How does a Democrat candidate for the highest office in the state become a nonperson at the "non-partisan" Texas Tribune? When that person's campaign goes into such a freefall that it becomes an embarrassment to even report on it.
Such seems to be the case with the Wendy Davis campaign for governor in Texas. The last time the Texas Tribune directly reported about her was a full week ago on August 15 which not so coincidentally is when the Rick Perry indictment happened. The backlash from that obviously political indictment which is already falling apart as reported by Bryan Preston of PJ Media has become so great that Wendy Davis now acts like a deer caught in the campaign headlights as she appears unable to respond according to this Dallas Morning News Trail Blazers blog:
After deluging Americans with two days of heavy coverage of Rick Perry's indictment, the network morning shows on Tuesday eased up. Only CBS This Morning offered a story on the Republican's vigorous defense. Reporter Jan Crawford noted that growing outrage against the indictment includes liberals: "Among those Democrats is President Obama's former adviser David Axelrod, who suggested the indictment was 'pretty sketchy' in a tweet over the weekend." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Crawford also made time for two clips of conservative Ben Ginsberg, a lawyer representing Perry. He railed, "This is an outlandish prosecution. I mean, it will never, ever, ever, stand." Ginsberg added, "It is unprecedented, it is outside the bounds. I think that's why you see so many people who are not Rick Perry supporters, who are Democrats, saying how wrong this indictment is." Of course, Crawford still found time to throw cold water on the governor's 2016 plans.
Appearing on Fox Business Network's Cavuto program last night to discuss the liberal media's penchant for hyping Republican scandals while downplaying or outright ignoring Democratic ones, Media Research Center president and founder Brent Bozell offered free advice for Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), against whom the Big Three networks devoted 37 minutes of hype regarding an indictment which dropped on Friday. [By contrast, Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's ethics scandal has been mostly unreported with a scant 3 minutes, 36 seconds of coverage in 8 months time]
"If I were advising Gov. Perry, I would tell him simply run the video of the woman who you're trying to get fired, the DA who was drunk off her rear end with a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit," Bozell noted, telling guest host Cheryl Casone, "I do believe if Rick Perry goes hard-charging, goes against the media that have been doing this and just simply tells the truth and tells the story, he's going to have a big wave of public sympathy." To watch the full segment, click the play button on the embed below the page break.
On Monday’s Morning Joe on MSNBC, MSNBC contributor and managing editor of Bloomberg Politics Mark Halperin slammed the indictment of Texas Governor Rick Perry (R) by an Austin, Texas-area grand jury for threatening to veto funding for a Democratic District Attorney’s public integrity unit after she was convicted of a DUI as “the stupidest thing I’ve seen, I think, in my entire career.”
Expanding further on his opinion, Halperin added that: “I hope some judge throws it out right away. It's not just kind of funny and ridiculous, but it’s an infringement on individual liberty. He’s got a First Amendment right just cause he’s governor of Texas and I think it’s – like you said, it's easy to joke about this, but this is a serious thing. It is ridiculous that he was indicted for this. Ridiculous.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
All three network morning shows on Monday continued to hype the Friday indictment of Texas Governor Rick Perry but none of the broadcasts mentioned prominent liberals like Obama adviser David Axelrod or Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz coming to Perry's defense and dismissing the charges as politically motivated.
On NBC's Today, correspondent Peter Alexander proclaimed Perry to be "the first Texas governor to be indicted in nearly a century." The reporter then attempted to paint the entire field of possible 2016 Republican presidential candidates as plagued by scandal: "It's another possible 2016 contender with a blemish on his resume. You've got Perry's indictment, Chris Christie's bridgegate, and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker under new scrutiny for allegations of campaign finance violations." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Craig McDonald, the director of Texans for Public Justice, was on CNN today. He tried to "respond" to something Lone Star State Governor Rick Perry's didn't say yesterday in his reaction to his indictment, and followed that up with a comical gaffe.
McDonald opened as follows: "The Governor again in his defense yesterday said this is merely a partisan political witch hunt." The trouble is that, as seen at the Texas Tribune, Perry didn't use the term "witch hunt" in his official statement or during the brief follow-up question and answer period (the Q&A is in the video, but not the text of the paper's coverage). So McDonald, who was clearly claiming to quote a term Perry used, was already misleading CNN viewers. He followed that dishonesty with a comical gaffe, as seen in the video clip after the jump (HT Twitchy):
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a possible Republican presidential candidate in 2016, was indicted by a county grand jury for abuse of power, after threatening to cut off state funding to a public corruption unit unless the district attorney in charge of it resigned. Perry had pushed for the removal of DA Rosemary Lehmberg after her arrest for drunk driving.
Texas Governor Rick Perry, who, in the oddest of coincidences (that's sarcasm), just so happens to be considered one of the Republican Party's stronger potential contenders for the 2016 presidential nomination, was indicted in Austin today by a Travis County grand jury. The charges are "abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant" in connection with a veto "threat" he carried out — thus making "promise" a better word to describe his original stated intentions.
"Threatening" a veto and then carrying through on that "threat" is obviously a pretty routine occurrence in governmental jurisdictions through the country, from the President on down. As to initial press coverage, Paul J. Weber and Will Weissert at the Associated Press predictably misstated the results of another politically motivated prosecution of a major GOP elected official, namely former Congressman Tom "The Hammer" Delay, and focused on how expensive it might be to defend Perry by quoting an hourly legal representation rate which may or may not be accurate. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):
The journalists at the CBS Evening News on Wednesday investigated whether Rick Perry is "using" the immigration crisis to increase his profile for a 2016 White House bid. Talking to the mayor of Rio Grande City, Manuel Bojorquez said of the move to send Texas National Guard to the border: "A lot of people have criticized his decision by saying that it's pure politics, that he's looking to make a point on the national stage because he wants to run for president."
In a tease for the segment, anchor Scott Pelley insisted that Perry is "upping the political ante." The journalist wondered, "Is he using the crisis to raise campaign money?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
All three morning shows on Tuesday worried about Governor Rick Perry's "controversial," expensive move to send the National Guard to the Texas border. But it was ABC's Good Morning America on Tuesday that offered the most annoyed commentary. GMA correspondent Jim Avila began his report by lecturing, "But the border patrol says [National Guard troops are] not needed because federal law prohibits the military from enforcing civilian laws."
Avila also highlighted that Operation Strong Safety comes "with a hefty price tag of $12 million per month." The journalist continued his critique, deriding, "The head of the border patrol telling ABC News he has other needs. It's not about detaining the child immigrants. They're giving themselves up." An irritated Avila added, "It's about where to put them and neither Governor Perry or the Guard has offered any help with that." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Texas ranchers must deal with gang members, drug dealers and violent criminals in their daily battle with illegal immigrants. Yet, journalists for the networks are largely uninterested in their plight. The Daily Signal on Friday talked to these men and women and found out just what goes on in south Texas.
Talking to reporter Josh Siegel, Linda Vickers, the owner of a ranch in Encino, Texas, explained, "We have [illegal] traffic almost every day...From women in distress to gang members." Pointing, she added, "In fact, one MS-13 was right up in that tree." Benny Martinez, the chief deputy sheriff in Brooks County, Texas, described the impact of illegal immigration: "You get your extortion cases that occur here in town. You get your human smuggling cases. You get your assault cases."
Texas State Senator and MSNBC heroine Wendy Davis is not doing that hot in the fundraising race as she pursues her shot for governor of the Lone Star state, the Daily Beast reported today.
"As if things weren’t going badly enough for Wendy Davis, the Texas gubernatorial candidate got caught inflating her campaign’s finances this week by counting a Willie Nelson concert as a contribution," reporter Ben Jacobs noted in the lead paragraph of his July 17 story, "Wendy Davis's Fundraising Fiasco." You can read the full story here, but here's an excerpt to give you a taste (emphasis mine):
The folks at msnbc.com are absolutely confounded that a new Texas voter ID law does NOT permit the usage of out-of-state driver's licenses to establish one's identity for voting.
"Even an out-of-state driver's license is not an acceptable form of ID under the law," whines a caption for an item on the network's Facebook page, promoting an article by Zachary Roth about a federal lawsuit challenging the Lone Star State's law. I found this on my Facebook page earlier this afternoon. As you can see in the screen capture below the page break, the network actually paid money to promote this particular post as sponsored content.
On Monday's NBC Today, fill-in co-host Willie Geist posed an ominous question to viewers: "How would you feel if you saw someone walk into a store or restaurant with a rifle strapped to his or her back?" Teasing an upcoming story on the topic, he proclaimed: "It's perfectly legal in one state, sparking quite a controversy this morning, we'll explain." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed minutes later, correspondent Kerry Sanders announced: "...in Texas, it is legal to carry a long-barreled rifle, a shotgun, as long as you're carrying it openly....But when a group of gun enthusiasts and activists began carrying their long guns into places like restaurants and stores, it started a debate that's raging like a Texas prairie fire." The headline on screen declared: "Texas Gun Fight; 'Open Carry' Movement Sparks Controversy."
The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday about a big setback for the Wendy Davis campaign for Texas governor. The Democratic Governors Association (DGA) did not include her campaign as a top target which means it won't be prioritized for heavy spending. The reaction from the Davis campaign could best be described as an angry hissy fit which bitterly attacked the DGA.
Pretty big political news from Texas to the extent it was covered by the Wall Street Journal. Therefore you would expect the Texas Tribune which is supposed to cover the nuts and bolts details of Texas politics to report this story. Well, as of this writing there is NADA about this at the Texas Tribune. To get an idea of how completely absurd it is for the "nonpartisan" Texas Tribune to avoid this story, first let us take a look at the the WSJ report titled "Wendy Davis’s Race in Texas Isn’t a Top Target for DGA" about that organization keeping her campaign out of the big leagues in terms of support:
Yesterday the Toyota Motor Corporation announced it would move its U.S. headquarters from Torrance, California, to Plano, Texas. Closing his report on the development, Tim Reid of Reuters noted the reaction of a Torrance business owner who doubtless counts many Toyota employees as loyal customers. "The taxes are lower in Texas. There are fewer regulations. It's cheaper for a company there. Why wouldn't they leave California?" shrugged Frank Portillo, the owner of a nearby Mexican restaurant.
While Toyota's forthcoming move is a huge economic and PR development for prospective 2016 presidential candidate Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas) and a major embarrassment for liberal Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown (D-Calif.), a search of Nexis and our DVR recording system shows the Big Three networks -- ABC, CBS, and NBC -- ignored the story on both their April 28 evening newscasts and their April 29 morning news programs.
You might think an abortion-rights absolutist, a "champion of choice," like MSNBC.com contributor Irin Carmon would be revulsed at the notion of women potentially procuring prescription-strength abortion pills at a flea market. You'd be wrong.
While the CBS Evening News on Thursday and Good Morning America on Friday allowed mere seconds to explain a court ruling upholding "tough" "new abortion restrictions" in Texas, only Fox News fully detailed what the decision and law actually do. [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Evening News guest anchor Sharyn Alfonsi briefly informed, "A federal appeals court today upheld Texas' new abortion restrictions, among the toughest in the nation. Many abortion clinics have closed since the law was passed."
On Friday's GMA, Amy Robach did a little better, noting, "The law requires abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and then restricts the availability of abortion-inducing drugs." But GMA offered a mere 18 seconds and CBS a scant 15 seconds. In contrast, Fox and Friends covered the story three times. Plus, Fox and Friends First co-host Heather Childers described it as "a win for pro-lifers in Texas."
MSNBC's rooting interest in the Texas gubernatorial race and the Lean Forward network's loathing of voter ID laws came together Monday in a hit piece on Republican gubernatorial nominee Greg Abbott.
MSNBC.com scribe Zachary Roth sharpened his pen to attack the Texas attorney general's "bogus voter fraud crusade." Essentially Roth whined that because there were only a handful of cases of potential voter fraud which Abbott's office was able to document for the network that the state's tightening of ID requirements at the polling stations were an empty gesture at best, and, you guessed it, racially-motivated at worst (emphasis mine)
"Wendy Davis Will Turn Texas Purple" insists the teaser headline on the Daily Beast front page today. No, this is NOT satire, but the honest-to-goodness belief of community organizer turned Daily Beast contributor Sally Kohn.
The headline for the story itself -- "Wendy Davis Is One Step Closer To Turning Texas Purple" -- dials down the hype a tiny bit, but the argument of her piece is pretty clear, even as Kohn desperately latches on to one poll for her ray of hope for the Lone Star State (emphasis mine):
One of the more depressing truths of contemporary society is contained in “O’Sullivan’s First Law,” from British conservative journalist John O’Sullivan: “All organizations that are not actually right-wing will over time become left-wing.” For proof, look no further than South by Southwest (“SXSW”).
