Brian and Garrett Fahy

Principle 4: if a story hawks a tale of miniscule growth unrelated to the president’s policies while ignoring the larger decline caused by his policies in a swing state, then the story should be copyrighted “Obama 2012.” Mitt Romney recently spoke in the small Colorado town of Fort Lupton, sharing his views on national energy policy. The media narrative focused on the town’s recent energy growth (which is completely unrelated to Obama), thus giving the appearance of good news for President Obama in a state critical to his reelection, while simultaneously ignoring the rampant failings of the green economy President Obama has squandered billions attempting to prop up.

Principle 5: where the story is physically placed often indicates its bias. If it’s a back-page story, it’s usually good news for conservatives/bad news for liberals. In other words, go there to find good news for Mitt Romney, like the polls showing his good standing among women. Another helpful New York Times example: the nationwide Catholic litigation against Obamacare’s contraception mandate was recently carried on page A17.

Principle 6: if the mainstream media (MSM) is slow to report the story, doesn’t report a story, or doctors the evidence, the story usually disfavors MSM narratives. Examples here abound: Dan Rather’s embarrassing meltdown after the airing of fraudulent documents regarding President Bush’s National Guard service; Newsweek’s refusal to publish the bombshell story of President Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky.

Principle 7: if the story has as its main thrust the victimization of (and hence necessary federal government support for) a niche voting block critical to Democratic reelection, it’s probably a puff piece supportive of liberal policies/priorities. Good examples include the litany of stories concerning poor, minority women who will no longer receive free contraception if the litigation against Obamacare succeeds; or the allegedly racist crusades against blacks and Latinos by those seeking to enforce race neutral voter ID laws in swing states.

There are undoubtedly countless more such truisms, but these suffice. In what promises to be another close race, President Obama is again counting on the country accepting at face value the media cheerleading that helped him prevail in 2008. Then as now, the media is ready to do his bidding and provide campaign narratives at odds with reality. As in Wisconsin, however, discerning voters who know how to read the news will spot the difference, and vote accordingly.

Brian and Garrett Fahy

Brian and Garrett Fahy are attorneys from Los Angeles who previously worked in the White House and Senate Republican Conference, respectively. They write on national legal and political affairs. They can be reached at