"Conservatives say they pushed Dede Scozzafava out of the House race in New York's 23rd District a week ago because of her left-of-Republican social views - and not because she is a woman. But the growing schism between the Republican Party's ascendant right wing and its shrinking moderate core has clear gender undertones..."
So wrote Politico's Meredith Shiner and Glenn Thrush Monday in another attempt by a liberal media outlet to completely misrepresent what Scozzafava's ouster as Congressional candidate was really about.
As NewsBuster Candance Moore reported Thursday, ABCNews.com tried the same disgraceful, underhanded tactic last week.
Unfortunately on Monday, Politico didn't even try to be subtle with its attempt to fabricate sexism where it clearly doesn't exist (h/t Jennifer Rubin):
Thursday's story came in the aftermath of two big Republican wins in New Jersey and Virginia governors' races. Yet Hulse, echoing liberal wishful thinking, portrayed the special congressional race in upstate New York, where Douglas Hoffman, running on the Conservative ballot, came within a few points of beating the Democrat, as an "embarrassing loss."
Blaming election setbacks on a drop in voter enthusiasm, Congressional Democrats said Wednesday that losses in governors' races in Virginia and New Jersey -- and a striking House win in New York -- should give new urgency to their legislative agenda, including a sweeping health care overhaul.
As they assessed the results, Democratic lawmakers and party strategists said their judgment was that voters remained very uneasy about the economy and did not see Democrats producing on the health, energy and national security changes they promised when voters swept them to power only a year ago.
Republicans portrayed the election outcome as a repudiation of Democratic policies and predicted significant Congressional gains next year despite Tuesday's embarrassing loss in a longtime House Republican stronghold in upstate New York.
Dede Scozzafava's exit from a major campaign gave readers a perfect glimpse into the double standard applied by the media when it comes to women in politics.
The World Newser, official blog of ABC's World News Tonight, ran an article November 2 lamenting Scozzafava suspending her campaign curtly titled "Message to the GOP - 'Moderates Need Not Apply.'"
The piece quoted three people sympathetic to moderates and a long quote from Scozzafava herself, but only one voice to speak for conservatives. Among the complaints was that conservatives targeted Scozzafava for being a woman instead of focusing on political issues.
Perhaps a report on Scozzafava's lipstick preferences would have been more substantive since that was counted as newsworthy on the World Newser blog just one year ago.
In covering Scozzafava, ABC got right to the point in the second sentence:
Does the National Journal's Hotline inhabit the same universe as the rest of us? Democrats lost two-out-of-three among last night's big races. But in declaring Winners and Losers among non-candidates involved with the campaigns, the only Losers Hotline saw were . . . Republicans and conservatives, with nary a Dem in sight!
Chris Matthews was only too happy to seize on the Hotline hitlist during his Sideshow segment on this evening's Hardball. Here were Hotline's three Losers:
Sarah Palin: for jumping into Hoffman's losing cause, whereas McDonell and Christie didn't invite her in and won.
Pete Sessions: the Chairman of the NRCC, who went 0-2 in special congressional elections.
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:
NBC's David Gregory, on Wednesday's Today show, downplayed the huge GOP wins in New Jersey and Virginia as merely reflecting the "anti-incumbency mood," and "the change message that Obama" started last year. Gregory, however, did play up Democrat Bill Owens' win over Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman in the New York 23 congressional race, and even more absurdly Bob McDonnell's win in Virginia as evidence that the Republican's path to victory is to go moderate, as the Meet the Press host postulated: "What's striking is you have the results in New York 23, which Democrats will hold up as a great result for them, but then you have McDonnell winning in Virginia, a purple state. He's a social conservative for his political career, yet he runs more as a pragmatist, as more of a centrist and look at the result. He wins big, wins big among independent voters."
The following is the full Gregory segment with Meredith Vieira as it was aired on the November 4, Today show:
During a live midnight EST hour Larry King Live Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, CNN's Larry King repeatedly employed the “far right” pejorative to describe those who backed the unsuccessful New York congressional bid of the Conservative Party's Doug Hoffman. After Wolf Blitzer announced at 12:15 AM EST that CNN had declared Democrat Bill Owens the winner, King blurted: “That may be the first defeat for the far right tonight.”
About 15 minutes later, King pressed Amanda Carpenter of the Washington Times: “Since the far right did get into that race in upstate New York, is this a legitimate defeat for them tonight?”
And a few minutes after that, King forwarded the notion “the far right” is a “threat” to the GOP, asking Ben Stein: “Do you see the far right as evidenced by -- we all know who they are -- as a threat to your party?”
Shortly before the polls closed, CBS's chief Washington correspondent, Bob Schieffer, rejected any effort to tie President Barack Obama to two the Democratic gubernatorial candidates for whom Obama campaigned, insisting on Tuesday's CBS Evening News that the contests were more about local issues and so “I don't think they had much to do with anything but New Jersey and Virginia.”
