It’s no question that political figures make mistakes. We’ve seen it happen again and again, most recently with the recorded comments made by Mitt Romney at a private fundraiser. The real question is, how should we react? The 24-hour news cycle has taken over in the past decade, magnifying everything people do and allowing others to share how they feel about it. But where should we draw the line? How much coverage should one story get, and how should a public figure’s mistake be covered?
On May 17th, at private equity manager Marc Leder’s house, Romney videotaped saying, “47 percent” of the American public is “dependent on government.”
I asked some Hofstra students how they felt about the media coverage of Romney’s comments and was surprised by some of their responses.
“I feel like the comment was a bit stupid and the media is going after him for it, but essentially he was right,” said Michelle Lafiura, a sophomore, “He could have worded it differently but as a country we need to be more self-sufficient.”
Some may not agree with Michelle’s views but it is undeniable that this story got a lot of media attention. That’s something that makes Brianna Borresen frustrated.
“People are just waiting to rip any candidate apart and this was a perfect opportunity. Technically, Romney wasn’t wrong,” said Borresen, a Hofstra sophomore.
I must say I didn’t expect to these reactions. I thought many students would be infuriated about the comment and not pay much attention to the way the media covered it. I was expecting something more along the lines of what Dan Nelson said.
Nelson, a sophomore thought the coverage was right.
“The media coverage was fair because it wasn’t just an everyday gaff,” Nelson said, “The fact that he said it is not my job to care about 47% of the country is insulting. Especially coming from someone who wants to lead the nation. It was definitely newsworthy.”
After hearing what these students had to say I started to think more about how I felt and I think the whole thing has been blown out of proportion. It’s no secret that candidates know who their supporters are. Romney was speaking with his supporters at a private event. Why not be honest with them?
The media spends so much time criticizing candidates that a lot of us lose sight of what this election is really about. So Romney said something he probably shouldn’t have. Lets move on.