The Washington Post has deeply and lovingly covered the corruption scandal around former Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell, and couldn’t contain its excitement over the trial. In Sunday’s newspaper and in Tuesday’s Post Express tabloid, they highlighted this preview in headlines: “It’s Going To Be Ugly.” They couldn't wait for the ugliness.
What neither headline explained was that they were quoting former Democratic Gov. Doug Wilder, which only underlined what a Democratic rag they are. Meanwhile, current Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s corrupt little company GreenTech lost in a libel lawsuit last week against the conservative Franklin Center for its journalism. How did the Post treat that?
Vozzella didn't get around to the objections of McAuliffe's critics until the ninth paragraph of her Tuesday, May 13 front-pager, "McAuliffe moves to lift clinic rules." What's more, she buried in the 23rd paragraph -- of a 30-paragraph story -- the fact that "McAuliffe, elected with help from abortion rights groups, [has] made no pretense of ignoring the litmus test [for his new appointees to the state Board of Health], stating flatly that his appointees reflected his views." What's more, it wasn't until paragraph 27 that Vozzella noticed that (emphasis mine):
Virginia’s new governor, Terry McAuliffe, is returning to form, hosting special fundraising coffees with major donors and policy “experts.” This may be just like the way McAuliffe held White House coffees and sold overnight Lincoln Bedroom stays to donors for Bill Clinton, but it’s a bit troublesome for The Washington Post, which quickly cancelled its own cozy idea of sponsored “expert” dinners at the home of publisher Katherine Weymouth.
So the Post buried that McAuliffe story on B-2, while the front page of Metro kept pounding the last governor, indicted Republican Robert McDonnell. The judge in his case colorfully ruled his lawyers were “dancing through fantasy land.”
To its credit, the Washington Post this morning is reporting an intramural spat roiling inside the Democratic Party in the Old Dominion. Turns out gay rights groups are livid that Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D-Va.) has nominated Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones to chair the state's Democratic Party. Jones, who happens to be African-American and is a Baptist pastor, "has not endorsed same-sex marriage," the Post's Laura Vozzella noted, even though he has a strong record on other issues of import to the gay-rights movement.
"Activists are working to thwart Jones's election at the party's central committee meeting March 15 -- setting up a highly unusual battle for a sitting governor, whose choice for party chairman is rarely challenged," Vozzella noted in the fourth paragraph of her March 7 front-page story. While the Post deserves kudos for noting the rancorous division within the Democratic ranks, it remains to be seen if MSNBC -- which revels in portraying Republicans as bearing antipathy towards African-Americans -- will dare to cover the story at all.
Democrat Mark Herring pulled out a squeaker of a win last fall, narrowly besting Republican Mark Obenshain to become Virginia's attorney general. In October, the Washington Post endorsed Herring, then a state senator, insisting that Herring "would hew to the former Virginia tradition of offering restrained and responsible advice" to the governor and state agencies and by refusing to "[turn] the office into a platform for ideological crusades."
He's not even a month into the job, and yet Mr. Herring is set to do just that, announcing yesterday his intention to file a brief in federal court attacking the state's 2006 voter-approved constitutional definition of marriage as an institution consisting of one man and one woman. Although it's a stunning, bold-faced repudiation of his constitutional duty to defend the state constitution, you'd be hard-pressed to get that by reading Post court reporter Robert Barnes's coverage in Thursday's paper (emphasis mine):
We've seen it with how the liberal media treats Joe Biden. The vice president's gaffes and erroneous statements are legendary, yet the press give ol' Uncle Joe gauzy treatment, celebrating rather than mocking him for his foibles and admiring his penchant for "retail politics." It's arguable that the Washington Post's Laura Vozzella did much the same for the Democrats' gubernatorial candidate in Virginia in her Metro section front-pager today, "When McAuliffe speaks, facts may take a back seat."*
Sure, the Post staffer noted, "McAuliffe's tendency to stretch the truth stands out even by the standards of politicians," but the Chicago-born Democratic politician owns it, by golly!
"The pressure" over the weekend from Virginia Democrats for a northern Virginia business group to reverse its gubernatorial endorsement decision and back Terry McAuliffe was "hot and heavy," in the words of Dendy Young, whose political action committee TechPAC -- the political arm of the Northern Virginia Technology Council -- voted by secret ballot on Thursday to endorse Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) in the state's governor's race. What's more, in an email State Sen. Janet Howell (D-Fairfax) threatened payback, saying the Senate Democratic caucus would "be frigid" and that "doors will be closed" as a result of the PAC's move.
A story like this is an excellent front-page-worthy scoop. It most certainly would be on the Washington Post's front-page were the tables turned and it was Republicans playing hardball with a group whose endorsement it sought but lost during a close gubernatorial election. But alas, Post editors shuffled the story to page B1, the front of the Metro section, while opting to run a story critical of the Republican candidate -- "Cuccinelli plays down immigration in Va. race" -- on page A1.
The Washington Post put conservative black minister E.W. Jackson on its front page again Wednesday, replaying its favorite “nutty” remarks. Reporter Laura Vozzella began: “Virginia Republicans have been keeping their distance from E.W. Jackson ever since the fiery minister, who has compared Planned Parenthood to the Klan and linked yoga to Satan, won the GOP nomination for lieutenant governor.”
Vozzella and the Post could care less that Jackson said back in June "I do not believe that yoga leads to Satanism. One of my ministers is a yoga instructor.” It’s all about baking religious Republicans as fruitcakes. Since the Democratic primary in June, the Post has almost completely ignored the candidate they (and Planned Parenthood) endorsed, abortion-loving Ralph Northam. A Nexis search shows there’s not a single Post article with his name in the headline in the last three months.
