Yet for its coverage of the 10 year anniversary memorial service in today's paper, the Washington Post elected to go with an 11-paragraph article by Newport News [Va.] Daily Press's Hugh Lessig rather than assign a Post staffer to the story.
In today's print edition of the Washington Post, the top editorial, "Virginia is for gun lovers,"* attacked the Old Dominion as "one of the nation's leading gun-buying bazaars for out-of-state criminals."
"[T]he commonwealth's gun shows -- where criminals can purchase weapons without a background check -- and its gun shops are a regular source of easy-to-get firearms," the Post complained.
Any person who sells firearms at a licensed dealership or gun show must submit to a national and state criminal history records check by the Department of State Police and Federal Bureau of Investigation. Firearm sellers must complete form SP-69A and submit a completed fingerprint card to the Firearms Transaction Center.
What's more, many gun shows employ stringent security measures and strongly encourage background checks. For example, Southeastern Guns & Knives Ltd., which runs gun shows throughout Virginia, notes that:
The Washington Post's undisguised loathing for conservative Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is on display again Tuesday. Post reporter Anita Kumar put him on the "far right" and questioned the propriety (and even the constitutionality) of his working relationship with other Republicans in Richmond.
Kumar began by noting a list of Cuccinell's "controversial" legal opinions, that "police could check the immigration status of those stopped by law-enforcement officers, that the state could impose stricter oversight of clinics that perform abortions and that local governments could allow religious holiday displays on public property. In each instance, the request for the opinion came from the same person: Del. Robert G. Marshall (Prince William), a like-minded Republican who shares Cuccinelli's far-right views."
Kumar obviously asked it this "symbiotic relationship" was unconstitutional legal activism that goes around the legislature:
Those familiar with the Washington Post know that the paper is a staunch defender of a very liberal vision of the separation of church and state. For example, the paper's editorial board was heavily critical of the Supreme Court's Mojave cross ruling.
But when it comes to the supposed dearth of Muslim chaplains at Virginia prisons, Sunday's Metro section went into full hand-wringing mode. "Inadequate Funds for Chaplains," complained a subheader for the page B1 story by staffer Kevin Sieff.
Of course, it wasn't until paragraph 27 that Sieff noted that "[n]either Catholic nor Jewish chaplains have sought funding from corrections officials." As Sieff explained early in his article, "a 200-year-old interpretation of the state constitution... bars Virginia from doing any faith-based hiring" and "is the only state where prison chaplains are contractors, not state employees." Sure, "Muslim chaplains could visit correctional facilities to minister to Virginia's 32,000 inmates," Sieff explained, "but they received no funds from the state" until a $25,000 grant was given to Muslim Chaplain Services of Virginia last July.
On Friday's Rick's List, CNN's Rick Sanchez revisited a story he did on Tuesday where he forwarded Islamic group CAIR's publicity stunt about a Virginia license plate that apparently contained racist messages. The Washington Post, as well, updated their story on Friday, pointing to the driver's apparent Facebook page, which contained white supremacist messages, but CNN was unable to confirm their report.
Schulte followed through with an article on Thursday, after the owner of the truck, Douglas Story, contacted The Washington Post to claim that the numbers actually represented his favorite NASCAR drivers, Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., who race under those respective numbers. Story was forced to get a new license plate after the Virginia DMV recalled his plate.
"The Divine Mercy Care Pharmacy in Chantilly proudly and purposefully limited what it would stock on its shelves. But it turns out that no birth control pills, no condoms, no porn, no tobacco and even no makeup added up to one thing: No customers," Dvorak wrote.
"John T. Bruchalski, president of Divine Mercy Care and the doctor who opened the pharmacy, then had to close it, said he wanted a place where pharmacists ‘could bring their conscience into the store, rather than hang it up at the door when they entered,'" she continued.
"Shoppers in Northern Virginia apparently weren't clamoring for a place to pick up cough medicine that also didn't sell porn, cigs and mascara. Selections of these wicked products (especially mascara - have you seen the array recently? Glittery! Lengthening! Stiletto lashes! Such naughtiness!) are available in just about every supermarket and big-box store across the country."
Here's how Post staffers Rosalind Helderman and Fredrick Kunkle launched into their lament of the pending budget cutbacks:
RICHMOND -- Virginia will do less for its residents, and expect local governments and private charities to do more, under a new state budget likely to have an impact for years to come.
With Virginia facing what lawmakers say is the grimmest financial picture in memory, the House of Delegates and Senate adopted budgets last week that would shrink general spending to about $15 billion, or no more than was spent four years ago. In other words, Virginia would spend about the same amount on services as it did when there were 100,000 fewer residents and many fewer were in economic distress.
What followed was a typical laundry list of scenarios the writers insisted "could" happen, including "[c]riminal defendants who cannot afford an attorney appear[ing] in court without one." Of course, seeing as the Constitution requires that indigent defendants be provided a public defender, it's quite odd for the Post to conclude any judge "could" let a trial proceed with a defendant unrepresented for lack of counsel. At any rate, National Review's Kevin Williamson has an excellent takedown of the article and its numerous liberal assumptions, which I've excerpted below (emphases mine):
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) has caused students across the Old Dominion to "rise up for gay rights,"* reporters Daniel de Vise and Rosalind Helderman insisted on the March 9 Metro section front page of the Washington Post.
Helderman and de Vise failed to consider the liberal leanings of the protesters, tagging the demonstrators in the lead paragraph as mere "campus activists" who are steamed over the state AG's "letter advising public universities to retreat from their policies against discrimination on the basis of sexual orienation." A few paragraphs later, Helderman and de Vise suggested that an "erosion in gay rights at state universities" would have detrimental effects on attracting and retaining students and faculty.
The problem is, Cuccinelli's legal opinion does not mandate a "retreat" from discrimination, he just noted that under Virginia law, any change in non-discrimination policy wording must be authorized by legislation.
On Monday, I noted how the Washington Post editorialized against repeal of Virginia's 1993 one-handgun-per-month law. The Post reasoned in its top March 1 editorial that without the law "straw purchasers" could "serve as front men for criminals who come to the state to buy guns in large quantities."
But today, in a Metro section front page story, Post reporter Fredrick Kunkle noted that experts in law enforcement and academia doubt there's a solid case ground in empirical data for that notion (emphasis mine):
The Washington Post was curiously silent about the ideological and/or partisan bent of blogs that prompted its coverage of a controversial statement made last Thursday by Virginia Delegate Robert Marshall (R), who suggested, the Post reports, "that women who have abortions risk having later children with birth defects as a punishment from God."
Kunkle noted that Marshall couched his controversial comments in reference to a study by Virginia Commonwealth University that "was published in 2008 in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health and suggested that there is a higher risk of premature birth and low birth weight in children born to women who have had an abortion."
"Few seized on the remarks at the time Marshall made them," the Post's Fredrick Kunkle noted in his page B2 February 23 story, "[b]ut outrage built on social networking sites and political blogs after some Virginia newspapers picked up the story from Capital News Service, a program at VCU's School of Mass Communications."
But which blogs, exactly? It's not a stretch to imagine it was mostly left-wing or Democratic blogs seeking to hype a controversy to make Virginia Republicans -- who control the House of Delegates -- look bad, particularly in an election year in which the Democratic majority in the state senate is in jeopardy.
Yet Kunkle failed to inform readers which blogs tipped him off to the story and what political axes they have to grind.
Some in the liberal media continue to insist that James O'Keefe and his three cohorts were trying to "bug" or "tap" Sen. Mary Landrieu's phone lines when law enforcement officials have clearly said that they were not. Since the left doesn't like O'Keefe, the liberal media seems to think standard practices of journalistic integrity don't apply here.
According to MSNBC, one law enforcement official, who was not named, said "the four men arrested for attempting to tamper with the phones in the New Orleans office of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) were not trying to intercept or wiretap the calls." This statement comports with the affidavit filed in court after O'Keefe and company were arrested, which did not mention wiretapping or bugging, and only referred to the "tampering" of phone lines (h/t Patterico).
But the Boston Globe parroted this false accusation this morning in a gossip blog post about one of the alleged perpetrators, Joe Basel. The Globe--the same Globe that complained about ACORN's "trial-by-video"--called him a "political dirty trickster who was busted in a Watergate-style bugging operation earlier this week," and said again a couple paragraphs later that Basel was "bagged by the feds allegedly trying to bug the phones" in Landrieu's office. At least the Globe writers said "allegedly" the second time.
If Ellie Light is indeed a Democratic operative, she is only the proverbial tip of the party's astroturfing iceberg. Patterico's investigative work, which was also at the forefront of the blogosphere's efforts to expose Light, have revealed an even greater effort at manufacturing the appearance of public support for Democratic policies.
Organizing for America and the Democratic Party each have forms on their websites for supporters to write letters to the editors of their local papers. Both have suggested "talking points" next to the submission form. Both advise supporters to use their own words, but talking points from both of the sites have appeared in letters to the editor in a multitude of newspapers nationwide.
While it has every right to do so, and we at NewsBusters do not take issue with a newspaper's right to issue liberal pronouncements on clearly-marked editorial pages, it is worth noting from time to time the persistence with which liberal newspapers lead the charge for liberal agenda items, particularly when the issue at hand is tax increases.
