CBS This Morning on Friday spun Mitt Romney's upcoming meeting in Utah with prominent Republicans and top fundraisers as a "secret summit." Just a week earlier, the morning newscast didn't even devote a full report to President Obama's fundraising jaunt to New York City, merely playing three soundbites on the Democrat's $40,000 per plate dinner at the home of liberal actress Sarah Jessica Parker.
Political director John Dickerson also bizarrely labeled the upcoming GOP event as "kind of a mix between a shareholders' meeting and a renewal of vows."
Anchor Erica Hill was the first to use the shadowy reference to the Romney event during a teaser at the top of the 7 am Eastern hour: "Details of the secret summit between Mitt Romney and dozens of major donors." Correspondent Jan Crawford filed a report on the "three-day retreat at the exclusive Deer Valley Resort" 11 minutes later, and used the same "secret summit" phrase near the end of the segment:
CRAWFORD (on-camera): Now, what's unusual about this weekend's, kind of, secret summit is this access that these donors are getting to Romney. Of course, big-time donors always have access to the candidate and the campaign, but this is different. This is a much more organized and efficient way of just getting everybody together - all at one time.
Back on June 15, 2012, the morning show didn't even give a news brief on Obama's celebrity fundraiser in the Big Apple. The only mention came during their regular "Eye Opener" segment at the start of the program:
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN 1 (voice-over) (teaser): A busy, busy night for the President, packed with fundraisers.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN 1: In Manhattan with Sarah Jessica Parker at an event.
JIMMY KIMMEL (from ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live"): Kind of funny, considering the fact that Carrie Bradshaw didn't have one black friend in six seasons of Sex and the City, isn't it? (audience laughs)
Co-anchor Charlie Rose brought on Dickerson after Crawford's report to discuss the Romney shindig. Rose asked, "So what do we make of this, if anything? I mean, the people who support Mitt Romney getting together - the money people, the policy people, Condoleezza Rice. It all seems transparent, or is there something I'm missing?" The CBS political director included his strange analogy in his reply:
DICKERSON: Well, this is -- the fundraisers here are people who gave $50,000, or raised $250,000 or more. And so, this is a kind of -- it's kind of a mix between a shareholders' meeting and a renewal of vows. They're all gathered together to see Mitt Romney....He'll do some stroking of them, and thank them for all the good work they've done. And it is a unity moment, okay? So bring in all of these people, who might have supported other candidates, show them how well things are going.
Near the end of the segment, Hill asked Dickerson about the Romney campaign's possible reaction to the Supreme Court's forthcoming decision on ObamaCare. The liberal CBS journalist played up the possible risk to the Republican candidate if the Court struck down the law:
DICKERSON: Well, Governor Romney has to be careful here, because if the individual mandate is struck down, that might bring up a long conversation about the individual mandate in Massachusetts and -- which he supported then in the state. He argues that state experiments are fine. It shouldn't be taken to the national level. So, what they want, though, is to look like a big thumbs-down on the President, and then, move back to the question of jobs.