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):
The Washington Post is quite explicit: It’s a publicity organ for the gay lobby. They put the fight for gay marriage in Virginia on the front page Monday – and on the front page of the Style section. In about 3,000 words of reporting, there’s not a single social conservative named and quoted in it. There's no debate, only the inevitable and "historic" winners.
The Style article was just the latest in a long trail of plaintiff puff pieces headlined “A Virginia family has three loving warriors in the fight for gay marriage.” Style writer Richard Leiby oozed that 16-year-old Emily Schall-Townley bounced into the room in “a spontaneous scene in an aggressively normal Richmond suburb,” as if there’s anything spontaneous about an interview with plaintiffs vetted and selected by gay activists, as Leiby himself explained:
Last November, liberal Democrat Mark Herring barely eked out a win over conservative Mark Obenshain (R) in the Virginia Attorney General race. Herring had been enthusiastically endorsed by the Washington Post, which promised that, unlike outgoing AG Ken Cuccinelli, Mr. Herring would refuse to "[turn] the office into a platform for ideological crusades." But of course, shortly after being sworn in, Herring made himself a darling of the Left for his refusal to defend the Old Dominion's voter-approved constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. At the time, the Washington Post editorial board praised that maneuver, saying "extraordinary circumstances" justified Herring refusing to, you know, do his job and actually defend the state government in court.
Well, the Post is at it again today with an editorial cheering on Mr. Herring's decision that illegal immigrants may attend Virginia public colleges and universities paying the discounted in-state tuition rate. Having informed readers of the development on the April 30 paper's front page -- although that article contained no cost estimate for move -- the Post editorial board gushed about how it offered "A brighter future for 'Dreamers.'" "The Va. attorney general discards an irrational policy," harumphed the print edition subheadline. Here's the full editorial (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.
Washington Post Metro reporter Aaron Davis has an excellent story in today's paper about ethically-deficient D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray (D) attending a reelection campaign fundraiser at the home of an "incarcerated real estate mogul" who is guilty of having "prey[ed] on homeowners facing foreclosure." Said home, by the way, is $36,000 in arrears on D.C. property taxes. Last year some of Davis's colleagues reported on how the Gray administration had moved to evict elderly residents from their houses for paltry sums of backpaid taxes, many times in cases where they had not been properly notified that they owed the District any money.
Unfortunately for Davis, and more importantly, for Post readers, his editors decided to shuffle his story off to page C5 in the Sunday paper. By contrast, they plastered the front page of Metro with an above-the-fold headline scolding the Virginia state legislature -- the lower house of which is dominated by Republicans -- for not going far enough in its ethics reforms: "Va. moves to tighten ethics rules -- but not too much."
He has a lifetime American Conservative Union (ACU) score of 12.5 (his lowest marks were in 2011 with a score of 5), a 100 percent rating by the NARAL Pro-Choice America, a zero rating from the National Right to Life, and a solid 85 percent in 2012 (the last year the ADA scored) from the liberal Americans for Democratic Action. With numbers like that, Virginia's senior senator Mark Warner (D) may be a rather plain vanilla legislator when it comes to rhetoric and demeanor -- he's no bombastic camera mugger like say Chuck Schumer -- but he is far from a political moderate on either economic or social issues.
Yet in reporting on Republican senator John Warner (no relation) endorsing the former governor's 2014 reelection bid instead of getting behind former RNC chairman Ed Gillespie's bid for the seat, the Associated Press's Larry O'Dell described Mark Warner as a "centrist" and uncritically forwarded the meme that both Warners exemplify the sort of bipartisan collegiality that is missing in Washington today but which Americans and Virginians particularly long for (emphasis mine):
As I noted last week, when the Washington Post in mid-October issued their endorsement of Democrat Mark Herring for Virginia attorney general, the paper's editorial board hailed the then-state senator as someone who, unlike his "doctrinaire conservative" opponent Mark Obenshain and predecessor conservative Ken Cuccinelli would "hew to the former Virginia tradition of offering restrained and responsible advice" for the state government. After all, the attorney general is responsible for managing the "office that functions as the law firm for the governor, legislature and agencies of state government" and as such should be above ideological or partisan hobby horses, the paper argued.
Fast forward to last week. Herring, on the job barely two weeks as Virginia attorney general, announces he will not only refuse to defend the state's constitutional definition of marriage as between a man and a woman but that his office will file a brief in federal court arguing that the state's definition of marriage violates the U.S. Constitution. Feeling the need to defend their man Herring from charges by Republicans that the AG is not only shirking his duty, but flaunting his intention to do so, the Post editorial rides out to the rescue with a six-paragraph defense of his "strategy," excerpted in full below (emphasis mine):
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):
In an outrageous ad aired on the local Washington D.C. NBC affiliate WRC-4, Virginia Democratic state senate candidate Jennifer Wexton – running to replace newly elected Virginia attorney general Mark Herring – made a shocking comparison between violent rapists that she once tried as a prosecutor to "Tea Party Republicans" in the Virginia legislature. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
After describing women being assaulted and "traumatized again by facing the criminal in court," Wexton made this declaration: "...as a prosecutor I put violent offenders in prison. In the Virginia Senate, I'll fight just as hard against Tea Party Republicans who would take away a woman's health care and her right to choose, even in cases of rape and incest."
A former DMV clerk, Maria Cavallaro, and her accomplice, Jose Calderon, pleaded guilty in federal court yesterday to helping roughly 300 individuals "most of them illegal immigrants" to obtain Virginia-issued "driver's licenses, learner's permits and identification cards for those... [who] were not eligible for them," Washington Post staffer Matt Zapotosky reported in the November 7 paper.
Suffice it to say, such a pervasive criminal conspiracy merits prime real estate in a major metropolitan newspaper, but Post editors seem to disagree, placing the 14-paragraph story on page B8 of Thursday's paper, the very back page of the Metro section:
Appearing as a guest on Tuesday's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, New York magazine's John Heilemann described Virginia GOP gubernatorial nominee Ken Cuccinelli as a "horrible candidate" as he cautioned Democrats that Cuccinelli still might have triumphed over Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe if the Virginia Republican had had more money and if the government shutdown had not occurred. Heilemann began his analysis:
There may be no more misleading newspaper sentence in the Virginia governor’s race than this one from reporter Carol Morello in the October 26 Washington Post: “The two major-party candidates running for governor of Virginia are both practicing Catholics.”
The Post did not ask McAuliffe where near his home in Fairfax County he attends church every Sunday and holy day of obligation, which is part of the definition of a “practicing Catholic.” When radio show host Hugh Hewitt pressed him in 2007 about his church attendance after McAuliffe repeatedly cited his “Irish Catholic” bona fides in his autobiography “What a Party,” McAuliffe shot back “I don’t pretend to be a priest, and I don’t pretend to be citing…I don’t cite the Bible once in the book.”
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:
After failing completely to offer one headline covering some liberal guy named Ralph Northam for most of 2013 -- he's the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor of Virginia -- The Washington Post on Wednesday noticed "Northam targets Jackson's rhetoric." Because the Post wants absolutely every story on this campaign to be about Rev. E.W. Jackson's rhetoric. They put the ball on the tee and nudged Northam to cream it.
Reporters Michael Laris and Antonio Olivo announced “Northam cast his opponent as dangerously divisive and personally irresponsible -- someone who would hurt the state both economically and with his social values if elected. In his closing statement, Northam condemned Jackson's rhetoric.” Laris explained Jackson had a "national" reputation as a "flamethrower" of rhetoric:
If black Rev. E.W. Jackson was a liberal and his white opponent Ralph Northam was a conservative, The Washington Post would have to accuse itself of racism. In the Virginia campaign for lieutenant governor, Northam, a white liberal, is the beneficiary of obvious and massive discrimination. He hasn’t drawn a single headline from the Post since he won the primary in June. No one needs to know anything he's said or anything he's done. He's apparently perfect.
But once again on Tuesday, the Post took out a journo-hammer and hit Jackson the black conservative over the head. On the front page of the Metro section, the headline was “E.W. Jackson’s combative style to be put to test.” Post reporter Michael Laris relied on Democratic trackers (and they happily relied on him) to report that Jackson had said something allegedly outrageous from a minister -- that Christianity was true, and other religions were false:
"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.
In advance of a month full of events oriented towards demonstrating displeasure with lawmakers who won't give carte blanche to President Obama's healthcare, gun control, "climate change," and immigration agendas, Organizing for Action Executive Director Jon Carson claimed that "We will own August." New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his Mayors Against Illegal Guns also anticipated high levels of support during this months's "No More Names: National Drive to Reduce Gun Violence" tour.
It hasn't happened in either case. If right-wing, tea party, or social conservative efforts fizzled as OFA's and MAIG's clearly are, those failures would be making headlines, and shown as proof that support for the related causes is weak. By contrast, the national establishment press is mostly ignoring and in some cases obscuring these left-wing implosions.
The Washington Post ran its second tough front-pager in recent days on Terry McAuliffe, running for governor this fall in Virginia. But the headline at the very bottom of Page One was incredibly bland and weak: “McAuliffe enterprise off to slow start.”
The headline inside on A-12 was more accurate about Fredrick Kunkle’s story: “Venture haunts McAuliffe’s run for Va. Governor.” The venture is GreenTech, a “green” car company that McAuliffe first pitched as a job-creating business for Virginia – until Mississippi offered more subsidies. The worst part for Democrats came from guess who? An auto worker who grew frustrated over their “dysfunctional” attempt at its Mississippi assembly line:
On Thursday's PoliticsNation on MSNBC, host Al Sharpton touted the pro-abortion group NARAL's deceptive attacks on "crisis pregancy centers" in Virginia which try to encourage pregnant women not to have abortions, as NARAL accused these pro-life groups of "lying." Picking up on an article posted by the far left Think Progress, the MSNBC host gave NARAL President Ilyse Hogue a sympathetic forum to promote her agenda.
In trying to prove these pro-life groups wrong, Sharpton quoted the CDC's Web site in describing condoms as acting as an "impermeable barrier," although he ignored the first line of the CDC document which concedes that condoms merely "reduce the risk of STD transmission," as the site displays the words "though not elminate" in parentheses, as the MSNBC host gave the impression that condoms could be considered infallible.
The Washington Post seems alarmed at the feel of Terry McAuliffe’s Democratic campaign for governor of Virginia, with its reporter writing “the most striking feature at many of McAuliffe’s appearances may be the almost studied absence of a campaign.”
So you have to laugh when the headline on Page One is “As politicians go, McAuliffe is laid-back on Va. bid.” Inside the paper, the headline was “With easy-going attitude, McAuliffle criss-crosses Va.” What’s funny about this article is there is no “news” in it. It’s just following McAuliffe around assessing his “game” on the campaign trail (and finding it lacking). When the Post had real “news” last week on McAuliffe, it buried it.
Virginia Democrats go to the polls Tuesday to select their nominees for lieutenant governor and attorney general (gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe is unopposed). Turnout will be very low – thanks in part to The Washington Post. Notice of the primary election can’t be found until page B-6.
What are they hiding? Liberal lieutenant governor candidate Ralph Northam’s running TV ads touting his D-rating from the NRA and the heartfelt support of Planned Parenthood boss Cecile Richards. She loved how State Sen. Northam staunchly opposed having a woman look at her baby in an ultrasound before the baby’s killed. In a perfect juxtaposition, the ad runs Cecile’s praise while the screen says “endorsed by The Washington Post”:
The Washington Post put a poll it doesn’t like on the front of Sunday’s paper: Six months before Election Day in the Virginia gubernatorial race, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli “has a slender 46 to 41 percent edge over [Terry] McAuliffe (D) among all Virginia voters and a significant 51 to 41 percent lead among those who say they’re certain to cast ballots in November.”
The Post has tried for years to demonize Cuccinelli, so it can’t quite believe it. “But those numbers may change before then: The poll found that barely 10 percent say they are following the campaign ‘very closely’ and that nearly half of the electorate says they’re either undecided or could change their minds.” But Republicans are hardly undecided:
Government bureaucrats often spend the taxpayers' money on the basis of rosy assumptions from tax revenue. Of course, in doing so, they sometimes get burned. But when they are, have no fear, because the Washington Post will lament their plight.
Such was the case recently with the Fairfax County, Va., school board, which the Washington Post gripes is left "with a $30 million shortfall" because the county's Board of Supervisors elected to raise property taxes by one cent per $100 of assessed value rather than two cents, as the county executive had originally hoped.
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.
In "G.O.P.'s Ideological Split Appears in Virginia Governor's Race," New York Times reporter Trip Gabriel saw a controversial candidate on one side of the Virginia governor's race -- Republican candidate Kenneth Cuccinelli, Virginia's attorney general, who has support in the Tea Party and social conservative wings of the party.
His likely Democratic opponent? Terry McAuliffe, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee and controversial fundraiser for the Clinton administration. But judging by the paper's lack of coverage so far, only Republicans have a problem. Gabriel doesn't even mention Democrat McAuliffe until paragraph 12, and in an odd omission, calls him only "a businessman and former political operative."
The Washington Post somehow calls one of their blogs “Right Turn: Jennifer Rubin’s take from a conservative perspective.” This is an odd title when Rubin complains that a politician is destroying himself and the Republican Party by advocating conservative principles. Rubin was put on the Post op-ed page on Friday trashing Virginia’s Attorney General and GOP candidate for governor this fall: “It is not like I didn’t spot the Ken Cuccinelli train wreck coming up around the bend.”
Then, in another blog from her pro-Israel perch, Rubin blasted Chuck Hagel, but this take did not make the newspaper: “It’s fascinating, actually, to see a nominee of this importance do so poorly. Chuck Hagel, nominated for defense secretary, has gone from awful to atrocious today... It is unclear whether he was not prepped properly, whether he refused to be coached or whether he simply isn’t bright.”
In a minute-long news brief on January 16, Michael Pope of Washington, D.C. public radio station WAMU misled listeners by noting that in 2012 Virginia Republicans passed and Gov. Bob McDonnell signed into law a bill requiring invasive transvaginal ultrasounds for women seeking abortions in the Old Dominion.
"The legislation passed, and now Alexandria Delegate Rob Krupicka, a Democrat, is co-sponsoring legislation to repeal it," Pope noted. The only problem, however, is that the legislation was amended before passage to scratch the requirement for transvaginal ultrasounds while still requiring abortion-seeking patients to obtain non-invasive abdominal ultrasounds. As the Reuters news wire reported on Feb. 29, 2012 (emphasis mine):
In his Washington Secrets column in the December 12 Washington Examiner, columnist Paul Bedard disclosed for readers the thrust of a recent email that Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe sent supporters: McAuliffe is a "mainstream" candidate fighting for Virginians against the "extremist" Tea Party conservative Ken Cuccinelli.
That's par for the course for a liberal Democratic candidate in a swing state, of course, but its notable for our purposes at NewsBusters because, as I've been writing the past few weeks, that's exactly the narrative that the liberal Washington Post is putting in their ostensibly neutral news articles. You can find those pieces here, here, and here. As the 2013 off-year election season heats up, expect to see the liberal media generally, but the Washington Post in particular, do its best to help the McAuliffe campaign sell its narrative. It may be hard to tell where the campaign talking points end and the supposedly neutral news media begins.