Even Now, the Los Angeles Times Is Already Tilting the 2016 Campaign Coverage

NewsBusters fan Gary Hall suggests to us the Los Angeles Times is already displaying a dramatic difference in how liberal journalists want to treat the man they think is the Republican  frontrunner for 2016 -- Chris Christie -- with their anointed early Democratic dream candidate, Hillary Clinton.

The Times wanted to list Christie's problems, and list Hillary's deep backing among California bigwigs:

November 10: on page A-12, under "news analysis, there is "Chris Christie as 'The Elephant': Cruelty as a political issue "  by Cathleen Decker. The print edition headline was "Focus on his weight is a drag for Christie." 

Weight has tortured the ample Christie for years, by his own admission, and since he vaulted to the top of the Republican heap as governor and prospective presidential candidate, it has tormented his political career as well.

The subject gained a new airing this week with the release of “Double Down,” a book on the 2012 presidential campaign by John Heileman and Mark Halperin...The chapter on Christie roars with cruelty to the unsvelte.

November 7: Times opinion columnist shrill David Horsey: "Chris Christie is the tea party's newest nightmare"

Christie's appealing persona overrides differences in political views, and that may be the biggest advantage he has over potential competitors such as Rand Paul, who is an unsmiling cold fish, and Ted Cruz, who, outside the bubble of the tea party, makes people's skin crawl. Christie is that classic politician you'd like to have a beer with while a Bruce Springsteen song plays on an old jukebox in the corner of the bar.

Of course, Christie's longtime adoration of fellow Jersey boy Springsteen simply provides more proof to the wacko wing of his party that he is dangerously comfortable with commie pinko liberals.

November 5: "Chris Christie faces a minefield of issues on national stage" by Alana Semuels. "As governor, Christie has taken positions that have drawn voters from all ranks, but he has also taken positions likely to alienate both sides. A quick list of the issues that may cause Christie problems.” For conservatives, it was amnesty, gay marriage, and his relationship with Obama. For liberals, it was minimum wage, gay marriage (again), and contraception:

Contraception. Christie holds views on social issues that may isolate him from Democrats. He opposes abortion and has vetoed bills that would fund family-planning groups such as Planned Parenthood. His frequent vetoes of funding for family planning have led facilities to close, women’s groups say.

“Chris Christie likes playing a moderate on TV, but when you look at what he’s actually done during his time in office it’s clear that’s all just an act. He has targeted services New Jersey women and families rely on time and time again, and he’s proven he’s no less extreme than any of his fellow Republicans. You can only play a role for so long before people start catching on,” said Marcy Stech, a spokeswoman for Emily’s List

Now compare that menu for Times readers with an article list for Hillary Clinton: 

November 10:  On page A- 27 (actually the front page of the "California" section), the print edition headline was "Clinton backers get to work"  by Maeve Reston and Seema Mehta. This underlined fervent support for Hillary (among liberals, no labels) much like a WashPost story by former LA Times writer Matea Gold. The Times story began:

Under the chandeliers at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, guests sipped white wine and sampled Vietnamese spring rolls as Hollywood's power players gathered for yet another fete celebrating Hillary Rodham Clinton, this time for her work with women and girls in Third World countries.

...Hillary Clinton was greeted at the gala with a standing ovation and seated elbow to elbow with Jeffrey Katzenberg, whose fundraising network could help lay the groundwork for her presidential campaign.

Two nights before, some of Clinton's most ardent twenty- and thirtysomething fans — many of whom would leap at the chance to work on her campaign — filled a cavernous nightclub in downtown Los Angeles. It was $20.16 for entry to the Ready for Hillary event, where youthful guests swayed to campaign-style anthems like Alicia Keys' "Girl on Fire" and purchased Hillary Clinton-themed cocktails at the cash bar.

November 9: "Hillary Clinton hails Latino efforts, urges immigration overhaul" by Seema Mehta. Picture of hug with Henry Cisneros, former Clinton HUD Secretary, and no memory of his confirmation scandal. Hillary, as always, is a humanitarian:

Clinton recounted instances throughout her life when she had worked with Latinos, including helping care for the children of migrant workers with a church group in high school, registering voters in South Texas during the 1972 presidential election, and visiting Mexico as secretary of state. (Not incidentally, Latinos will play a critical role in electing the next president.)

November 8: "Hillary Clinton receives award, Hollywood hug at Beverly Hills gala", also by Reston and Mehta. It began, predictably, about liberal Hollywood enthusiasm:

Hillary Rodham Clinton was wrapped in the embrace of Hollywood once again Friday night, honored at a glittery gala for the International Medical Corps at the Beverly Wilshire hotel for her work with women and girls in Third World countries.

As Clinton remains mum about whether she will run for president in 2016, the titans of Hollywood are gathering around her - publicly signaling their eagerness for a Clinton campaign.

November 7: On page A-9, "Keeping California close: Hillary Clinton visits again, underscoring the state's potential political significance" by Seema Mehta.

From the time four decades ago when she lived in Berkeley with then-boyfriend Bill to the resounding victory in the 2008 California primary that revived her first presidential effort, California has provided support, solace and tens of millions of dollars in campaign cash for the family's pursuits...

Clinton's earliest experiences in this state were forged while clerking for a left-wing law firm in Oakland during the summer of 1971. Bill Clinton decided to forgo campaigning for presidential candidate George McGovern to spend the summer living with then-girlfriend Hillary, a period that the conservative New York Sun once dubbed their "Berkeley summer of love."

Former Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa suggested somehow the Clintons prized California more than Ronald Reagan:

"Even more than Ronald Reagan, who came from California, they understood how important California was to the nation — as California goes so goes the nation — and they spent a lot of time here, both in their campaigns, but more importantly during the eight years Bill Clinton was in office," said Villaraigosa, who added that serving in leadership positions in the Legislature at the time gave him an "up-front view of their commitment to the people of this state."

"They delivered for California in a way that we hadn't seen before or since."

Hall remembers: "How soon they forget (did they ever actually know) how Clinton turned his back on the state as the California energy crisis/blackouts became the focus of national attention during 2000, not to mention how the state was hit economically following the Clinton-era dot-com bubble collapse."

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis