Even as Liberal Hopes Fade, WaPo Reporter Still Mocking GOP Candidate's 'Fetus' Handouts

In the last week of the state campaign in Virginia, Democrats are still desperately trying to scare voters into thinking Republicans are extreme -- and so is The Washington Post. On Wednesday, reporter Anita Kumar wrote a stale old rerun of the attack on Republican state Senate candidate Richard Black because he sent pink "fetus" models before an abortion vote -- the same tactic she tried in September. The story began like a negative TV ad.

"Dick Black once questioned whether a husband commits rape if he forces his wife to have sex," she began. "The former member of the House of Delegates introduced a bill to ban gays from adopting children. He voted to limit access to birth control. But the Republican who opposes abortion rights is probably best known on Capitol Square for sending plastic pink models of fetuses to lawmakers as they prepared to vote on an abortion bill."

In September, Kumar began her GOP "nut jobs" story by listing the Democratic attack on a set of allegedly extreme Republicans, including this:

Dick Black, running in Loudoun and Prince William counties, was criticized by leaders of his own party in 2003, when as a delegate he sent fellow lawmakers pink plastic models of fetuses as they prepared to vote on an abortion bill.

Democrats, behind in recruiting and fundraising, think the conservative crop of Republican candidates selected last month to run in November gives them the edge they need to hold on to their thin majority in the Senate.

“A lot of them are nut jobs,’’ Senate Majority Leader Richard L. Saslaw (D-Fairfax) said. “They’ve nominated a group that makes the governor of Texas look sane.”

Somehow, liberals that work at The Washington Post haven't pondered that maybe some voters would find it extreme that a small helpless unborn baby a couple of inches long is a life-destroying monster -- that a woman would be "punished with a baby," as Barack Obama put it.

Dick Black's "fetus" dolls came up again in a Thursday column by former Post Metro section editor Robert McCartney -- even as he concluded that this attack is not working, and that Republicans will take over the state Senate:

In a newly created Senate district in western Loudoun and Prince William counties, even Democrats concede that outspoken conservative Dick Black will probably prevail.

A former delegate, Black is best known for sending plastic models of fetuses to legislators before an abortion vote. Of his career highlights, however, my personal favorite was his “nightie” explanation of why a husband couldn’t be convicted of raping his wife.

“I do not know how on earth you can validly get a conviction of a husband-wife rape where they are living together, sleeping in the same bed, she’s in a nightie, and so forth,” he said in a General Assembly debate on a spousal rape bill.

That certainly sounds clumsy, but the Post wants voters to think Black somehow thinks there is no such thing as spousal rape -- not that convictions would be difficult. In fact, the clip shown by Black's Democratic opponent Shawn Mitchell on YouTube demonstrates that McCartney sliced out the context. Right after the "so forth," Black also says conviction would be difficult "where there's no injury, no separation, or anything." How would a prosecutor prove rape if the wife had no injury and didn't separate from the husband after the assault? It might be time to get out Post "fact checker" Glenn Kessler to throw a red flag at McCartney.

But the Post itself has acknowledged -- for example, in a John Bobbitt story in 1993 -- that "According to legal scholars, winning a conviction on such a charge is often difficult because some juries won't accept that sexual consent could be absent within marriage."

Notice that Kumar didn't find it necessary to include even McCartney's half of  the "nightie" quote before claiming Black "questioned whether a husband commits rape if he forces his wife to have sex." (Online, she linked to the Democrats' video.) A Nexis search of the Post for the term "spousal rape" does not locate any story on a state legislative debate on a spousal-rape bill. They're just lifting from Democratic ads.

Then the Post columnist's sadness kicked in:

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. As recently as mid-September, top Republican politicians in Richmond said they’d be lucky to gain the net two seats needed to wrest control of the Senate from the Democrats.

At the time, the Democrats seemed to enjoy key advantages. They had the upper hand in drawing lines for new Senate districts, and they did so to protect incumbents. (The GOP did the same for districts for the House of Delegates, which it controls.)

Democrats also were optimistic because they thought they’d be able to beat some of the hard-line conservative Republicans who won primaries with tea party support.

Today, the GOP is confident of picking up enough seats to win control of the Senate, and it hopes to end up with at least a 23 to 17 majority. Democrats sound increasingly despondent and acknowledge that they’ll have to sweep all the close races to retain their sway.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis