now Admits He Wasn't There." On the May 11 broadcast of Fox News' America Live, host Megyn Kelly said:

KELLY: And yet, Chris, many in the media today -- I'm talking mainstream media reporting today -- still is not mentioning the fact that the key guy on whose testimony this is based now admits he wasn't there, and the sisters of the alleged victim have come out and said, "Not to our knowledge, and our brother would not want this being reported in this way." And so there are at least some questions about the accuracy that are not also being added by other outlets reporting the Post's front-page story today. [Fox News, America Live, 5/11/12]

Hannity Claimed "A Lot Of These Accounts Have Fallen By The Wayside" And Added, "That Person Has Rescinded The Story -- His Story." On the May 11 broadcast of his talk radio show, host Sean Hannity discussed the Post story with University of Pennsylvania professor Anthea Butler. Hannity claimed that "a lot of these accounts have fallen by the wayside" and claimed that "that person has rescinded the story -- his story." From the show:

BUTLER: I think, though, that's what important about this is something very, very specific. And you know, bullying is wrong on every count, but what the difference is, is that Mitt Romney says, "I don't remember," and you've got all of these accounts. And so if the people [unintelligible] --

HANNITY: No, no, no. A lot of these accounts have fallen by the wayside.

BUTLER: I don't think so.

HANNITY: Oh, yes they have.

BUTLER: I meant, there's a couple of people from the story who have said, you know, "This was really terrible."

HANNITY: OK. And there's also other --

BUTLER: "I thought about it for years afterward" --

HANNITY: And -- but wait a minute. But that person -- wait a minute.

BUTLER: And they [unintelligible]

HANNITY: That person has rescinded the story -- his story. And he said, I didn't know about this, they put my name in this piece, until they had contacted me. And the family is saying, the sister of this kid, by the way who died in 2004, she described her brother as a very unusual man. He didn't care about running with a peer group. And they say that what they're saying, this portrayal is factually incorrect, and they don't like this being used to further a political agenda. [Premiere Radio Networks, Hannity, 5/11/12]

But Five Sources Gave The Post Accounts Of The Incident -- And Stu White Wasn't One Of Them

Wash. Post Article Listed Five Sources For Lauber Story. The Washington Post article cited five students who "gave their accounts independently of one another," four of whom spoke on the record and one of whom asked to remain anonymous:

A few days later, Friedemann entered Stevens Hall off the school's collegiate quad to find Romney marching out of his own room ahead of a prep school posse shouting about their plan to cut Lauber's hair. Friedemann followed them to a nearby room where they came upon Lauber, tackled him and pinned him to the ground. As Lauber, his eyes filling with tears, screamed for help, Romney repeatedly clipped his hair with a pair of scissors.

The incident was recalled similarly by five students, who gave their accounts independently of one another. Four of them -- Friedemann, now a dentist; Phillip Maxwell, a lawyer; Thomas Buford, a retired prosecutor; and David Seed, a retired principal -- spoke on the record. Another former student who witnessed the incident asked not to be identified. The men have differing political affiliations, although they mostly lean Democratic. Buford volunteered for Barack Obama's campaign in 2008. Seed, a registered independent, has served as a Republican county chairman in Michigan. All of them said that politics in no way colored their recollections. [The Washington Post, 5/10/12]

Stu White Was Not One Of The Five Sources Who Gave Accounts Of The Lauber Incident To The Post. While the Post did issue a clarification stating that White "has been disturbed by the incident since he learned of it several weeks ago from a former classmate," White was not one of the five sources the Post interviewed who described Romney holding down Lauber and cutting his hair. [The Washington Post, 5/10/12]

Wash. Post Ombudsman: Accounts From The Five Sources "Remain Unchallenged." From a May 11 post by Washington Post ombudsman Patrick Pexton on his blog:

The Post changed the story after talking to White again and discovering that White only learned of the prank in recent weeks after being told of it by a Cranbrook classmate.

Kevin Merida, national editor of The Post, said on Friday that "We should have updated it with a note." I agree with Merida. I would have used strike-through text online to make it clear to readers that that part of the online story was changed. I think that's just the better part of candor. There is now an editor's note at the very bottom of the story. The Post is not calling it a correction. I think it is a correction, but not germane to the central theme of the story.

This part of Horowitz's story is tangential at best. It is only about how one person, who was not an eyewitness, felt about the incident.

Four of the five witnesses to the forcible haircut cited by the Post are on the record, by name, and remember it well. Their accounts remain unchallenged. I also think it's important to point out that Romney quickly apologized after the story was published, and although not a detailed apology, I think his demeanor in the apology seemed genuine. [WashingtonPost.com, Omblog, 5/11/12]

And Romney Himself Said He's "Not Going To Argue" With "Reports" About The Incident

Romney: "I've Seen The Reports -- Not Going To Argue With That." On the May 10 edition of his Fox News show, host Neil Cavuto asked Romney about the Post story. Romney said that he didn't "recall the incident" but that he was "not going to argue with" the "reports." From the show:

ROMNEY: Well, first of all, I had no idea what that individual's sexual orientation might be. Going back to the 1960s, that wasn't something that we all discussed or considered. So, that's simply just not accurate. I don't recall the incident myself, but I've seen the reports, and not going to argue with that. There's no question but that I did some stupid things when I was in high school. And obviously, if I hurt anyone by virtue of that, I would be very sorry for it and apologize for it. [Fox News, Your World with Neil Cavuto, 5/10/12]

Expand All Expand 1st Level Collapse All Add Comment
    • Author by News Corpse (May 12, 2012 2:30 am ET)
      19  
      The right's first reaction to this story was that it wasn't relevant. Now they say it isn't true. Next they'll say it wasn't Romney. and they'll follow that up by claiming it was actually Obama who cut the kid's hair at a madrassa in Indonesia.

