2012 Election | Bullying | Mitt Romney | News

WSJ Editor Paul Gigot Excuses Romney's Anti-Gay Assault: 'So What?' - VIDEO


On FOX News Sunday, Wall Street Journal editorial page editor Paul Gigot dismissed last week's story about Mitt Romney bullying a fellow student thought to be gay, Think Progress reports.

Said Gigot:

"He was a leader of the prankster group. So what? And this is the only anecdote I think they found that was kind of edgy. [...] I think in terms of politics, if this is the worst thing that the American people find out about Mitt Romney in the next five months, he is going to be a very happy man."


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  1. One thug defends another.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | May 14, 2012 8:22:31 AM

  2. Edgy? It was an assault by a group of individuals. He should have been suspended or maybe expelled. But because daddy was a rich famous individual, nothing was done.

    Posted by: Dale | May 14, 2012 8:27:28 AM

  3. And the “tramp down this story” directive continues. First it was Bill O’Reilly, now this clown. Both on Faux News. What a shock.

    Posted by: ichabod | May 14, 2012 8:36:01 AM

  4. In a day and age where bullying is quickly becoming known to lead to a rise in teen suicides, these idiots want to excuse it like it's no big deal?

    Posted by: Pedigru | May 14, 2012 8:51:27 AM

  5. Despite Romney's anti-gay stances, let's be careful here! This incident occurred in the early to mid 60's, a different time and a different attitude. He was in high school. "Gay" wasn't even a word then other than its meaning of "happy." His act was deplorable, but let's not judge it through 2012 lenses.

    Posted by: Peter | May 14, 2012 8:52:10 AM

  6. Editorial Page Editor Paul Gigot
    paul.gigot@wsj.com 917-510-2825

    Posted by: Jason Bennett | May 14, 2012 8:55:41 AM

  7. Well, we all know what word GIGOT is one letter away from, so this doesn't surprise me...

    Posted by: Deee! | May 14, 2012 9:12:47 AM

  8. WIth all due respect, Peter, bullying is bullying whenever it occurred. Whether the young man who was assaulted was gay or not is immaterial. A bully is a bully. It’s like saying the deplorable treatment of African Americans or Jews or women (the list goes on and on) in the past was “okay” as it was accepted behavior at the time.

    Posted by: ichabod | May 14, 2012 9:14:49 AM

  9. Peter--As a product of the '60s, I can tell you that bullying was EVERY bit as painful and abusive and dead wrong then as it is now. And it follows you through your life. I am in my mid 60s now, and can feel the anger and hurt and depression that came from bullying as if it were yesterday. I wasn't "gay" at 13 or 14 in the self-conscious way I am today. That wasn't the point. I was different, and that is what bullies always are out to abuse. Yes, it was horrible and assaultive then, just as it is now. No big deal my ass!

    Posted by: candideinncc | May 14, 2012 9:14:50 AM

  10. I can excuse Paul Gigot's behavior because he has to kiss conservative ass to keep his job. In a sense he too is a victim of bullying.

    Posted by: I'm very understanding | May 14, 2012 9:22:25 AM

  11. Edgy? He calls Romney's assault edgy? How about if students at a school in the Northeast tackled a Christian student to the ground, yanked off the cross that he was wearing, took out some scissors and gave him a crew cut? Would that be edgy too?

    Posted by: Artie_in_Lauderdale | May 14, 2012 9:33:40 AM

  12. Let's put things in perspective: can Romney and his friends accept that it was a "prankster group" that murdered Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum? Or that a "prankster group" was responsible for killing women and children at Mountain Meadows?

    Murder and massacre are not on the same page with thuggery involving a pack attack on an Outsider, with potentially lethal weapons and symbolic castration. But the things are related because they involve authoritarian personalities and the desire to dominate.

    Posted by: gregory brown | May 14, 2012 9:36:40 AM

  13. Let's get as precise as possible here: if accurate (and the number and range of perspectives verifying the account suggest it is), this is not a story of bullying. It is assault (with scissors, no less) by a legal adult.

    Can you imagine if an 18-year-old Barack Hussein Obama assaulted a 15-year-old white boy with scissors in the 1960s? We're not talking expulsion; we're talking jail time.

    Posted by: AdamA | May 14, 2012 9:55:56 AM

  14. Sorry to burst your bubble, Peter, but gay meant the same then as it does today. So did faggot, pansy, and queer.

    And high school pack behavior hasn't changed much if at all.

    Don't forget that the other members of Romney's pack all remember the incident well and feel remorse over it. He doesn't.

    Posted by: Sean in Dallas | May 14, 2012 10:10:51 AM

  15. Peter above writes, ""Gay" wasn't even a word then other than its meaning of "happy."

    This is nonsense. Fear of homosexuality and of homosexuals was a very prominent feature of the 1950s and 1960s, when homosexuals were hounded out of jobs and bars were routinely raided. All-boy schools like Cranbrook were particularly obsessed with homosexuality. (And gay did not only mean "happy" in the 1960s. You need to learn some gay history.

    Posted by: Jay | May 14, 2012 10:12:30 AM

  16. Ms. Gigot, I hate to burst your Mitt-Balloon, but this won't be the worst thing the American people find out about the Mittster in the next five months. There is worse. Much, much worse. You probably know what I'm talking about but I choose to let the chips fall where they may. But, Ms. Gigot, I would, um, brace yourself. It won't be pretty for Mittsy.

    Posted by: jamal49 | May 14, 2012 10:23:28 AM

  17. I am a life long liberal democrat and I agree with Gigot on this issue. The adolescent behavior of a teenager in high school has very very little to do with the kind of adult they have become. Drop it and hope they don't dig up similar teenage bad behavior on Obama.This opinion is coming from a guy who taught in a large urban high school for 35 years.

    Posted by: andrew | May 14, 2012 10:26:11 AM

  18. I agree with everyone here, and even asked my mom who is of the same generation. She and her friends are appalled by this. This is not "boys will be boys" or "we all did stupid stuff in high school." Yes we did, but I'm guessing not a single person here attacked some young kid, held them down and chopped off their hair with scissors! This is so far beyond "stupid things" in high school.

    But the worst part of this is, Romney (and his friends) still don't think it was a big deal SEEN THROUGH ADULT EYES today. He should be shocked and mortified and remorseful and embarrassed and guilty for what this poor kid dragged around with him the rest of his life, not chuckling and patting himself on the back for being the class prankster. Nor will he ever because Romney has always been on the kicking end, whether it's weaker kids in school or throwing people out of work...or tying his dog to the roof of the car. He's always been the one kicking others.

    He's like a CSI episode. The pampered rich kid who beats or rapes or murders and can't see that he did anything wrong that daddy can't fix. It's his right. He's on the top and everyone else is on the bottom.

    Posted by: Michaelandfred | May 14, 2012 10:30:41 AM

  19. @Michaelandfred: Your mom has no idea what "boys will be boys" do. He cut a fellow students hair. Wrong? You bet. But not "beats,rapes or murders" Get a grip and hope they don't uncover similar adolescent behavior on the part of Obama.

    Posted by: andrew | May 14, 2012 10:36:36 AM

  20. If this was such an unimportant, meaningless event, why has the part they played in it haunted at least four men for decades? They are shamed by their participation or lack of action to stop it, when the ringleader, Mitt Romney, doesn't even remember it or at least claims not to. (Mysteriously he remembers the victim well enough to assert that he didn't know the guy was gay.)

    And what does it say about Romney that he doesn't remember leading a gang of seniors to tackle and restrain a younger, weaker, less popular boy while Romney hacked off clumps of his hair? Nothing good, I can assure you. (And for the record, "hack" and "clumps" are the words one of the participants used to describe it, not an exaggeration of my own.)

    I have no doubt that in 1965 the word "gay" was unfamiliar, but if you think they didn't use homophobic slurs and know what they meant your grasp of history isn't very good.

    Posted by: Caliban | May 14, 2012 10:41:47 AM

  21. "has very very little to do with the kind of adult they have become"

    He appears to have become the kind of adult who can't outright say he did something wrong.

    Posted by: BobN | May 14, 2012 10:52:12 AM

  22. A Murdoch toadie. Enough said.

    Posted by: YourMom | May 14, 2012 11:06:30 AM

  23. "Nothing to see here, he doesn't remember it and he apologized if he hurt anyone for 'pranks' he doesn't remember, move right along....."

    Well the student he assaulted with the scissors as the student was held down on the ground, crying for help, apparently didn't forget it.
    I wonder if the student whose answers in class he derided with "atta girl" comments forgot it. And did the blind teacher he led into a closed door forget it? Did Seamus his dog, forced to ride on the top of his car for 700 miles forget it? How many more incidents of bullying were there?

    I cannot believe Mitt has forgotten these incidents. If he cannot admit to them and admit to how wrong he was to bully these people, how can we be expected to ignore them?

    Bullying is a big problem today and indeed always has been. Yet right wing people want to ignore the problem when it'a LGBT kids who are being bullied. They want to ignore the responsibility for the consequences of their actions. If Mitt is not able to face his past and admit to the wrongness of his actions, he is displaying a remarkable character flaw that bodes poorly for a person who would be president.

    Posted by: john patrick | May 14, 2012 11:18:32 AM

  24. There is clear evidence that "bullying" can be a sign of anti-social behaviour as an adult. Tormenting animals definitely has a link thus this also applies to even the "wing-pulling" behaviour or tying cans to cats' tails.
    Granted, depending on the study and definition of bullying, it's only showing about 50% of bullies continue to behave anti-socially as adults but in this case I could definitely put some of Mitt's job destroying behaviour at Bain Capital in that category.

    Posted by: Steven | May 14, 2012 11:30:33 AM

  25. Bullies actually do not "grow out" of their behavior, but as adults they normally can't get away with it either. Personality is generally fixed by age 9 or so, but moderates over time. However, you'd need to see a pattern of behavior, rather than a single incident, to get a better handle on Mitt's mind.

    Posted by: anon | May 14, 2012 12:06:38 PM

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