We’ve discussed the campaign press a fair amount recently. I’ll make an additional observation: a reporter’s feistiness tends to be inversely proportional to his or her seniority. The most vocal agitators are college kids with cameras. After them are journalists from small, ideologically driven magazines and small-time reporters with nothing to lose. But as reporters gain prominence and work for increasingly “serious” publicans, they have more at stake, including their reputations and the reputations of their employers. Also, they tend to be older and less interested in direct confrontation. (I’m speaking in generalities, of course, and there are exceptions.)
That’s why what Glen Johnson of the AP did to Mitt Romney is so unlikely and so outstanding. He actual called a candidate on a deliberate falsehood in mid-sentence.
Notice that, afterward, the debate raged over whether Ron Kaufman “runs” Romney’s campaign. That’s not really relevant. The sentence Romney was saying when Johnson interrupted was, “I don’t have lobbyists that are running my campaign. I don’t have lobbyists that are tied to my…”
Kaufman may not be running the campaign, but he is most certainly “tied” to it.
Update: Glen Johnson’s article on all this is out, and it’s a doozy. He looks at a whole slew of Romney aides and advisers who are lobbyists or well-connected Washington politicos, significantly undercutting Romney’s claim that he is running an outsider’s campaign.