      Wait for it.
      Report Abuse
      • Author by NiceguyEddie (May 14, 2012 12:36 pm ET)
        1  
        Actually you forgot one critical part: They'll DEFEND it. They'll RATIONALIZE it. They'll say "It was OK." Sure - They may say it was "stupid kids stuff," but only in the context of "which we ALL did" rather than in the context of it actually being WRONG. Limbaugh's already stepped up to the plate on this. So has Tucker Carlson, IIRC.

        ------------------------------
        IMHO
        UTOPIA
        Report Abuse
        • Author by magnolialover (May 14, 2012 1:23 pm ET)
          1  
          There are a few right wing bloggers, like Dana Loesch and Dan Riehl, who are openly celebrating bullying. With Riehl talking about how he bullied kids when he was in high school, and it was a great old time.
          Report Abuse
    • Author by papajohn (May 12, 2012 8:49 am ET)
      7  
      I have been following this across the Mainstream Media. There is a general consensus that the story will go away and not hurt Romney's campaign.

      They will make sure of that.

      John
      Report Abuse
      • Author by thaneb (May 12, 2012 9:08 am ET)
        6 1
        Nothing nefarious in that, IMO. Seems like a reasonable consensus given the story is this far out from the election. In the past, this sort of "evidence", as a single, has likely affected an election when revealed shortly before the vote. However, if things mount (this, the dog story, the $10k bet, etc.) overall perception will be negative and that should affect the vote.
        Report Abuse
        • Author by papajohn (May 13, 2012 8:22 am ET)
          3  
          So was the Jeremiah Wright story, but the media fueled it right up until the election. Double standard.

          John
          Report Abuse
      • Author by obamao71 (May 14, 2012 11:36 am ET)
           
        Yes, because the mainstream media is on Romney's side right? LOL.
        Report Abuse
    • Author by getzit2 (May 12, 2012 8:58 am ET)
      1 18
      wrong.
      the media evil in this case is pretending that one qualification for president requires error free formative years. hogwash.
      if mmfa lowers itself to disinforming in order to counterweight propoganda from the right the way the propogandists on the right defend their lies as justifiable in order to counter weight LSM, then mmfa is no different than fox. we don't need that. not now.
      if high school behavior, perhaps isolated to a single incident, is the best media can do to highlight the threat of mitt romney as president of the u.s.a. over the next four years, then we will be doomed thanks to an impotent media.
      i will not vote for mitt romney.
      i will not vote for mitt romney because 'mitt happens'
      i do not need another media orgy over...anything.
      i need media to demonstrate the very real threats that are mitt romney.
      this organization is called 'media matters'. act like media matters. because you're killing us out here with typical media hogwash.
      please get relevant.
      Report Abuse
      • Author by thaneb (May 12, 2012 9:23 am ET)
        11 1
        Search Mitt Romney this site shows 24 pages with approx. 30 items each.
        Now, as this [weak] issue is in the news (one component of relevance), several at the top are about it. Granted, they're a bit reactionary in response to all the vetting nonsense of late. But where's the "disinforming", whatever that means?
        As the search indicates, there is much of substance here.
        cool your jets.
        Report Abuse
      • Author by rtwmd1230 (May 12, 2012 11:44 am ET)
        14  
        Please point out one piece of disinformation from MMFA here. Hint: you may want to read the mission statement. MMFA is not a primary news source.

