WashPost Relishes Cuccinelli Attacks on Front Page of Metro; Rebuttal in Paragraph 22?

The Washington Post kept up its crusade to attack Virginia GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli in Thursday’s paper. In a story covering a debate between the two candidates vying to succeed Cuccinelli as attorney general, reporters Frederick Kunkle and Michael Laris put only one candidate’s quote on the front page: the Democrat attacking Cuccinelli as an extremist and abuser of power.

The Post offered Mark Herring’s outburst, and then waited until inside the paper for his quote to fall apart:

“Time and again he has bent and twisted the law, and misused and abused the power of the office in order to advance personal ambition and an extreme ideological agenda,” Herring said of Cuccinelli. “Senator [Mark] Obenshain would be a continuation of what we’ve got. He himself has said he and Ken Cuccinelli are peas in a pod, philosophically.”

That’s the fourth paragraph of the dispatch. Nine paragraphs later, after recounting a debate between the state’s candidates for lieutenant governor, Obenshain endorses a lawsuit of Cuccinelli’s – and then so does Herring!

Obenshain endorsed Cuccinelli for teaming up with Fairfax County’s Board of Supervisors to fend off EPA regulations on stormwater runoff that would have cost Fairfax at least $150 million — a fight that Herring said he supported, too.

The Post also acknowledged other areas where they would continue of the path of “power abuser” Cuccinelli: “The candidates shared similar views on ensuring that the attorney general’s office would continue efforts to crack down on human trafficking.” They also acknowledged – in paragraph 22 – that Obenshain was not “peas in a pod” on every Cuccinelli issue:

Obenshain also said he disagreed with Cuccinelli’s position that the attorney general will not defend the law passed by the General Assembly allowing the state to take over failing schools; Cuccinelli says the law violates the state Constitution. But Obenshain said he would support it against a legal challenge and accused Herring of waffling on whether he would do the same.


As usual, the Posties let the liberals attack the conservatives as anti-abortion extremists, while making absolutely no effort to describe Herring’s equally “rigid” and “extreme” abortion-on-demand position. Since the Republicans aren’t making that attack on the liberals (staying in a defensive crouch), the Post feels no need to explain where the Democrats stand:

Herring went on the attack from his opening statement. He blasted the entire GOP ticket — Cuccinelli, Obenshain and lieutenant governor nominee E.W. Jackson — as extreme.

“In a Cuccinelli-Jackson-Obenshain Virginia, politicians in Richmond will dictate what women can or can’t do with their own bodies,” Herring said. He also tied Obenshain to the tea party, which Herring blamed for the Capitol Hill showdown over the Affordable Care Act that has caused the federal government to shut down. He also linked Obenshain to Cuccinelli as a co-sponsor on “personhood” legislation, which says life begins at conception, and other anti-abortion measures.

But Obenshain accused Herring of focusing on social issues while Obenshain was interested in public safety and ensuring that Virginia maintains its business-friendly climate.

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