Of course, this lobbying for tax increases is hardly new. The paper endorsed tax increases during the 2009 campaign and continued its pro-tax hike drumbeat without skipping a beat the day after the election. As my colleague Scott Whitlock noted on November 5:
It failed to make his master's thesis at the university Pat Robertson founded a campaign killer, but the Washington Post is still intent on finding ways to damage governor-elect Bob McDonnell even before he takes office.
In a Metro-section front-pager today, Post staffer Rosalind Helderman insisted that some recent remarks by Robertson about the nature of Islam following the Fort Hood shooting have "put McDonnell in a bind" and are forcing the Republican governor-elect "to confront how he plans to handle his friendship with" the "long-time ally" and "highly controversial figure."
Just four paragraphs into her story, Helderman cast McDonnell as one who "tried during the race to convince Virginians that he was a social conservative who could speak more broadly to issues that cross party lines."
Of course, McDonnell did just that, winning the Virginia governor's race by an 18-point margin (59-41 over Democrat Creigh Deeds) in a race where the economy, taxes and transportation were the key issues, so it's specious for Helderman to paint the governor-elect as though he were someone of whom moderate voters were skeptical.
The New York Times’s November 5 “Political Points” podcast recited a full 30-second excerpt from Gail Collins’s Wednesday column blaming not Obama, but bad Democratic candidates, for the party’s huge losses in governors’ races in Virginia and New Jersey.
The paper’s chief political reporter Adam Nagourney agreed that New Jersey and Virginia weren’t necessarily predictive. Four minutes in, Adam Nagourney emulated Collins by also throwing the two losing Democrats under the bus, while repeatedly warning people not to overstate the results:
Remember that we’re talking about here are two states, not a lot of voters, one congressional district in upstate New York. Micro-wise, one thing we do want to pay attention to here is, and again, don’t overstate this -- independent voters who backed President Obama in Virginia and New Jersey last time went to the Republican gubernatorial candidates this time. Now, does that mean that they didn’t, that they’ll vote for, you know, whoever votes against Obama in 2012, or for Democrats, or Republicans congressional, for Republicans next year? No. I don’t think so.
The G.O.P. had two big victories yesterday in off-year elections, winning the race for governor in New Jersey and Virginia for the first time since 1997. The New York Times's coverage was dominated by three themes used to explain away the success of Republicans:
The Republicans won by appearing moderate.
The congressional race in upstate New York revealed deep divisions within the G.O.P.
These off-year elections don't mean much anyway (except when Democrats win).
1) Republicans Won by Moderating:
Even after wins by two conservative Republicans, the Times spin was that moderation had prevailed, arguing that both New Jersey Governor-elect Chris Christie and Virginia Governor-elect Bob McDonnell won by trimming their social conservative stands.
In a Tuesday web post before returns were in, the paper's chief political reporter Adam Nagourney said that even a win by Virginia conservative McDonnell would be a victory for moderation:
On the home page of the Washington Post website this morning, the headline for liberal columnist Ruth Marcus is "Ignore the hype." Inside the newspaper, it's "As Virginia goes, not so much." Marcus advises that this GOP landslide is all some meaningless fairy tale:
Advice to readers about the coming orgy of analysis about the New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial elections: Ignore it. Disquisitions on The Meaning of It All for President Obama or the 2009 results as a harbinger for Congress in 2010 have scant basis in reality.
Over-interpreting election results is an occupational hazard for political reporters. This problem is particularly acute in the year after a presidential contest, when we are suffering from a bad case of electoral withdrawal.
Marcus marshals some numbers to argue that governor's races in Virginia and New Jersey are not always great predictors of midterm and presidential elections to come. Let's stipulate that for a second, but ask: doesn't it also argue that reporters may have over-interpreted the mandate and charisma of Barack Hussein Obama?
The Washington Post on Thursday continued its quest to defeat Virginia’s Republican gubernatorial candidate, bizarrely citing a "non-partisan" group that, in reality, has endorsed Bob McDonnell’s Democratic opponent. The article by Anita Kumar contained this loaded headline: "McDonnell critics question ideology: Some saw agenda in legal opinions."
Kumar quoted Claire Guthrie Gastanaga, a lobbyist for "Equality Virginia, a nonpartisan gay rights group." Yet, the front page of Equality Virginia’s website features a press release entitled, "Equality Virginia PAC Endorses Deeds for Governor." The organization’s website makes a distinction between its political action committee (EVPAC) and its "non-partisan" activities. However, Kumar made no such clarification. How can a group be non-partisan and endorse the Democratic nominee?