        The important story is not what happened 50 years ago, but how Romney responded to it three days ago. When everyone else who was part of this incident, and those who only heard about it, remembers it vividly, can you really believe Romnay's statement that he remembers nothing? When it's well documented how the victim carried long term scars, can you regard Romney's "if anyone (anyone? no, the victim) was offended (offended? give me a break), I would (would? talk about inappropriate use of the conditional tense)" as a complete failure of character?
        Report Abuse
        • Author by aBeck in 10-O-C (May 12, 2012 3:47 pm ET)
          12  
          Getzit's post is one fine example of obtuse concern trolling, whether or not classic "trolling" was the intent. I have paused for several minutes now wondering whether it is worth the time to deconstruct it, as I know that most regulars here immediately see every stroke of flawed logic, feckless generalization, false equivalence, and misdirected outrage that makes this a peculiar masterpiece.
          Report Abuse
          • Author by getzit2 (May 12, 2012 5:49 pm ET)
              12
            the point, folks, is that media is portraying this high school incident as if it were news.
            it is not.
            there are plenty of examples in romney's adult life of why he would be a terrible president.
            those examples which might have policy implications would be relevant. that ALL teenagers do regretable things is not.
            that all of media is atitter over this does not make it news or make it relevant to the campaign and it is disinformational to perpetuate this non-story because it creates a diversion from the very real, demonstrable incidents in romney's adult life which should more rightful to highlight to more people
            Among the never ending stream of mmfa items correctly pointing out the baseless propoganda perpetuated by right wing media this item had the look and feel of something one would expect to find at fox news. right down to the condemnations in the comments section here. thaneb writes,"...vetting nonsense of late. But where's the disinforming?" When the vetting is nonsense, it is disinformational because it replaces relevant discourse of substantial issues with pap.
            rtwmd also missed the point while demonstrating it; "...point out ONE PIECE of...", "Hint: you MAY want to read...", "...well documented...", "..COMPLETE failure of character?" This style of diatribe could easily have been culled straight from the fox website comments section. and that's the point.
            When it highlights tripe (disinformation), mmfa lends itself to exactly the same sort of venomous group think, preaching to the choir, condemnation rhetoric made famous by fox, rush, glen, et. al
            The replies to my post indicate that this is already worse than i had feared, including professor/judge/?? abeck's parsing of obtuse intent trolling for the "regulars here".
            There are a vast number of media matters the public should be vastly more aware of and mmfa is one of the precious few resources swimming against the tidal wave of media misbehavior.
            But, boy, make one out-of-goosestep comment and look what happens.
            Just like making an out-of-goosestep comment on the fox site.
            I repeat; Please get relevant.


            Report Abuse
            • Author by thaneb (May 12, 2012 7:14 pm ET)
              9  
              Quantity. Not quality.
              and 2 responses warrants "look what happens"?
              At least you've come down enough to ditch the all lower case whisper-shout. You're making progress.
              Report Abuse
              • Author by grmce (May 12, 2012 9:21 pm ET)
                8  
                Loved its "out-of-goosestep" line. Is that what a poker player might refer to as a "tell"?
                Report Abuse
                • Author by Bronwyn (May 12, 2012 10:11 pm ET)
                  8 1
                  I really had my doubts about there being paid trolls. It just seemed so far fetched to me. But last night my search kept getting redirected to a site about writing for the Web. The site had a picture of a lady with a voice message...."Get paid to write on web sites, Blogs,....if you can write at third grade level or higher you can earn money writing on the Web from home." So there really is such a job. And the "at third grade level..." explains a lot.

                  Bet Getznothing, picked up that "goosestep" from his military days, not! Or he would know it's two words.

                  What's with the no caps and no pharagraphs? That seems to be a common trait with them, and with the wing nuts that send me emails with the propaganda they are forwarding.
                  Report Abuse
                    • Author by highlyunlikely (May 13, 2012 4:33 pm ET)
                      4  
                      this is what they call proud of being a troll.
                      Report Abuse
                  • Author by Chameo (May 14, 2012 11:10 am ET)
                    2  
                    Bronwyn, I've been supporting my family writing for the Web for the past 9 years. There's a big difference between writing for legitimate blogs and getting paid to troll websites (they don't call it that. They call it "sparking discussion".) Forum packages include a certain number of writers to post a specific number of posts daily, for which they are paid $.02 to $.15 cents per post. Depending on who you work for and who the client is, you might get a list of talking points, but more often than not, you're just told to stay on the general topic of the forums to which you're posting. The better services offer "forum starter packages" to webmasters who are trying to get a new discussion forum off the ground and need a few dedicated writers to create a core community and a critical mass of posts. I've picked up a few of those writing for parenting forums and support forums. Paid troll posts are the bottom of the barrel. The hit-and-run posts that have 10-15 words and never return are typical of those -- it's a volume business if you're going to make any money.
                    Report Abuse
                    • Author by Bronwyn (May 14, 2012 11:46 am ET)
                      3 1
                      Chameo, thanks for that information. I never doubted that there are legitimate, respectable, Web writing jobs. But the "if you can write at third grade level....." I assumed the third grade level writing jobs must go to the trolls, like we get on here. I honestly have never heard the term "sparking discussion" plus I had never seen an ad like I got. I've been infected with a virus that keeps redirecting my searches.

                      I really appreciate your information, I definitely learned something from it. It's great that you can support your family writing. Working from home and being your own boss for the most part? I wish you much success with your writing.
                      Report Abuse
                      • Author by n'est-ce pas (May 14, 2012 5:08 pm ET)
                        3  
                        A friend of mine who is a very well respected Science Fiction and Fantasy novelist and screenwriter was hired by AOL in the late 90s as an enforcer. It was his job (and he said they paid fairly well relative to the work) to run trolls out of discussion forums so that the official moderators wouldn't have to crack down. It was considered, at the time, preferable to heavy handed official action that would draw charges of censorship. I don't know if such jobs still exist, but I do know that paid trolls abound.
                        Report Abuse
                        • Author by juliajayne1 (May 14, 2012 7:51 pm ET)
                          2  
                          Cool information. I know when I was day trading way back in the day, it was common for people (disrupters) to get on the boards and either diss or slather praise (usually both were done simultaneously) on a certain stock. But man, was it a rollicking good time! They take no prisoners.
                          Report Abuse
            • Author by phlcstgan (May 13, 2012 12:02 am ET)
              9  
              that ALL teenagers do regretable[sic] things is not.

              Yeah, no. All teenagers do regrettable things, yes, but this is way beyond the level of a "regrettable thing"; this makes teen-Mittens look like a f--king psychopath. Whether or not this is relevant to the here and now is another argument entirely, but you can't "boys will be boys" an honest-to-God assault motivated by hatred.
              Report Abuse
              • Author by highlyunlikely (May 13, 2012 12:44 am ET)
                6  
                really. getz is really terrible at minimizing and dismissive tactics.
                Report Abuse
              • Author by jeter2 (May 13, 2012 10:53 pm ET)
                1 1
                All teenagers do regrettable things, yes, but this is way beyond the level of a "regrettable thing"; this makes teen-Mittens look like a f--king psychopath

                Not gonna excuse Romney here. Just plain stupid & cruel behavior. A jerk for sure. But a psychopath?

                Would you also say the same of anyone involved in hazing in say, frats or athletics? We've all heard stories about hazing incidents that have crossed the line & involved humiliation & abuse.

                While hate may not be the motive for hazing, would you also refer to those that participate in hazing as psychopaths?

                Just curious.
                Report Abuse
                • Author by Bronwyn (May 14, 2012 9:32 am ET)
                  3  

                  "A jerk for sure. But a psychopath?"
                  Maybe, how many of these traits cane you check off regarding Romney?

                  "While hate may not be the motive for hazing, would you also refer to those that participate in hazing as psychopaths?"

                  Even if it's a one time thing, they did par take in psychopathic behavior by participating. If in later years an individual feels shameful, actually regrets his or her actions and can admit it. They probably aren't a psychopath. But if an individual laughs about it, still thinks it was clever, enjoys reliving it by entertaining him or herself through stories, has no regret over causing pain, humiliation, fear etc. to another individual, or worse could actually forget ever taking part in it, they are probably a psychopath.

                  Not all psychopaths are Hannibal Lecter types. ;>)

                  Report Abuse
                  • Author by juliajayne1 (May 14, 2012 10:38 am ET)
                    2 1
                    I think we should pin Jeter down and cut his hair off. He probably needs a hair cut anyway! While we're at it, get the "Just for Men" ready since he most likely needs to cover some gray! ;-)
                    Report Abuse
                    • Author by jeter2 (May 14, 2012 1:30 pm ET)
                      1  
                      Yuck! Yuck! Yuck! You're a riot Alice ;-)

                      Are you running with scissors?

                      I bet you have your gray hair washed away by your hairdresser. Ha!

                      I do need a haicut though.
                      Report Abuse
                      • Author by juliajayne1 (May 14, 2012 3:28 pm ET)
                        1  
                        Darling one, I only go to the salon for a hair cut/trim AND to see the pictures on my hairdresser's phone of his drag performances (for charity). He's a good looking guy and a great looking gal, and he sings so purty!

                        As for color, it's not because of grays, but because I'm not so enamored of mousy brown! Hey, things happen as we get into our "40s"! Lol!

                        I only run with scissors when I absolutely have to, which is more often than one might suppose! Ha!
                        Report Abuse
                        • Author by jeter2 (May 14, 2012 4:21 pm ET)
                          1  
                          Aw I was just funnin you about having gray hair. There used to be an ad on tv or maybe it was in magazines that said...only her hairdresser knows for sure. Wow you know I'm sometimes amazed at stuff I remember...& forget ;-)
                          Report Abuse
                          • Author by juliajayne1 (May 14, 2012 7:55 pm ET)
                               
                            Mmmmm, would I be admitting anything if I said I remembered that ad? ;-) I love Tina Fey's hair color commercials, btw. She so danged cute! We wimmins' do like looking purty fur you dood types, although I can't think why! I mean, what have you done for us lately?! ;-)
                            Report Abuse
                            • Author by jeter2 (May 14, 2012 10:10 pm ET)
                              1  
                              I've seen those Tina Fey hair color commercials & yeah she is damn cute!!

                              What have we done for ya lately? Well..Um...ok I can't think of a thing. Ha!
                              Report Abuse
                  • Author by jeter2 (May 14, 2012 1:24 pm ET)
                    1  
                    Bron, I didn't belong to a frat, the small college I went to didn't allow fraternities or sororities on campus. But I have friends that were members of frats & indulged in hazing. Some to this day still chuckle about their exploits while at the same time admitting they were probably jerks, so I guess you can say they have some remorse for their actions. I wouldn't refer to them as psychopaths. Idiots for doing what they did, yes.

                    Romney should have expressed remorse. Stated as much in his apology statement. But I still believe calling him a psychopath is a stretch.
                    Report Abuse
                    • Author by Bronwyn (May 14, 2012 8:40 pm ET)
                         
                      I think you're consorting with psychopaths, Jeter, maybe even on this forum. hee hee ha ha wink wink ;>)
                      I don't know, it probably has a lot to do with the severity of the deed, and the degree of remorse later. Some hazings actually cause pain and injury. I've never understood anyone getting a kick out of humiliating or embarrassing someone.

