FNC Notes AP Hails Edwards: ‘Scrappy Underdog...Steered Rivals to Progressive Ideals'

NewsBusters.org - Media Research CenterFNC's Brit Hume, in his Wednesday “Grapevine” segment, highlighted the contrast in a glowing a AP review of John Edwards' unsuccessful campaign sympathetic toward his hard-left approach to the race, versus a much less laudatory look by the wire service at Republican Rudy Giuliani's aborted presidential quest. (Ken Shepherd's earlier NB post contrasting of the two AP stories.) Hume noted how the AP reported Edwards was “ending a scrappy underdog bid in which he steered his rivals toward progressive ideals while grappling with family hardship that roused voters' sympathies,” and trumpeted how “Edwards waged a spirited top-tier campaign against the two better-funded rivals, even as he dealt with the stunning blow of his wife's recurring cancer diagnosis.” But with Giuliani, the AP simply relayed: “Once the Republican presidential front-runner, Giuliani suffered a debilitating defeat in Tuesday's Florida primary.”

Hume's lead “Grapevine” item on the January 30 Special Report with Brit Hume:
NewsBusters.org - Media Research CenterThis is what the Associated Press wrote today about John Edwards' decision to drop out of the presidential race. The AP said Edwards was quote, “ending a scrappy underdog bid in which he steered his rivals toward progressive ideals while grappling with family hardship that roused voters' sympathies," adding quote: "Edwards waged a spirited top-tier campaign against the two better-funded rivals, even as he dealt with the stunning blow of his wife's recurring cancer diagnosis."

And here's what the AP said about Rudy Giuliani, quote: "Once the Republican presidential front-runner, Giuliani suffered a debilitating defeat in Tuesday's Florida primary....Tuesday's result,” it added, “was a remarkable collapse for Giuliani...Florida proved to be less than hospitable."
The MRC's Rich Noyes noticed that the AP's dispatch on Edwards which Hume quoted came just an hour after news broke Wednesday morning that Edwards was ending his third-place presidential campaign. The lead sentence of the AP political reporter Nedra Pickler’s gooey 10:06am EST dispatch: “Democrat John Edwards is exiting the presidential race Wednesday, ending a scrappy underdog bid in which he steered his rivals toward progressive ideals while grappling with family hardship that roused voters' sympathies, The Associated Press has learned....”

Pickler suggested Edwards’ far-left platform had become mainstream and accepted, crediting Edwards with promoting “themes” that were “eventually adopted by the other Democratic presidential candidates -- and even a Republican, Mitt Romney.” But Pickler only named one “theme” that Romney has actually used himself, the tiresome election-year cliche of wanting an “end to special interest politics in Washington.”

By contrast, James Taranto pointed out Wednesday in his “Best of the Web Today” for the online page of the Wall Street Journal's editorial page, the AP's Devlin Barrett covered the Giuliani withdrawal in a “straight” manner:
Rudy Giuliani, who bet his presidential hopes on Florida only to come in third, prepared to quit the race Tuesday and endorse his friendliest rival, John McCain.

The former New York mayor stopped short of announcing he was stepping down, but delivered a valedictory speech that was more farewell than fight-on.

Giuliani finished a distant third to winner John McCain and close second-place finisher Mitt Romney. Republican officials said Giuliani would endorse McCain on Wednesday in California. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in advance of the public announcement...
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center