CNN Plays Up Tiny 'Dogs Against Romney' Protest

CNN gave a measly eleven seconds of coverage to the 2011 March for Life, attended by an estimated 100,000 people, but they saw fit to give more time on Wednesday to a "Dogs Against Romney" protest of about a dozen participants.

Correspondent Jeanie Moos admitted that the tiny protest "was a treat we in the media couldn't resist." She was on the scene Tuesday to interview "doggie protesters" ripping GOP candidate Mitt Romney for an incident that occurred 19 years ago, and even touted an Obama campaign tweet sniping at Romney for the very same reason.

The tongue-in-cheek gathering outside Manhattan's Westminister Dog Show protested Romney's decision to put his family's dog in a kennel on top of the car for a lengthy road trip in 1983.

CNN anchor Christine Romans tabbed the protest as a "four-legged backlash" against Romney. Moos teed up one protester by noting that Romney made the dog ride on top of the car for 12 hours. Another protester cracked that he might have forced one of his children to ride on top of the car.

[Video below. Click here for audio.]


"This is a dog that will not vote for Romney," one participant told Moos. "How do you know?" was her question in response.

A transcript of the segment, which aired on February 15 at 11:39 a.m. EST, is as follows:

CHRISTINE ROMANS: Alright, as crowds cheered on Malachi and his pals inside Madison Square Garden, a four-legged backlash against Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was brewing outside. Jeanie Moos explains.

[HEADLINE: Mitt Romney's Doggie Dilemma: Protesters slam his treatment of pet]

(Video Clip)

JEANIE MOOS: (Voice-over) Inside Madison Square Garden, think of them as the hoity-toity one percent. Showdogs, getting groomed for Westminister, America's most prestigious dog show. And outside the Garden, the 99 percent, the rabble, doggie protesters.

(On camera) (to dog) So how do you feel about Mitt?

(Voice-over) They may turn their backs on the press, but a "Dogs Against Romney" protest outside Westminister was a treat we in the media couldn't resist.

(On camera) (to dog) Do you have a problem riding on the roof?

(Voice-over) It's that old story again about the time, back in 1983, when Mitt Romney took his family on vacation with his Irish setter Seamus in a dog carrier tied to the car roof.

(On camera) He made a windshield for the dog.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Oh did he really? Made a windshield for a dog? That's very nice.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Your dog is your family member. I mean, I don't think he would have taken one of his children and put them on the roof. But maybe he would have. Who knows?

MOOS: (Voice-over) Socci the pug came to the protest in a backpack.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It's like riding on a human roof rack there.

MOOS: But the human roof rack says –

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I don't go 65 miles an hour down the highway.

MOOS: For 12 hours.

MITT ROMNEY, Republican presidential candidate: He climbed up there regularly, enjoyed himself –

MOOS: Comedians won't let go of the story. On SNL –

JASON SUDEIKIS, comedian: Good dog.

MOOS: – a Romney impersonator threatened his dog, when he wouldn't stop barking.

SUDEIKIS: You want to go back on that roof?

(Dog barking)

MOOS: One of President Obama's advisors tweeted out this photo with the caption "How loving owners transport their dogs." Protestors keep dogging Romney with stuffed animals fastened to the roofs. In Littleton, Colorado, this car actually got pulled over by police.

(On camera) Police say a motorist called 911 to say that she saw the door open on the kennel on top of the roof, and that there was a big white dog inside. Not this dog.

(Voice-over) Showdogs don't ride on the roof, but neither do 99 percenters.

(On-camera) How does Petey travel?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Petey travels inside, he gets the whole back seat.

MOOS: (Voice-over) Otherwise he plays with the gear shift. True, there were only a very few dog protestors. But every vote counts.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: This is a dog who will not vote for Romney.

MOOS: (on camera) How do you know?

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Because (Unintelligible)

MOOS: (voice-over) The 99 percent outside aren't so different from the one percent inside. It's just another dog-and-pony show.

DAVID LETTERMAN, host, CBS's Late Night: – who ties his dog to the roof of his car.    

MOOS: Jeanie Moos, CNN –

ROMNEY: – with Americans out of work.

(Dog barking)

MOOS: – New York.

(End Video Clip)

-- Matt Hadro is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center