NPR Touts Virginia 'Shifting in the Democrats' Direction'; Slants Towards Obama Supporters

On Friday's Morning Edition, NPR's Scott Horsley favored Obama supporters in his report on the battle for Virginia's electoral votes, playing three soundbites from them, versus only one from a Republican official in the commonwealth. Horsley also played up how "the demographics are shifting in the Democrats' direction."

The correspondent led the segment by noting the Democratic incumbent's planned stop at a high School in Virginia Beach. He wasted little time before playing clips of a recent graduate and his mother, who are both supporters of the President:

Scott Horsley, NPR Correspondent | NewsBusters.orgHORSLEY: The President's first scheduled stop today is at Green Run High School in Virginia Beach. Caine Basey is a recent graduate of the school. He couldn't get a ticket for today's event, but says he will cast his first presidential vote for Mr. Obama.

CAINE BASEY: I think he's the best choice - not just 'cause he's black either, but, you know, ObamaCare and all that. I like what he's for.

HORSLEY: Basey's eating at the Amazing African Restaurant across the street from the school. It specializes in dishes from Nigeria and neighboring countries. Basey's mother, Rhoda, is also an Obama backer, and a career sailor in the Navy.

RHODA BASEY: Not only do I serve him as the commander-in-chief, but I serve him as my president, and I believe he deserves the opportunity to make a change, make some differences, and do some good in office.

Horsley then emphasized Obama's apparent support in the Virginia Beach region by playing a third soundbite from a local barbershop owner, who claimed that many of his customers will end up voting for the chief executive.

After turning to University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato, the NPR correspondent made his claim about the Democratic advantage in the demographic change in Virginia, while acknowledging that Obama had a "weakness with blue-collar whites." He followed this, however, with a third supporter of the President, who was working at a Democratic phone bank in Norfolk.

The sole clip from a Republican didn't come until near the end of the report:


HORSLEY: Of course, Virginia Republicans are not sitting still. Pete Snyder, who chairs the state Republican Party's victory effort, admits his side was caught napping four years ago. He vows that won't happen again.

PETE SNYDER, REPUBLICAN PARTY OF VIRGINIA: There is a huge swath of the electorate that bought one thing in 2008 and decided they didn't like what they got. So, we're doing the calls here to mine into that, to make sure that we get them in our rolls and out come November.

More than two weeks earlier, on the June 26, 2012 edition of Morning Edition, Horsley singled out a supporter of the President who all but deified him: "See what his voice does? It clears up the weather, too. It clears up the economy, creates jobs, helps education, and straightens out the weather."

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center