The tactic of bashing Rush Limbaugh and conservative talk show hosts to score political points is apparently no longer the exclusive realm of national-level Democrats and moderate Republicans. Now, even local politicians are adopting this political maneuver in their local campaigns.
Democrat David Englin, member of the Virginia House of Delegates for the 45th District (and currently my own delegate), sent out a direct mail piece which I received on Thursday where Englin boldly proclaimed his opposition to the top conservative talk show host: “If Rush Limbaugh is for it, I’m probably against it.” (image at right).
Englin’s mail piece, paid for by the Democratic Party of Virginia, not only targeted Limbaugh, but on the reverse side, ripped Glenn Beck and all conservatives: “You and I know that our community’s progressive values are once again under attack. Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and their right-wing allies want to block progress on issues that matter. But we can’t let them. We have come too far and there is too much at stake to let the rhetoric of hate stop what we know is right.”
The first major electoral contest following any presidential election is the Virginia governor's race, and no less so this year given Barack Obama having been the first Democratic presidential candidate to win the state since 1964. But this year, the Obama magic may have worn off in the Old Dominion, with Republican Bob McDonnell showing a consistent lead over Democratic opponent Creigh Deeds and on target to end eight years of Democratic governors.
As we've documented, the Washington Post has done its best to drag down McDonnell's numbers and boost Deeds, namely by trumpeting a decades-old graduate thesis and hyping it as a potential game-changer in the race.
But today, when it came to a big snag in his campaign, the Post reported but buried an article that cast the Deeds campaign in a decidedly unfavorable light.
The bottom line: either Deeds lied to a police union or his campaign is incredibly inept. Or both.
It seems the Deeds gubernatorial campaign told two different law enforcement interest groups two conflicting positions on collective bargaining. Yet in reporting the story, the Post placed Rosalind S. Helderman's article on page 4 of the Metro section rather than page A1 or even the front page, page B1, of the Metro section.
She's the nation's first black female billionaire, a co-founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET) whose political contributions skew heavily Democratic, and in 2005 she backed the now outgoing-Democratic Gov.Tim Kaine's bid for office. But now Sheila C. Johnson has crossed the aisle to endorse Republican Bob McDonnell in his bid to be Virginia's chief executive, arguing that he has a better grasp on economic issues than his Democratic opponent.
Yet in reporting the news of the endorsement, the Washington Post elected to leave any word of Johnson's endorsement from its Metro front page headline. Instead, the Post blandly offered readers this headline and subheader:
The other day I was driving behind a car with a “Friend of Tibet” Virginia license plate. That’s great and I’d like to be a “Friend” myself, but with the job and the family and cutting the lawn … Can I just become a “Facebook Friend of Tibet?” If so, am I entitled to the same preening as Tibet’s actual Friends?
It got me wondering whether we’d see “Free Iran” paraphernalia anytime soon, and whether we’d see it on the same Volvos and Priuses as those “Free Tibet” bumper stickers. Somehow I doubt it, since Obama could barely fit any “concern” for Iran among the puffs of “hope” and billows of “change.” If he doesn’t care, the media doesn’t care, and the bumper sticker-industrial complex can concentrate on that cuddly Dalai Lama.
Not that freeing Tibet isn’t desirable. It should be free. In fact, we should also help free China (and Cuba and North Korea, while we’re at it), and make sure that Taiwan remains free. You don’t see many bumper stickers about those countries, though. And small wonder – if they really expected anyone to care about their plight, they would have had the foresight to stock up on skinny bald guys in saffron robes.
For those who were shocked by Obama "faith" advisor Harry Knox knocking the Knights of Columbus, the Catholic men's group, as an "army of oppression," he is not alone. Gay activists are now taking pride in getting Knights charity drives crushed at supermarkets.
Metro Weekly, a D.C-based gay "news" magazine, honored a man for his "Storefront Stand" -- he harassed Knights of Columbus volunteers raising funds for the mentally disabled (usually with Tootsie Roll candies) outside a Safeway store in northern Virginia. Allison also succeeded in getting other Knights thrown off one Giant supermarket's property. To passers-by at Safeway, Brad Allison compared the Knights to the Ku Klux Klan: "It is a bit of an extreme point to be making, but I thought it was effective."
That's an especially uneducated taunt, considering the Klan was viciously anti-Catholic. Allison also lied to the public by claiming the Knights don't do charity work. Here's Will O'Bryan's account in Metro Weekly:
Normally I wouldn't find a local market television reporter joining a gubernatorial campaign worth a post on a national blog like NewsBusters, but in this case the candidate is a very well-known national figure: Terry McAuliffe, the former Chairman of the Democratic National Committee who also chaired Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign last year and is a long-time Friend of Bill.
