Cincy Media Mostly Nix Ohio Gov. Strickland's Reference to GOP as 'Overrun by Extremist Elements' at Labor Picnic

StricklandAtConey090610It's interesting, and more than a little frustrating, to see how inflammatory words in speeches delivered by liberal and leftist politicians that might cast them in a bad light don't seem to make much news.

One such example occurred in a speech yesterday at Cincinnati's Coney Island, on the occasion of the AFL-CIO's huge annual picnic there. At that event, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland lashed out at the party of gubernatorial opponent John Kasich as, according to one local reporter, "overrun by extremist elements."

I don't know that this is exactly what Strickland said, but it seems highly unlikely that veteran WLWT reporter John London would have strung those words together on his own. 

Strickland's characterization of his opposition as relayed by London, which you will find at this Bing video and also at WLWT's own web site, "somehow" didn't make it into the the station's accompanying text report on the event, which, contrary to what I believe is the norm at the station, doesn't in any way follow the script of the London's coverage. The "overrun by extremist elements" reference also was not noted at either of the city's two other news-following TV stations which covered the event (here and here), nor in Howard Wilkinson's coverage at Gannett's Cincinnati Enquirer. Imagine that.

Here is the first 70% or so of the verbiage in the WLWT broadcast:

Strickland (during speech): What we are fighting for is the middle class of Ohio and America!

Jack Atherton (in-studio co-host): Governor Ted Strickland of Ohio. Labor Day usually means you get a day off from work. But too many Tri-Staters are out of work altogether, and the governor was reminded today campaigning at Coney Island.

Sheree Paolello (the other co-host): Now with the poor economy and President Obama calling for another $50 billion program to improve roads and runways, people had a lot to say today, and News 5's is John London is live with reaction to the Governor's visit today. John?

John London: Well, Sheree, he gave them matches for the bonfire. He blamed Wall Street greed for the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs in Ohio, declared the Republican Party has been overrun by extremist elements, shouted "Hell no, we won't give the state over to them!" This was Governor Ted Strickland, gloves off, some three weeks before the start of early voting.

(begin newsreel with John London voiceover) Ohio's Governor arrived with a four-letter word on his lips: Jobs.

Candidates of every political stripe can't say it or promise it enough.

Strickland (during speech): What we are fighting for is the middle class of Ohio --

London: But can any of them deliver it?

Erin Kramer, Director, SEIU Local 1: Our members do well when cities do well. And cities do well when people are working.

London: As if to hammer home the point, many of these union workers and their families are suffering: laid-off, worried, discouraged. Here's what Governor Strickland told us after blasting what he termed "Wall Street greed."

Strickland: This recovery is starting to take hold, but this is not a guarantee that, that we will not have a double-dip recession.

London: The mood lightens out here if you let it. Pete Wagner's orchestra sprinkled a little Dixieland into what is a combination event: one part picnic, two parts politics.

Doug Sizemore, AFL-CIO labor leader: The economy that we're in right now is due to the failed policies of the Bush administration.

London: The Democrat candidates mine this turf each Labor Day -- Thousands of union families within campaign reach, perhaps a little fewer this time as mid-term elections approach. As one worker put it: "There have been so many layoffs."

Strickland: Quite frankly, Ohio is starting to see signs of growth.

London: And what the Governor means by that is that tax revenue in the state is exceeding projections, not by much, but by a little bit. He continues to acknowledge that unemployment remains a huge problem. ...

Anyone who knows anything about the hidebound Ohio Republican Party would double over in laughter at any description of them as "extremists." The ORP was so hostile to and felt so threatened by Tea Party insurgent candidates for statewide office and its Central Committee -- candidates who would only be considered unwanted "extremists" by people who also believe this country's Founders were -- that it spent large sums of money on misleading Tea Party-pretentious campaign literature and on Election Day poll watchers who handed out slate cards to defeat them in the May primary.

Much of the rest of London's report unfortunately segues to what I would describe as a "long hot summer" riff, even though summer is over, the message being that crime won't come down until employment goes up.

Going back to Strickland -- It must be nice to be able to fire up the base mostly without having to worry about whether your inflammatory language will escape the confines of the venue where your speech is taking place. It's highly unlikely that a Republican or conservative at an open event covered by the press would be that lucky.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.