                      Most of us can chuckle at past exploits from our youth. At my reunion they were telling a story and howling, about the night on a dare, I shinnied up a pole to steal the big green letters, my boyfriends initials, off the Safeway billboard. Once up there everyone wanted letters and I pretty much cleared the sign. As I listened and watched them laughing I felt ashamed that I did that. I was 15 at the time and all though it was a fun night, I do remember feeling guilt at the time, too. I know I could never forget about it. And no one (except Safeway) got hurt.

                      I agree Romney should have expressed remorse and I don't believe for a minute that he doesn't remember it.
                      I notice most of my posts are getting thumbed down again, that had stopped for awhile. hmm
                      Report Abuse
                      • Author by Bronwyn (May 14, 2012 8:42 pm ET)
                           
                        No, I wasn't wearing a dress!
                        Report Abuse
                      • Author by juliajayne1 (May 14, 2012 9:33 pm ET)
                           
                        Thumbs, I've had a few...(I'm singing Queen), ha!

                        Yesterday it happened to me, you, Andy and Bintx. I wonder what we all have in common? Hmmmn, indeedy.

                        Okay you man stealing psychopath, take care of Jeter while I'm gone. ;-) You do know my prob/frustration is mostly with him, although you butting in (like I'm doing to you now, hehe) sometimes annoys a pyschopath compatriot!
                        Report Abuse
                        • Author by jeter2 (May 14, 2012 10:14 pm ET)
                          1  
                          Sorry to butt in but I think you're both psychopaths :-)

                          I get thumb downs all the time. You never see me whining about it. Don't look at me like that. Are you both gonna hit me now?

                          Hehehe ;-)

                          Report Abuse
                          • Author by juliajayne1 (May 14, 2012 11:10 pm ET)
                               
                            I do feel like it sometimes, but not tonight, boo. ;-) I guess you'll see why, yowsa. I'm teered. See you later, J.
                            Report Abuse
                      • Author by jeter2 (May 14, 2012 10:19 pm ET)
                           
                        No, I wasn't wearing a dress!

                        Damn Bron, how did you know that was what I was gonna ask?? Ha!

                        I think most of us can recall our youthful escapades, or if for some reason we've forgotten we will instantly remember if someone reminds us of them. And if it was something that may have hurt someone either physically or emotionally, as adults we normally feel genuine remorse & regret. Romney is so full of sh!t pretending he has no memory of the incident. And instead of admitting to it & taking the opportunity to give a sincere apology & express regret, he tried to wiggle out of it. Doesn't necessarily make him a psychopath, just a colossal jackasss.

                        Hazing can get out of hand. Can even prove deadly. I left a link to an article about hazing that did just that. If you're interested in reading it, you can find it in one of my post to Miz Julia.

                        As far as those down thumbs go, I've seen Debby Downer around the past few days. I think she may be the culprit. I hadn't seen her for awhile, I thought we were rid of her. Fat chance I guess :-/
                        Report Abuse
                        • Author by Bronwyn (May 14, 2012 10:39 pm ET)
                             
                          You are probably right about the thumber. I see where others that don't deserve them are getting hit. Yeah, my first reaction was that I was being disciplined for replying to your post. It's probably for being off topic, again.

                          I will look for your article. And I never considered his one act of assaulting that kid, making him a psychopath. I did think of him though, reading the description of a psychopath.

                          On another thread aBeck and (the Aussie dude G...I just went blank on his name) both did what I thought was an excellent description of Romney and people like him.
                          Report Abuse
                • Author by juliajayne1 (May 14, 2012 12:08 pm ET)
                  1  
                  Jeter, Mary posted this article yesterday on another thread in response to me. It may help to put this incident in some context for you.

                  You're welcome. Ha!
                  Report Abuse
                  • Author by jeter2 (May 14, 2012 1:59 pm ET)
                    1  
                    Interesting article Miz Julia. Eye-opening stuff about the youthful Mitt. He was a real flaming assshole for sure.

                    But my original post was simply asking if those involved in hazing should also be referred to as psychopaths if one felt Romney deserved that description. I was in no way excusing his behavior. So I really didn't need context. But thank you anyway.
                    Report Abuse
                    • Author by juliajayne1 (May 14, 2012 2:36 pm ET)
                      2  
                      Well, the whole of the article does shed light on not just this one incident of non-hazing behavior, but what seems like a pattern of very anti-social behavior, imo.

                      And actually, it's been shown that many CEOs could be classified as your garden variety psychopaths. So it's not out of the realm of possibility at all.

                      I think hazing is utterly stupid and primitive, btw. Especially the lengths some go to. But at least it has some context. Mitt just seems to like to do cruel things. Why is it that you choose to bring hazing into the discussion? Just wondering. ;-)

                      Report Abuse
                      • Author by juliajayne1 (May 14, 2012 3:32 pm ET)
                        1  
                        Doh! Howie Carr?
                        Report Abuse
                      • Author by juliajayne1 (May 14, 2012 3:50 pm ET)
                        1  
                        I linked this for Brownie below, but since I'm a mensch, I'll do it for you too, cowboy: Why (Some) Psychopaths Make Great Ceos).

                        Oh, and you're welcome again! (I'm being deliberately annoying so I may be a psychopath!)
                        Report Abuse
                      • Author by jeter2 (May 14, 2012 4:14 pm ET)
                        1  
                        Cutting that kid's hair, & the reason behind it, stupid & mean-spirited. Holding the door shut, aw hell I did stuff like that as a kid, though never to a nearly blind person, so more stupid, mean-spirited behavior on Mitt's part. The dog on top of the car? Borderline cruelty and/or stupidity I suppose. Though from what I've heard/read not an unheard of way to transport a pet.

                        I'm not happy with many of his business practices, but I'm not sure that or any of his behavior as a young adult qualifies him to be referred to as a psychopath. That term shouldn't be thrown around lightly. Romney is a turrd [spelt wrong to get it by MMFA profanity censors--they already got me once!!] & I'm not voting for him, & I'm 99% sure he'll be defeated & won't be back for a third try.

                        I am not an advocate of hazing in any situation. As I wrote in one of my other posts: We've all heard stories about hazing incidents that have crossed the line & involved humiliation & abuse.
                        I brought it into the discussion because Mitt cutting that kid's hair reminded me of a frat hazing story I'd heard [from a friend] that involved holding the pledge down & shaving his entire body. That, is humiliating & could certainly fall under abuse.

                        From an article in the NYTimes:

                        IN February, a 19-year-old Cornell sophomore died in a fraternity house while participating in a hazing episode that included mock kidnapping, ritualized humiliation and coerced drinking. While the case is still in the courts, the fraternity chapter has been disbanded and those indicted in connection with the death are no longer enrolled here.

                        http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/24/opinion/a-pledge-to-end-fraternity-hazing.html

                        Doh! Howie Carr?

                        Ha! No not Howie. I haven't listened to his program in ages. Mostly cause I got tired of Mr. Rich Dude crying about maybe having to pay more taxes. Cry me a river Howie ::eye roll::

                        Oh, and you're welcome again! (I'm being deliberately annoying so I may be a psychopath!)

                        Well of course you're a psychopath, but yer so purty so no one cares ;-) I'll read that article first chance I get.
                        Report Abuse
                        • Author by juliajayne1 (May 14, 2012 7:47 pm ET)
                          1  
                          Yeah, it's not good to throw around hyperbolic accusations. Even if the RWNJs (right wing nut jobs) do it to us commie lib moonbats all day long. And of course, I also realize that certain (cough) people on this har thread, otherwise known by their nicks (let's see DA, DH, AH, F'n Jerk, oy, I fergits 'em all from that one day!) don't help in persuading you of anydamnthin', ha!

                          Wow, I'm still laughing about that day, boo! It was getting ri-dick-you-lous! Lol! Okay, I'm gonna copy that in case the filter tries to get me! Doncha just hate that, btw? It's a fracking crime! Ha! I mean, eyes so elegant in my speech usually and they get me on the off chance I say something off color. Hey we're all adults here! Ostensibly...;-)

                          Okay, I'll stop laughing now, if I can. I mean it was haaaard, as in difficult, to say that with a straight face!

                          I'm glad Boo Hoo Howie doesn't have the svenjolly like hold on ya no mo. That should be reserved for me! I mean, being so loverly and awl! Geeze, I was gonna say "Pa" after thaat "awl", but even that's been co-opted from me! Oh well, I guess I should make up my own language if'n I want domain of my "darlin'", darlin'! ::eye roll::

                          Wow, I'm a handful, huh? But you still wuv me a widdle, wight?

                          I guess this thread is up at midnight, so I'll see you sometime if I can get online in Bermuda, Pa! Lol! Okay, boss! CT?;-)

                          You know, I still don't understand that hazing business? But then, I'm not the in-club type. And it sounds dangerous. Must be that primitive, tribal paradigm I hear about?

                          People! They're the worst!
                          Report Abuse
                          • Author by jeter2 (May 14, 2012 10:31 pm ET)
                            1  
                            Yeah, it's not good to throw around hyperbolic accusations. Even if the RWNJs (right wing nut jobs) do it to us commie lib moonbats all day long.

                            Oh stop whining you commie lib moonbat...hey put down that frying pan!! Didn't your mama ever tell ya two wrongs don't make a right. And darlin that "they did it first" defense doesn't fly around here, or so I've been told, though that can be very selective of course. Ha! And anyway, the Left is always claiming to be above this sort of thing. So they should just button it. OUCH! Did you just pinch me?? Quit it!!!

                            Yeah that thread from several weeks ago was a riot. Not too often I lose my temper anymore around this here joint, but that DA, DH, AH, F'n Jerk [methinks you covered them all] wears on my last nerve, so we had to come to blows sooner or later. But you were very sweet to swoop in like superwoman & diffuse the situation. I'm still grinning about the asss kicking he got from you know who. He was left whimpering "strawman". It was priceless ;-)

                            Yeah you, & not Howie, still have a svenjolly like hold on me. I'd need to be some sort of Houdini to escape your powers. Ha!

                            Whoa, I forgot you were going to Bermuda. Lucky you!! Of course you'll fall behind again on the Y&R. No big deal, it's been pretty lame, eh? Hey Jack thought he felt his toe move today. He'll probably be walking by the time you get back ;-)

                            Have a safe & fun vacation darlin. Post if you can...if not, I'll catch up with ya when you return.
                            Report Abuse
                            • Author by juliajayne1 (May 14, 2012 11:17 pm ET)
                              1  
                              Hey, thanks luv, I plan to have a great time. I'd say more but I'm a little exhausted after my reaming. ;-) I am getting my GG the whole Bermuda look though. The shorts, knee socks and ever'thin, ha! Maybe I should break from here, eh? I'm not so great at reading people sometimes. My bad. It is hard fur me being here and having everyone see our exchanges. Ah well...ISLY. We'll see. ;-)
                              Report Abuse
            • Author by highlyunlikely (May 13, 2012 12:43 am ET)
              2  
              actually it's called background. It's relevant if inconvenient history which Obama is subjected to as well.
              Report Abuse
      • Author by phlcstgan (May 12, 2012 11:58 pm ET)
        7  
        the media evil in this case is pretending that one qualification for president requires error free formative years.

        Please cite where the Washington Post article says anything remotely resembling that, o time traveler from an era where people said things like "hogwash".
        Report Abuse
          • Author by mary59 (May 13, 2012 12:10 pm ET)
            4  
            Hmm. If we can interrupt your inner dialogue for just a moment: can you actually respond to the post above yours this time?
            Report Abuse
          • Author by n'est-ce pas (May 13, 2012 1:06 pm ET)
            6  
            You're a particularly unsubstantive concern troll, aren't you. Several posters have advanced arguments vis. the relevance of this incident. Your response has been...underwhelming. But do go off to wherever you came from and claim victory over "the Left," or whatever it was you were doing with your poorly punctuated, spelled, and reasoned posts. We're pretty used to killing trolls here. Bye.
            Report Abuse
              • Author by n'est-ce pas (May 14, 2012 9:49 am ET)
                2  
                Aaaaand your inability to address the substance of several posts that advanced arguments for the relevance of this aspect of Romney's character. This makes you a troll, as you have consistently avoided substance and instead littered the thread with ad hominems. Troll is troll.
                Report Abuse
                • Author by mary59 (May 14, 2012 11:35 am ET)
                  3  
                  So sorry n'est-ce pas: deep thinker getzit has pre-dismissed anything people say in response to his inner dialogue. He getzit, get it?
                  Report Abuse
      • Author by bintx (May 14, 2012 10:29 am ET)
        3 1
        This has nothing to do with being "error free." What Romney did in high school and what he has not denied, even though he was informed of this story prior to its released, is that Romney committed a pre-meditated assault and battery of another person based upon his appearance and his presumed sexual orientation. This was not just a "prank." This was an actionable felony that Romney should have been charged with. He was 18 years old . . . an adult. Taken in context with the other stories in the article, there is a very disturbing pattern.
        Report Abuse
        • Author by Bronwyn (May 14, 2012 10:48 am ET)
          3  
          Exactly! And the fact that he could forget he ever participated in such an action, is extremely disturbing. Or he out right lied and that too is disturbing. I know teenagers that did time for a lot less.

          Check out the link I posted above. I think one could check off most of the boxes regarding Romney.
          Report Abuse
        • Author by Chameo (May 14, 2012 11:18 am ET)
          1  
          Agreed, though I think the motive was as much to enforce conformity as it was anything else. As many others have noted, the story is more about Romney's non-response to the story, especially given that they had several days to prepare a response. And yes, Romney was 18 at the time. I suspect many of the people who are waving this off as "high school hijinks" would be in favor of trying a 14-year-old as an adult for similar hijinks if this happened in a public school.
          Report Abuse
          • Author by jonimacaroni1 (May 14, 2012 12:19 pm ET)
            1  
            Years ago, when this incident happened, bullying wasn't seen as it is today. Just like DWI's wasn't as verboten back then as it is today, bullying used to be seen as a flaw in the character of the person who was being bullied, rather than a problem with the person who was doing the bullying. It was thought that we couldn't stop the bully, and so our only recourse was to make the one being bullied act differently so that he didn't get bullied.

            We now know the difference. It doesn't make what Romney did any less offensive, but it likely explains why he felt it was okay to behave in such a disgusting way as well as explain why he was never held responsible for such behavior.
            Report Abuse
            • Author by Chameo (May 14, 2012 1:40 pm ET)
              1  
              I understand that, Joni. But when we look back on our own behaviors in the past, we look at them through today's eyes. I wasn't a cruel kid, but I remember the few times I said deliberately hurtful things to others and cringe at the memory. I'm far less offended by what a young Mitt Romney did in a time where it wasn't considered as reprehensible as it is now as I am at what he hasn't done in the past week -- admit what he did and express honest remorse about it.
              Report Abuse
              • Author by juliajayne1 (May 14, 2012 4:17 pm ET)
                1  
                Great points. I agree, his response and his lack of awareness of today's norms show him to be out of touch, in addition to not taking the requisite responsibility and showing leadership by using this as a teaching moment. A sincere apology and an indication that he get's it would have humanized him and actually done himself and the nation a service.