On Thursday, The Washington Post's Metro section put the Democrats' choice of “news” on the front page. “Democrats keep focus on abortion in Va. Race.” Post reporter Laura Vozzella relayed their outrage that GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli was caught by a Democrat tracker describing abortion as a moral evil like slavery, as did one of his big financial backers, the Susan B. Anthony List.
As I argued yesterday, the Washington Post is already at work with its spin operation to tar Virginia Republican gubernatorial contender Ken Cuccinelli as a right-wing radical in advance of the 2013 race. The spin operation continued apace, today on the front page of the paper's Metro section, where Richmond correspondent Laura Vozzella described for readers how Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling concluded that "the path to GOP nomination looked too steep" to venture.
In her 19-paragraph story November 30 story, Vozzella hailed Bolling as the "state's multi-tasker in chief" who "has been juggling the part-time job of Virginia lieutenant governor with running for governor and working as a private insurance man." But alas, Bolling, "who shares many of [Attorney General Ken] Cuccinelli's conservative views but has a more conciliatory style" was no match for the attorney general's forces, who "pulled off something of a coup" when they "[took] control of the Republican State Central Committee."
The same newspaper that succeeded in felling Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) with its constant drumbeat of the "macaca" kerfuffle and which tried but failed to scuttle Bob McDonnell's 2009 run for Virginia governor with Thesisgate is ginning up its spin operation in service of the Democrats once again, looking forward 11 months into the future with the 2013 gubernatorial election in the Old Dominion.
Witness the November 29 front-pager by Errin Haines and Laura Vozzella entitled "Choice for governor of Va. may be stark." Right off the bat, we have bias by labeling which casts the Republican as an ideologue and the Democrat as a pragmatist.
As we've noted here at NewsBusters, the Washington Post's Laura Vozzella has done her level best to attack Virginia's new strict abortion clinic regulations. Today was no exception as the Post staffer jumped on the chance to cast a Democrat-appointed health official's resignation in protest of the new regs as a move that has "provoked an outcry among the medical community." However the doctor that Vozzella quoted to represent the entire medical professional in the Old Line State is a Democratic donor whose primary place of medical practice is a Planned Parenthood clinic in Richmond.
In her October 19 front-pager "Virginia health official resigns: Abortion clinic rules cited," Vozzella noted how "Virginia's health commissioner" Karen Remley -- a 2008 appointee of then-Gov. Tim Kaine who was retained by Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) -- "abruptly stepped down Thursday over new regulations requiring abortion facilities to meet strict, hospital-style building standards that many clinics contend they cannot afford." Later in her story, Vozzella turned to one Wendy Klein, whom she simply told readers was "an internist and retired Virginia Commonwealth University medical professor who has spoken against the building rules."
July 1 is traditionally the day when many new state laws take effect, and every year on or about that date, the Washington Post makes sure to inform its readers of some new laws hitting the books in Maryland and Virginia. This year, Marylanders are seeing tax increases, with residents of Montgomery County -- a significant portion of the Post's subscriber base -- disproportionately affected.
Yet in reporting on "A slew of new laws for Md., Va.," Post staffers Laura Vozzella and John Wagner buried infomation about the Old Line State's tax hikes. The first mention came in paragraph 4 out of the article's 34 paragraphs. What's more, Vozzella and Wagner dealt with Virginia's new laws first, meaning that more in-depth explanation of Maryland's tax increases only came 24 paragraphs into the article.
When the Virginia General Assembly was debating a new voter ID law, the Washington Post did its level best to paint the measure as a vote suppressing measure that was akin to "Jim Crow" laws. The Post's editorial board also weighed in by charging that making the voter ID laws stricter was evidence of "institutional racism" in state government.
But now that the debate is over and the bill is likely to be signed by Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), the Post's Richmond correspondents Laura Vozzella and Anita Kumar today admitted that, well, the legislation is fairly lax compared with stricter legislation that absolutely requires photo IDs in other states:
In a 37-paragraph front-page article today, Washington Post correspondents Laura Vozzella and Anita Kumar detailed how, as the "invasiveness" of an ultrasound requirement in an abortion regulation bill "emerged" that "enthusiasm waned."
Vozzella and Kumar examined how pro-choice activists ginned up protests via social media and how liberal-leaning comedians on Saturday Night Live and Comedy Central mocked the legislation. Yet not once in the entire story did Kumar and Vozzella note that abortionists in the Old Dominion who are affiliated with Planned Parenthood already do ultrasounds prior to conducting abortions. Despite discussing the ongoing controversy on MSNBC yesterday, Kumar also failed to mention the fact for that network's audience.
Updated at bottom of post | Virginia Republicans proposing voter ID laws in the state's General Assembly are akin to racist Jim Crow poll workers, lynch mobs, and even Josef Stalin. Those comparisons were all made in the first seven paragraphs of Laura Vozzella's February 4 Metro section front page article, "Voter ID fight heats up in Va."*
Vozzella, who previously has complained about Virginia GOP legislators' "slew of conservative bills" front-loaded her Saturday article with the overwrought rhetoric, which she, of course, failed to dismiss as overheated rhetoric:
"Virginia Republicans push slew of conservative bills," shrieks the WashingtonPost.com headline for staff writer Laura Vozzella's January 23 article. Print edition editors opted for the decidedly more neutral-toned headline, "Virginia GOP pushes ambitious agenda," for the January 23 Metro section front-page article.
Vozzella kicked off her article by painting the GOP state legislators are rabble-rousing troublemakers disregarding the sage counsel of the state's Republican governor to tone it down: