Yesterday's Style page of the Washington Post devoted a gauzy piece by staffer Jason Horowitz to Obama's "data-driven guru" David Plouffe. Today, Horowitz's colleague Amy Gardner took her turn at Obama campaign puffery with her Style section front-pager, "
"Welcome to the 'Jen and Jay Show,' the latest iteration of the White House news briefing," Gardner opened her October 31 piece on the Air Force One press gaggles that Jen Psaki of the Obama campaign and White House press secretary Jay Carney conduct. "In the waning days of the campaign, the duo has given the briefings the feel of a vaudeville act: lighthearted and entertaining but also well rehearsed -- and deadly for Republican Mitt Romney." Gardner, ostensibly an objective journalist, oozed, going on to marvel at the showmanship of Psaki and Carney (emphases mine):
"Democrats aim to be inclusive," blurts the headline in Amy Gardner's 5-paragraph item on how the Democratic convention "will feature a long list of female speakers and a slew of activities designed to make it the most inclusive convention in history, organizers announced Wednesday."
Gardner went on to note that Sandra Fluke and "women from many other walks of life" will take to the podium, such as NARAL Pro-Choice America president Nancy Keenan, Caroline Kennedy, and actress Eva Longoria. Gardner left out that Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood was also announced as a speaker, and that Keenan served on this year's platform drafting committee, which shot down an effort by Democrats for Life of America to add "big tent" language to the platform. Somehow a handful of pro-choice speakers addressing contraception and abortion is diversity to the Washington Post.
The Washington Post's effort to "macaca" Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) continues today, with a front-page story by Amy Gardner entitled "Governor's record on race is complicated." Yet Gardner found no damning evidence of racism, relying heavily on Democratic legislators' complaints of dog-whistle politics and Perry's ties to Tea Party conservatism.
Beware the crystal-ball story that predicts a backlash -- a liberal newspaper will constantly find backlashes to predict wherever conservatives succeed. The Washington Post unleashed their clairvoyance on Friday in an Amy Gardner story headlined "Ohio GOP may invite backlash with tough stance on unions." It began:
COLUMBUS -- State Republicans took the toughest line yet against public-sector unions this week, delivering an early and significant victory for a slew of lawmakers elected in November.
Perhaps too tough. Democrats and even some Republicans said that the bold action and the uncompromising way it was carried out could boomerang on Republicans in the next election, in much the same way that the stimulus bill and health-care overhaul haunted Democrats in Ohio and elsewhere last year.
Few places are as aptly named as a divey little bar in southwest Las Vegas called The Hammer.That's where the campaign brain trust of Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D) unwinds over beer and nachos after long days spent trying to discredit his Republican opponent, former state assemblywoman Sharron Angle.
All summer long, Reid's small army of young, eager staffers has bombarded Nevada voters with unflattering, sometimes distorted allegations about Angle. They have scoured old newspapers, government transcripts and video archives for anything she has said or done that might be turned against her. In television and radio ads, Reid's aides have tried to create and then exploit perceptions that Angle is a dangerous reactionary.
While the 10-paragraph article in itself didn't raise any bias alarm bells, I was disappointed but hardly surprised that the Post buried the story on the last page of its A-section.
Gardner's article focused on how Palin, "[s]peaking to a breakfast gathering of the Susan B. Anthony List in downtown Washington on Friday" observed that liberal pro-choice feminists are hypocrites for on the one hand insisting that women can hold fulfilling careers while being mothers but at the same time those same feminists hold out abortion for young women who might feel their unwanted pregnancies are an inconvenience obstacle to career or educational goals.
That observation led Post staffer Jonathan Capehart, no Palin acolyte he, to concede Palin makes a "very interesting point":
"Tea party groups battling allegations of racism," reads a May 5 page A3 Washington Post print headline. The online version header softened the word choice a tiny bit, substituting the word "perceptions" in for "allegations."
The underlying poll data which prompted the story tells us more about the Post's prism through which it views the Tea Parties than how the public at large does.
After three paragraphs pounding readers with the meme that "the [Tea Party] movement is struggling to overcome accusations of racism," the Post's Amy Gardner and Krissah Thompson quickly dispatched with the fact that most Americans see Tea Parties fueld by distrust of big government and opposition to the Obama/congressional Democratic agenda before highlighting how a minority of poll respondents think race is a motivating factor:
In a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, most Americans see the movement as motivated by distrust of government, opposition to the policies of Obama and the Democratic Party, and broad concern about the economy. But nearly three in 10 see racial prejudice as underlying the tea party.
Of course, in the very next paragraph we learn that:
"From deep down in my stomach, with every inch of me, I pure, straight hate you. But g*d***it, do I respect you!" seethes rival TV station anchor Wes Mantooth (Vince Vaughn) to Burgundy (Will Ferrell).
The Washington Post hatefully threw all it had at making the "thesis issue" a career killer for McDonnell, who went on to win 54 percent of the women's vote in Tuesday election. But looking back, Post staffer Amy Gardner gave readers a look into how the McDonnell campaign hunkered down, stuck with a disciplined message, and thwarted the paper's scheme to "macaca" McDonnell:
As Scott Whitlock noted last week, the Washington Post editorial page thumped away at conservative Republican Ken Cuccinelli, who’s currently ahead in the race for Virginia’s Attorney General: "Given his sometimes bizarre and incendiary ideas, we worry that Mr. Cuccinelli would drive qualified and nonpartisan lawyers away, transform the attorney general's office into a staging ground for his pet peeves and causes, and make it an object of ridicule in a state where it has enjoyed a long run of respect."
But what about when Cuccinelli’s Democrat opponent, Steve Shannon, becomes an object of ridicule? The Post ignores it.
A Washington Post staff writer on Wednesday swore that it wasn’t the "goal" of the newspaper to elect Virginia’s Democratic candidate for governor, despite the paper’s wave of attack coverage against the Republican nominee. Participating in a chat on WashingtonPost.com, Amy Gardner did admit that there’s an "argument to be made" over whether the paper did some "‘prolonged’ reporting" on Republican Bob McDonnell’s 1989 college thesis about marriage and the family.
Gardner, who wrote many of the articles on the 20-year-old thesis about feminism and working women, avowed that the subject was a "legitimate news story that then took on a life of its own and that we continued to cover." Took on a life of its own? In the first 12 days after the story broke, the paper published 11 articles on the subject. Wouldn’t something with a "life of its own" have developed naturally without the aggressive help of the Post?
Gardner was responding to a reader question over whether the news outlet’s extensive coverage actually harmed Democrat Creigh Deeds. She retorted, "Well, certainly there's an argument to be made that we did some ‘prolonged’ reporting on the thesis, but it wasn't with the goal of helping Deeds."
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:
Heaping praise on moderate Republican Rep. Tom Davis (Va.), the Washington Post devoted not one but two articles in the January 31 paper to the congressman. The Post lauded Davis for his centrism, but particularly for angering the Virginia GOP's conservative base. Yet left unmentioned was any analysis suggesting moderation was what felled his wife's 2007 state senate reelection campaign.
Staff writer Bill Turque penned a Metro section front pager ("In Va., Congress, Davis Has Ruled From the Center") that began by noting Davis's Republican Party family pedigree before adding that Davis "crushed" his first political opponent in a 1979 election "by placing himself firmly in the center."