As most NewsBusters readers are aware, former Virginia Sen. George Allen's re-election campaign in 2006 -- and likely his entire political career -- was destroyed when media members spent months focusing attention on a word he uttered that likely nobody in the nation had ever heard of prior to that point.
At the forefront of such politically motivated obsession was the Washington Post which according to LexisNexis mentioned the word "macaca" along with Allen's name in 107 articles prior to Election Day 2006.
Now, according to the Washington Examiner's Michael Barone, the Post might be trying to do the same thing to the Republican candidate in the Virginia governor's race, Bob McDonnell:
Item number one on the Macaca Watch is the Sunday front page story on the thesis Bob McDonnell wrote in 1989 at Regent University where he obtained a masters degree in public policy and a law degree. This is, as the story acknowledged, a publicly available document and its contents would certainly be a legitimate part of an article on McDonnell’s background and the evolution of his political views. But the first paragraph of the story, prominently on the front page, sends the culturally liberal voters of Northern Virginia in the Post’s local circulation area a pretty clear message: you better not vote for this guy. He went to an “evangelical” school (Regent University Law School), described feminists as “detrimental” and “said government policy should favor married couples over ‘cohabitors, homosexuals or fornicators.’”
Item number two on the Macaca watch is Tuesday’s front page story headlined “Governor’s Race Erupts Over McDonnell’s Past View.” The “eruption” consists of a bunch of emails sent out by Democrats quoting from McDonnell’s thesis and a McDonnell conference call with reporters answering questions—pretty routine campaign stuff, hardly front page material. [...]
The obvious agenda here is to raise the specter that if McDonnell is elected, all women in Virginia will be fired from their jobs and forced to stay home knitting or driving car pool. We’ll see how much longer the Post can keep this story on the front page.
We'll be watching as well.