Just to add a few observations to Pete’s right-on post regarding the Washington Post’s hit-job on Romney, it should be noted, as reported by Brietbart, that the Post misquoted one of the main sources for the story. The paper reported that a fellow student had been bothered by the incident for years, but it turns out that he only heard about it this year. The Post, hiding its journalistic misfeasance, made a silent correction to its website regarding this.
The subject of the incident, John Lauber, died in 2004, but his sisters have issued a statement objecting to the story: “The family of John Lauber is releasing a statement saying the portrayal of John is factually incorrect and we are aggrieved that he would be used to further a political agenda. There will be no more comments from the family.” Said another sister, “If he were alive today, he would be furious [about the story].”
Mitt Romney also says that he does not recall the incident.
Well, having spent four (wonderful) years at a school not unlike Cranbrook at that time, I can tell that something is seriously amiss here. Boys boarding schools, at least in this country (English schools are quite different), are inward looking island universes, in effect maximum security prisons for the over privileged. The faculty constantly patrols the dorms, school buildings, and athletic facilities. Nothing of significance happens that isn’t known to everyone, including the faculty, within hours if not minutes.
To be sure, there is much roughhousing, and unpopular boys can have a hard time of it. Surely even the editors of the Washington Post know that boys will be boys. But any incident in which a boy was seriously assaulted, as described in the article, would have resulted in big trouble for all concerned and, undoubtedly, life-long memories. Trust me, being hauled before the headmaster to explain yourself is as close as a 16-year-old prep-school student ever wants to come to Judgment Day. He’d remember it.
So I suspect this was a minor incident or practical joke that the Washington Post tried to turn into a major one for reasons having nothing to do with reporting the news.