For a few hours yesterday, Twitter and the internet was alight with laughter at Mitt Romney after MSNBC aired a video of Romney supposedly being amazed at using a computer screen at some place called WaWa. Andrea Mitchell and her familiars giggling at Mitt Romney's speech where he calls the screen for ordering hoagies "amazing."
Mitchell compares this to President George H.W. Bush's supposed amazement when confronted with a supermarket scanner. They laughed at how out of touch Romney was - the rich guy who had never ordered a sandwich at WaWa's. Ha ha. They're so ignorant that they don't even know that the whole story of Bush being amazed at a supermarket scanner was bogus. Truth doesn't matter if there is a giggle they can have that feeds into the stereotype of a Republican that they'd like to perpetuate.
Well, the joke is on them. It didn't take the blogger at Sooper Mexican to find the entire video of Mitt Romney talking about the touch-pad ordering system at WaWa's. And it turns out that he was making a point comparing the innovation of the private sector to come up with a faster and more efficient way to order the condiments on your sandwich with the over-regulation and lack of innovation in the public sector. He contrasts the innovation at WaWa with a doctor who told him he had to fill out a 33-page change-of-address form for getting Medicare payments.
MSNBC had to edit the entire video to take out the parts with his comparison to the private sector to get it to look like Romney was just being golly-gee-whiz about ordering a sandwich at WaWa. Then they could have their giggle and laugh at the clueless rich guy all over twitter.
It's as if MSNBC had no idea that anyone else could find the video of the moment shot by some guy with a camera who was waiting to hand his book about hemp to Mitt Romney and then a blogger could figure out how they misleadingly edited the Romney video. They forgot that there are conservative bloggers out there who are capable of finding out their editing chicanery and that the internet can be used to distribute the proof of their dishonest reporting. Soon the real story goes from conservative blogs to Politico and now there are questions that MSNBC will have to answer. Just as NBC News had to fire a producer for editing the George Zimmerman tape of his 911 call, someone will probably have to lose his or her job for this if MSNBC cares at all about even the appearance of journalistic integrity. Perhaps not.
The upshot of this whole incident is that MSNBC proved to be more out of touch than the Mitt Romney they were portraying. They are the ones who don't understand how the new media works and how they can't get away with deceiving the public in the ways they would like to.
Another result is that I'm intrigued by Wawa. I'd like to go to a sandwich store and press a key pad for my choices. Maybe Wawa will get some business out of this whole episode. And maybe other sandwich joints will think about incorporating such technology to speed up their ordering system.
UPDATE: Andrea Mitchell had a non-apology today on her show by blaming their misleading editing on not having enough time to show the entire context. She doesn't acknowledge that they actually edited out the full context of Romney's quote and never apologizes for MSNBC's deception. But she's a "real journalist" and not a blogger so I guess that is all fine. RIght?