To those who have spent time following new reports emanating from the Associated Press, it's not exactly a secret that many of the alleged journalists who work there are having difficulty with the idea that there will be a new Republican majority in the House during the next two years. A further annoyance is that many members of that majority, especially the newer ones, hold sensible, Constitution-based views inspired by Tea Party movement. But as supposed professionals, you would think that the folks at the wire service might try a little harder to avoid blatantly revealing their bias.
If the AP's Julie Pace was really trying to stay within the bounds of the patently obvious, she failed miserably, as the bolded words in the following paragraph from her 2:31 p.m. report (also saved here for future reference, fair use, and discussion purposes) on President Obama's decision to delay submitting a budget to Congress until mid-February indicate:
Lawmakers left Washington last week without a plan to fund the government through the end of fiscal year 2011, which ends in October. They did pass a continuing resolution to fund the government through early March, meaning the president will have to negotiate with a Congress more heavily-laden with Republicans to fund the government through the rest of 2011 and 2012.
As was the case earlier today (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) when I researched the clearly unusual use of the word "bold" by an AP reporter describing the latest authoritarian moves by Venezuela's Huge Chávez, a trip to the dictionary is required to guard against possibly overreacting. Here, from dictionary.com, are the relevant possible meanings of the adjective "laden" and the verb "lade":
laden -- "burdened; loaded down."
- "to put (something) on or in, as a burden, load, or cargo; load."
- "to load oppressively; burden"
Julie Pace, 2010: "They Are Heavy, They're a Bunch of Republicans."
There is a relatively obscure meaning of "laden," which is "to fill or cover abundantly," but Ms. Pace won't be able to sell me or other readers here that this alternative meaning is what she meant. She's telling readers that Republicans are big, oppressively loaded pain in the Beltway. Oh, the agony.
Not that anyone will be surprised, but a a Google News search on "heavily-laden with Democrats" (in quotes) returns no results. The same search of Google News's Archives returns a grand total of three results. One is a seemingly light-hearted item at the Christian Science Monitor published in 1958 ("Dodgers Drive In Democrat Runs?"). The second and third contain a quote from election commentator Larry Sabato in a single column written by Andrew F. Tully. The point is that I could find no allegedly serious journalist in the past 50-plus years -- perhaps none ever, if the CSM item is really not meant to be a serious piece -- who has directly used the phrase "heavily-laden with Democrats." Most journalists, who vote overwhelmingly Democratic, would be inclined to replace "laden" with "blessed."
A similar Google News Archive search on "heavily-laden with Republicans" also comes back with nothing relevant, which is good news and bad news. The good news is that it's never been done before. The bad news is that the AP and Pace appear to be attempting to open up a new frontier for labeling their perceived opposition.
I would suggest that if Ms. Pace and any of her other colleagues at the AP and elsewhere in the establishment press find dealing with the reality of a Republican-controlled House such a heavy load to have to carry for the next two years, they should find an alternative, less burdensome lines of work. After all, especially as it applies to the AP, according to you guys (cough, cough), the economy is "brightening." By all means, have at it.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.