Dave Hughes reported Monday, on his DCRTV blog, that Allyson Wilson, a reporter and sometime anchor on Washington, DC's Fox-owned WTTG-TV/DT, “is leaving to join Democrat Terry McAuliffe's campaign for governor of Virginia. She'll be his deputy press secretary. Wilson is a native Washingtonian and a graduate of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts.”
The Seattle Times compiles what it calls "The Favor Factory," which it calls "A database of lawmakers, earmarks, and campaign giving."
One noteworthy congressman in the Favor Factory is Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA; picture at right is currently at his home page).
Moran's Favors Factory page for 2008 lists 29 earmarks totaling $40.6 million, and over $890,000 in capaign contributions from earmark recipients.
Recall that Nancy Pelosi promised "Fiscal Restraint If Democrats Win" in a July 2006 Wall street Journal interview about the congressional elections that would be taking place four months later (link is to cato.org, which excerpted the now unavailable WSJ report). She also told the Journal:
“Personally, myself, I’d get rid of all of them,” she said. “None of them is worth the skepticism, the cynicism the public has… and the fiscal irresponsibility of it.”
Rep. Moran begged to differ just one month earlier, using language he would hopefully avoid around the second-graders with whom he is pictured above (actual offensive four-letter word is at link), as reported by a local metro DC community newspaper, the Sun Gazette:
The top of Friday’s Metro section of The Washington Post touted the drag queen who became Homecoming Queen at George Mason University. The enthusiastic headline was "Work That Tiara, Boy!" Inside the Metro section, the headline was "Not Everyone Is Celebrating Glittering Moment of Inclusiveness."
The front page subhead noted the election sparked a "campus divide," but Annie Gowen’s story wasn’t really interested in the critics of Ryan Allen (drag queen name: Reann Ballslee). She began: "Spend time with George Mason University senior Ryan Allen and it's clear why he's a Big Man on Campus. He wears size 12 pumps."
Gowen and her Post editors see this issue as a happy tale of more respect for diversity and minorities:
Many see it as an expression of inclusiveness at a place where about one-third of the 30,000 students are minority. But others say it is an embarrassment at an inopportune time when Mason is trying to revamp its image from commuter school to distinguished institution of higher learning.
As part of the liberal media’s ongoing tributes to moderate Republicans and their shrinking role in the GOP, The Washington Post on Monday boosted the "legacy" of Sen. John Warner of Virginia, with the headline: "A Political Giant Takes His Leave: Warner Leaves Legacy, Void in Va. Delegation." Unsurprisingly, the Post and reporter Amy Gardner want Republicans to know that Sen. Warner wants them to put on their best bipartisan faces for President Obama:
More than ever, Warner warned, the nation's leaders must work together. "I would hope -- indeed I would urge my colleagues to give the maximum bipartisanship to help his team resolve these almost unprecedented problems facing this country."
Amy Gardner also used this occasion to wonder which Virginia Democrat would be the best nonpartisan centrist to fill the "void" of the "giant" GOP moderate:
The McCain campaign filed suit yesterday against Virginia in federal court to "force the state to count late-arriving overseas military ballots," reported the Associated Press in a November 3 story. While the Washington Post's Web site carries the 5-paragraph AP article, the paper's print edition this morning punted on running a separate follow-up article.
Instead the Post devoted a few paragraphs on the lawsuit inside a larger Metro section frontpager by staffer Anita Kumar about how the NAACP unsuccessfully filed suit to make "last-minute changes to Virginia's voting procedures in response to allegations" by the civil rights group "that the state is not prepared to handle the predicted historic voter turnout."
McCain's lawsuit garnered just five paragraphs, four of them at the tail end of the 23-paragraph article. The treatment of the McCain suit is not all that surprising. As we've noted before at NewsBusters, the Post tends to yawn over concern about disenfranchisement of military personnel casting overseas absentee ballots:
Two days ago I noted the downplayed coverage the Washington Post devoted to a Fairfax County, Va., registrar tossing aside military absentee ballots. Rokey Suleman II, a Democrat who had previously lived in Ohio and unsuccessfully ran for officer there, was alone among Old Dominion registrars in throwing aside military absentee ballots for lack of witness signatures and addresses.
While the mainstream media were not concerned, conservative blogs, RedState chief among them, led the charge to pressure Suleman to back down.
A few moments ago I received an e-mail from RedState Editor Erick Erickson declaring victory, noting that the Fairfax County Board of Elections has overruled Suleman (emphases Erickson's):