SXSW started as a meetup for tech experts, but attendance has grown 300 percent since since 2009 (as many as 150,000 people are expected to come to Austin, TX, this year starting March 7), and it has turned into a pop culture party, featuring more celebrity special guests each year. This year, the guest list includes Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Myers, Mindy Kaling, Rosario Dawson, Jason Bateman, Jon Favreau, Nicolas Cage, Andy Samberg, CeeLo Green, Wiz Khalifa, 50 Cent and Bill Nye.
Wendy Davis would love to be the next governor of the state of Texas. She'd also probably love to retain the unquestioned doe-eyed adoration of MSNBC. Those aspirations might be at cross-purposes, however, especially as Davis is tacking to the right on gun rights and abortion in order to pass herself off as a centrist Democrat.
A reporter for The Daily Texan, the student newspaper for the University of Texas, got it right when calling abortion supporters what they are – “pro-abortion” – five times in an article about a counter-demonstration held during the annual pro-life Texas Rally for Life on January 24.
The term even made the article’s headline. [see below page break for image]
Wendy Davis, the Texas state senator running for governor, became a liberal superhero last June when she filibustered a bill to prohibit abortions after 20 weeks. (This was the good filibuster, not that awful filibuster three months later by Ted Cruz -- that was just grandstanding.)
Apart from her enthusiasm for abortion (and you have to admit, abortion is really cool), the centerpiece of Davis' campaign is her life story. Also the fact that she's a progressive woman who doesn't look like Betty Friedan.
On her Tuesday MSNBC show, host Andrea Mitchell tried to downplay the controversy swirling over the misleading biography put forward by Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis: "[She's] being forced to answer media reports down there that she had slightly altered her resume or focused on the single mom aspects of it and didn't really give the timeline correctly." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Mitchell continued by actually warning Republicans to tread lightly on the issue: "You never want to be on the defensive about giving your biography when you're running for office, but this is a careful balancing act also, given her appeal to many women and the fact that she's potentially running against a man."
On Tuesday's PoliticsNation on MSNBC, host Al Sharpton pretended that the misleading details liberal hero Wendy Davis has used to exaggerate her biography are merely "minor details" and actually suggested that it is the "right wing" who should be embarrassed by repeating the revelations as he ended his regular "Nice Try" segment by proclaiming:
When a politician -- male or female, liberal or conservative -- writes a memoir*, anything therein is fair game for the news media and his or her opponents, particularly when claims made therein are false or misleading. But to the gang at MSNBC, Republican criticism of the network's anointed golden girl Wendy Davis is beyond the pale.
In a glowing profile of Texas state senator and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis that amounted to a campaign commercial on Wednesday's NBC Today, correspondent Maria Shriver proclaimed: "Wendy Davis became a familiar name last year when she stood in her pink tennis shoes for eleven hours to defeat a Texas abortion bill. Even though the bill eventually passed, Davis became a star. And her story, her personal story, resonated across this country." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Following footage of cheering Davis supports, Shriver lobbed this ridiculous softball to the Texas abortion heroine: "Everybody says Wendy Davis is an overnight sensation. Does it irritate you that people call you an overnight sensation?" Davis replied: "I'm not an overnight sensation. I'm a Texan. And I'm a Texas success story. I am the epitome of hard work and optimism."
Appearing as a panel member on the Monday, December 30, PoliticsNation on MSNBC to help assign the annual "Revvy" awards for the year 2013, MSNBC contributor Jimmy Williams ranted that Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz is "the biggest fraud to have ever walked in the United States Senate," and went on to bizarrely claim that Cruz "wasn't supposed to be elected," even though the Texas Republican not only won the Republican runoff with over 56 percent of the vote, but even the general election by about the same percentage, beating the Democrat by 16 points.
After Sharpton asked for his choice of "biggest loser of the year," Williams began:
It’s only natural that both liberal state Sen. Wendy Davis and conservative U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz would be nominees for “Texan of the Year” at the Dallas Morning News. (In the end, they chose the rescuers at the West, Texas fertilizer-plant explosion, which killed 12 first responders.) But the two editorials on Davis (on December 26) and Cruz (on December 27) show how liberal editorialists can struggle with being honest with the facts.
Both went to Harvard Law School – Davis graduating in 1993, Cruz in 1995. Both gained prominence this year with failed legislative maneuvers. Both draw great excitement from their party’s base voters. Let’s see how the Dallas pundits played with the facts: