I actually think Santorum was right in calling out Zeleny: his statements about Romney being “worst Republican” seem to have always been in the context of positioning him as the least-desirable candidate to go up against Obama on healthcare, because of Romney’s MA healthcare initiative. The selective quoting is something we decry all the time when Fox News pulls quotes from our candidates out of context, so it’s fair play (and the right thing to do) to call out the NYT for doing it.
Don’t get me wrong, he’s still a bigoted ultra-right-wing fundie who shouldn’t even be running for President of his local homeowner’s association, so it’s not like I’m changing my mind on his candidacy.
I may be wrong about the contextual statement, and if anyone can show me video or audio of Santorum calling Romney the worst Republican outside of specific comparative contexts of “worst”, then I’ll reassess. But calling Zeleny out was correct.
The manner in which he did it, by shouting “bullshit!” over a dozen open mics? Well, there’s a lot to quibble about there, but his anger and profanity in a forum like that is a sign of something deeper that each side will spin their own way: his supporters as an example of his passion and frustration with the media, his detractors as a stain on his “family values conservative” image, and an example of how he doesn’t have the temperament and level-headedness to lead the country.
It doesn’t change my opinion much, since I find so many of his opinions and positions to be execrable, no matter which words he chooses to describe them. And I’ve used the same word to describe his overall campaign, so I can’t really complain much.