Not a Shock: 'Independent' Washington Post Endorses Democrats in 20 of 27 Races

The Washington Post, which touts itself as "an independent newspaper," endorsed Democrats in 20 out of 27 races leading up to election day in Virginia. In the three statewide races, the paper's editorial board supported liberal Democrats Terry McAuliffe, Ralph Northam and Mark Herring for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general, respectively. In 17 of 24 state delegate races, the paper favored the Democratic candidate.

Of the extremely liberal McAuliffe, the Post praised his "comity, compromise and political coexistence." Meanwhile, Cuccinelli is "the most partisan, truculent and doctrinaire attorney general in memory" and "assaults" the moderation McAuliffe represents. The journalists at the Post haven't changed much in their appreciation for Democrats. In 2009, the same paper endorsed Democrats in 22 out of 26 races.

The rare Republicans that the Post will embrace are often chosen for their tendency to turn on the GOP. The paper praised L. Mark Dudenhefer because he "broke with many in his party — and sided with his constituents — by casting a pragmatic vote in favor of the transportation funding bill."

In touting Republican J. Randall Minchew, the Post allowed that he was socially conservative, but cheered that he  "was true to his word in supporting higher taxes to fix the state’s broken transportation system."

The newspaper enthused the reelection of Republican James M. LeMunyon, heralding him as a "respected Republican." The editorial writers lauded, "He was among the House conservatives who bucked right-wing orthodoxy and voted for the first major transportation-financing legislation to clear the state legislature in more than 25 years."

One of the few exceptions to this trend came when the Post offered its support for conservative Republican Jackson Miller. Even in this case, the paper first explained why Miller's ideology was so wrong:

District 50: Republican Jackson H. Miller, a former Prince William County police officer and Manassas city council member, has deep roots in this district. That’s why it’s hard to understand why the three-term incumbent opposed a landmark transportation finance bill that will pump critically needed dollars into major transportation projects that his own constituents badly want and need. Mr. Miller, now a real estate agent, argues that the higher taxes will put Prince William at a competitive disadvantage compared to neighboring counties like Stafford and Fauquier. That’s not credible; in fact, over time Prince William will benefit enormously as its road system is expanded and modernized to accommodate a fast-growing population. Nonetheless, Mr. Miller’s extensive knowledge of the area make him a better choice than Democrat Richard Cabellos, who only moved to the county three years ago. Mr. Cabellos, who runs a community center in Fairfax County, is well meaning. But his status as a newcomer to the district means he is unlikely to represent it effectively.

Obviously, the journalists at the Washington Post can endorse anyone they want. Boosting certain candidates belongs in the editorial pages – not the supposedly straight news section. However, it's simply not credible for the paper to continually tout itself as an "independent voice." The voice of the Post is liberal and Democratic.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org