Obama’s Middle East policy is in flames.  Literally, at multiple U.S. diplomatic locations which are sovereign U.S. territory.  The latest is the storming of the Embassy in Yemen, which is ongoing as of this writing.

Journalism also is in flames.  It’s back to 2008, with the media openly siding with Obama and colluding to damage Romney.

It’s rare that we get to see how the supposedly top tier journalists act when not on camera. Yesterday we got a glimpse similar, in many ways, to the side of Obama we saw when his bitter clingers comment, insult to Bibi Netanyahu, and promise to Russia to be flexible were caught on open mics.  For a brief few seconds, the curtain was pulled back.

During the Romney press conference, I sensed something was very wrong:

Sure enough, after the press conference The Right Scoop posted an open-mic audio of journalists (one of whom was believed to be from CBS) coordinating their questions down to the specific wording so that no matter on whom Romney called, the question they wanted asked would get asked precisely as they wanted it.  [Update -- it was CBS and NPR reporters voices.] And that question was one framed to damage Romney politically, to put spin on his prior statements, to create news instead of reporting on it.

It all was part of a group effort, which I documented in part as it was happening, to shift the focus from the death of a U.S. Ambassador on a day when all the warning signs of trouble were in place but the U.S. government did little if anything to beef up security.

It was a day on which the media could have been reporting facts as to the absentee President, the failure to heed the warnings and protect our diplomats, the failure of Muslim outreach, in fact, the failure of U.S. Mideast policy since the Arab Spring.

But no, all the media wanted to talk about was their own opinions as to how badly Romney supposedly screwed up, with quotes from unnamed former Republican sources as the excuse for reporting it as news.  This was opinion journalism at its worst, a clear attempt to frame the narrative to help a favored candidate presented as fact reporting.

And they were mighty smug in their knowledge that there wasn’t a lot anyone could do about it, particularly when they moved in a group.

I asked two of the participants in this group effort, Chuck Todd and David Gregory, if it was common for journalists to coordinate questions. They never responded, which I can’t say surprised me.

But Greg Sargent of WaPo, former JournoList and conduit for Democratic talking points, took great umbrage at my question:

(For some of my background with Sargent, see this Twitter exchange. He’s apparently upset with me because I repeatedly called him out for presenting misleading information as to Sharron Angle.)

“Ref gaming”? They are the referees? That is how some journalists like to think of themselves, merely calling balls and strikes as they see them.

The attack on Romney was not calling balls and strikes; if that were the case they merely would have reported what he said, and let the public reach a conclusion and allowed the politicians to fight it out. No, the attempt to insulate Obama by shifting the focus to Romney was an attempt to shape public opinion, not to report facts.

I rephrased the question after the “Ref gaming” comment:

Still no answer. Tellingly, Jake Tapper of ABC News, one of the few who actually attempts to be a journalist, did respond to a similar question by another person:

The Middle East is in flames, and so is journalism at mainstream entities like NBC News and WaPo.

All they want is to get Obama re-elected, and they don’t care if they destroy what’s left of their profession to do it. Like kamikazes crashing flaming planes into aircraft carriers, these JournoLists masquerading as referees can do great damage.

Update: Via The Wall Street Journal, Romney Offends the Pundits:

Tuesday’s assaults on the U.S. Embassies in Benghazi and Cairo have injected foreign policy into the Presidential campaign, but suddenly the parsons of the press corps are offended by the debate. They’re upset that Mitt Romney had the gall to criticize the State Department for a statement that the White House itself disavowed….

His political faux pax was to offend a pundit class that wants to cede the foreign policy debate to Mr. Obama without thinking seriously about the trouble for America that is building in the world.

And Philip Klein, How the media turned Obama’s foreign policy bungle into a Romney gaffe:

In 2004, John Kerry routinely attacked President Bush’s handling of Iraq when things weren’t going well in the country. And the media dutifully reported on Bush’s foreign policy blunders in Iraq. But now, instead of scrutinizing Obama’s handling of a foreign policy crisis, the media has decided that the real story in Egypt and Libya is a Mitt Romney gaffe.

And Joel Pollack, Five Facts the Media Are Distorting About Romney’s Response to Embassy Attacks.

And Ed Morrissey, Flashback: Major-party nominee uses war deaths to score political points.

And Erick Erickson:

What I really get is that the American media runs with a herd mentality, leans left, and yesterday collectively fell over their group think as they leaned so far left to focus on Mitt Romney and not President Obama. Yesterday, the American media beclowned itself in ways I didn’t really even think was possible, even knowing how in the tank for Barack Obama they are.