                He IS showing his true character though. That mirror is reflecting something very ugly, despite his beautufully coiffed hair, perfect teeth and nice suits.
                Report Abuse
    • Author by dhertzfe (May 12, 2012 1:12 pm ET)
      7  
      Since the family does not agree with the story, they are obviously Romney supporters ..... OR ..... the son never told them of what happened, especially since nothing happened to Romney because of his rich daddy and neither parents were contacted. The conclusion is easy to come by since there are four witnesses to the incident and they remember it vividly.
      Report Abuse
    • Author by TruthWins (May 12, 2012 1:15 pm ET)
      1 3
      Are you KIDDING me? THIS STORY IS FALSE. No one bothered to contact the supposed victim of this gay bullying story. HIS FAMILY DENIES IT EVER HAPPENED. They say the victim (who is now dead) would be disgusted that this false story with his name attached would be used for political gain. http://tblz.us/aR0YN (proof). You can't talk your way out of this one. Story is 100% false. Do some actual research.
      Report Abuse
      • Author by Chameo (May 14, 2012 11:22 am ET)
           
        The family doesn't deny it ever happened. They said it was a "nonfactual portrayal" of their brother -- in other words, he wasn't a wimpy victim. The story quoted 5 people who were either present at or participated in the incident, named them by name and they stand by what they told the WaPo. And it's not the only incident -- there are several others mentioned as well. But hey, blind teachers are fair game for being made the butt of "practical jokes" that could result in serious injury, I guess.
        Report Abuse
      • Author by magnolialover (May 14, 2012 1:27 pm ET)
           
        Yeah, 5 people who were present there said it happened.

        Romney didn't say it didn't happen. That he conveniently "forgot" about it, but which tells me, he remembers, probably fairly clearly that it happened.
        Report Abuse
      • Author by jonimacaroni1 (May 14, 2012 2:12 pm ET)
        1  
        The family hasn't said what you claim they said. Even your disgraceful link to "The Blaze" doesn't back up your assertions!

        The TRUTH does win - too bad you're not 'connected' to reality in this case.
        Report Abuse
      • Author by highlyunlikely (May 14, 2012 3:40 pm ET)
        1  
        Wow. Now that's what I call a severe case of denial.
        Report Abuse
    • Author by captaincrunch (May 12, 2012 2:00 pm ET)
      11 1
      Daily Caller: "Cracks In The Washington Post Story On Romney's 'Pranks' Emerge." LIAR!

      Doocy Claimed That "The Source For The Story, Stu White ... Wasn't Actually There." - LIAR

      Doocy: "The Facts Are Falling Apart, And Falling Apart Fast. So Is It Just Another Media Hit Job?" - LIAR

      Hannity Claimed "A Lot Of These Accounts Have Fallen By The Wayside" And Added, "That Person Has Rescinded The Story -- His Story." - LIAR

      Megyn Kelly: "The Key Guy On Whose Testimony This Is Based Now Admits He Wasn't There." - LIAR


      Wash. Post Article Listed Five Sources For Lauber Story. - TRUTH

      Stu White Was Not One Of The Five Sources Who Gave Accounts Of The Lauber Incident To The Post. - TRUTH

      Wash. Post Ombudsman: Accounts From The Five Sources "Remain Unchallenged." - TRUTH



      Romney: "I've Seen The Reports -- Not Going To Argue With That." - SURRENDER!!
      Report Abuse
    • Author by grmce (May 12, 2012 9:41 pm ET)
      2  
      These characters are pathetic at journalism, but believe it or not, they are a veritable Woodward, Bernstein and Bradlee combined in comparison to their incompetence in mounting a defence.

      Thank all that's holy they are not practicing at the Criminal Defence Bar - they'd render the Prosecution redundant.
      Report Abuse
      • Author by Unreality (May 13, 2012 1:03 am ET)
        2  
        grmce,
        You obviously don't understand how US style rightwing jurisprudence works. Hannity shows how one can invent one's own facts and strawmen, and his audience is incapable of following the sleight of hand.

        Why do you think most FauxNoise viewers KNOW Saddam was behind 9/11?
        Report Abuse
    • Author by david.martin1234339 (May 13, 2012 4:18 am ET)
      5  
      He cites an article in the Wall Street Journal. Aren't they supposed to mention that the WSJ works for the same company as Fox news?
      Report Abuse
    • Author by historygeek001 (May 13, 2012 10:21 am ET)
      3  
      Bullying is OK if you're a Republican.
      Report Abuse
    • Author by bintx (May 14, 2012 10:26 am ET)
      2 1
      The Romney campaign has not denied this story is true.
      Report Abuse

Push Back

Phone calls, emails and letters from the public do make a difference. Remember that to be effective you must be polite, and professional. Express your specific concerns regarding that particular news report or commentary, and indicate what you would like the media outlet to do differently in the future.