Mitt Romney recently took a trip to Louisiana to assess hurricane and flood ravaged areas, and to draw attention to the situation, possibly stirring people and organizations to help those in need. During the course of his visit, Romney encountered a woman who had lost her home in the flooding. Jodie Chiarello, according to a joint report from the Huffington Post and Associated Press, gave this account of her conversation with Romney:
"He just told me to, um, there's assistance out there," Chiarello said of her conversation with Romney. "He said, go home and call 211." That's a public service number offered in many states.
Aside from some other comments on her own personal situation, and the flooding in the city itself, the report offered no other statements from Ms. Chiarello in regards to Mitt Romney. Every major liberal website has run with the piece, stating essentially that a victim of the flooding had approached Romney, and he coldly responded "go home and call 211". By the time the hacks over at Think Progress had gotten to this story, they had shortened the headline to "ROMNEY TO HOMELESS HURRICANE VICTIM: ‘GO HOME’"
But the quote has been taken grossly out of context, and the media reports have selectively edited some significantly positive comments from the very same woman.
ABC reported that Chiarello had told Romney that, "I lost everything". This time however, the account is vastly more detailed and Romney's response is far more helpful than the liberal media would like you to believe.
“He said that he was going to do the best that he could for us.” Chiarello, a Republican who declined to say who she was voting for, said she was pleased Romney visited to be “supportive.”
“He’s good, he’ll do the best for us, he has our best interests at heart,” she said of the candidate, adding that he was different than she’d expected.
“I thought he’d be more like a politician, but it was more understanding and caring,” she said. “He was caring.”
Romney told the women that FEMA could point them in the direction of shelters.
Not exactly a bad guy, eh? What's worse, the original reporting of these quotes from Chiarello by the Huffington Post casts some doubt over their accuracy.
If you take the Huffington Post/AP article at face value, you have the woman saying this complete statement:
"He just told me to, um, there's assistance out there. He said, go home and call 211."
On the other hand, this account from the BBC includes a completely different sentence following the first:
"He just told me to, um, there's assistance out there. He's good. He'll do the best for us, you know. He speaks to our best interests at heart."
How could both news outlets have such differing accounts?
Two possible scenarios.
One - If the BBC failed to report the "go home" statement as the second sentence, then that raises some questions of their own. But it would also mean the Huffington Post article excluded the positive statements immediately following.
Two - If the BBC quote is correct, but the "go home" statement came after the positive comments, then the Post article pulled the positive quotes from the middle of Chiarello's full statement, creating an NBC/Trayvon type of selective editing.
Then there's this account from Business Week - Chiarello was apparently so upset by Mitt Romney's advice, that she told Bloomberg News she thought he came across as "caring", and that she'd probably vote for him.
This is a distinct example of the media rushing to portray Romney as an uncaring, out of touch, cold-hearted politician who doesn't care about the little people.
Meanwhile, they've completely ignored coverage of President Obama who, in the midst of the flooding and devastation is so concerned about the people of Louisiana and their homes, that he took the time to release a video presentation of his recipes for home brewing beer.
Keep that laser-like focus on the American people, Mr. President. The media's got your back.
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