Richard Benedetto: “This campaign has flabbergasted me”

Accuracy in Media

At the AIM conference in September, “ObamaNation: A Day of Truth,” we were lucky to hear from Richard Benedetto, as he shared his thoughts on how the media are impacting the election. Benedetto is a retired White House correspondent and columnist for USA Today and Gannett News Service. He reported on local, state, and national government and politics for nearly 40 years and continues to write political commentary for publications such as Politico.

Explaining the current election cycle, Benedetto said, “This campaign has kind of flabbergasted me because I watch how the White House is being covered by the press corps, because it seems to be so well managed by the White House, and the press seems to be just going along with whatever.”

During his speech the topic of Benghazi came up. “You would have thought that the Libyan bombing was Romney’s fault, from the media coverage.” Although Benedetto pointed out that some this coverage was an unforced error by Romney. He explained, “Part of it was Romney’s mistake, and that is his getting out in front of the President. He was a perfect target. Once he got out there, in front of the President, he was fair game.”

One of the fundamental problems at the root of media bias, according to Benedetto, has to do with why journalists decide to enter that line of work. “So who’s attracted to the business? Well, a lot of people who think that journalism is a way to promote a cause. I tell people, ‘If you’ve got a cause, go to work for the cause; don’t go to work in the newspaper business.’”

You can watch the highlights of Richard Benedetto’s speech here:

Watch Richard Benedetto’s full speech below, or watch it with the transcript here:


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