Citing the special congressional race in New York, Schieffer rued “this third-party conservative who literally pushed a moderate Republican out of the race,” and proceeded to analogize Republicans this year to leftist activists who in 1972 pushed Democrats to pick an un-electable presidential candidate:
The Republican Party is really split and it is the conservatives who seem to have the juice right now. It's very much like what Democrats went through in 1972. The party activists on the left were so upset with mainstream candidates that in an effort to purify their party they pushed it so far to the left that they nominated the very liberal George McGovern for President. Now it's conservative Republicans who are upset with their mainstream candidates. They want to push the party to the right.
CNN’s Roland Martin picked up where Anderson Cooper left off on Monday’s AC360, claiming that there’s “the beginnings of a civil war” in the GOP and that Tea Party protesters “want to radicalize the right” in the party. Martin also claimed that the Democrats are more of a “big tent” than Republicans: “You have a Democratic Party that has no problem having liberal...moderate...and conservative Democrats.”
The liberal political contributor appeared with Tea Party Express’s Mark Williams for two segments starting three minutes into the 10 pm Eastern hour. Cooper first sought Martin’s take on the New York 23rd congressional district race. Unsurprisingly, he forwarded the Chris Matthews/mainstream media spin on the contest: “There is no doubt you are seeing the beginnings of a civil war play out, in terms of folks who are saying that we do not want moderates, in terms of being involved in this party.”
Later in the segment, after Williams highlighted how Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava endorsed Democrat Bill Owens after she withdrew from the New York 23 race, Martin struck back with his “big tent” claim about the Democrats: “You talk about endorsing a Democrat. I’m sure Mark has no problem with former Democrat Joe Lieberman saying he’s going to campaign for Republican candidates....You have a Democratic Party that has no problem having liberal Democrats, moderate Democrats, and conservative Democrats. What Republicans are saying is, we don’t want any liberal or moderate Republicans. We only want conservative Republicans, and you cannot expand a party nationally only having just conservative Republicans. You’re not going to win long-term.”
Is there nothing MSNBC can’t spin? A graphic on Tuesday’s Morning Meeting hopefully announced, "NY-23: Win-Win For Dems?" Apparently, even if Democrats lose the special congressional election in New York to Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman, it will just show how extreme the Republican Party has become.
In a not-exactly-balanced segment, host Dylan Ratigan talked to Representative and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen, liberal blogger Arianna Huffington and Professor Tom Schaller, who has written a book on how Democrats can win without the south.
The interview seemed very similar to one that appeared on Friday’s Situation Room on CNN. That program featured a graphic that read: "If The Dems Lose Next Week: How it might help them in the long run." And that followed an October 6 blog by ABC reporter Claire Shipman in which she speculated that President Obama losing Chicago’s Olympic bid was also a good thing:
Following a Monday night look at Tuesday's special election to fill New York's 23rd congressional district seat in which Republican Dede Scozzafava dropped out after falling behind the Democrat and the Conservative Party nominee, ABC anchor Charles Gibson -- instead of wondering why the GOP establishment failed to pick a candidate who upholds basic Republican principles -- delivered the usual liberal media upset over the GOP's lack of a “big tent,” a phrase you never hear when Democrats pick left-wing candidates:
A liberal Republican gets forced out of the race by a more conservative guy who was actually not a Republican, was running on the Conservative ticket. What happened to the big tent in the Republican Party?
John Berman framed the preceding story on the “moderate” Scozzafava “who supports abortion rights and the President’s stimulus plan,” around the premise that going with a conservative candidate will hurt in the long run: “A Republican drops out of a race which might guarantee Republicans keep the seat, which might be bad for the Republican party long term.” Berman concluded with how the conservative candidate, Douglas Hoffman, “says not all views are welcome” as he suggested “there's always boundaries.” To which Berman intoned: “The question for Republicans is will those boundaries become a burden?”
CNN’s Candy Crowley made an oblique reference to her colleague Anderson Cooper’s infamous “teabagger” remark on Monday’s Situation Room. As she reported on the race in New York’s 23rd congressional district, Crowley referred to Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman as “the choice of many on the right, including Sarah Palin, former House leader Dick Armey and ‘tea bag partyers’” [audio clips available here].
The CNN political correspondent detailed the different key races up in the November 3 election at the top of the 5 pm Eastern hour, including the New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial campaigns. She closed her report with the New York contest: “And by way of marquee races, it’s hard to beat the soap opera of New York’s 23rd congressional district, where the Republican moderate dropped out over the weekend, leaving the race to a conservative, Doug Hoffman, the choice of many on the right, including Sarah Palin, former House leader Dick Armey and ‘tea bag partyers.’”
Since Dede Scozzafava suspended her campaign for the open House seat in New York state's 23rd district Saturday, media members have been depicting her as a moderate Republican who was the victim of an attack by the far-right in the nation.
As NewsBusters reported hours ago, ABC's George Stephanopoulos on Monday said of events in upstate New York:
You saw this conservative candidate just come in and swamp the Republican who was pro-choice, pro-gay rights. And what the White House is trying to do even if they lose here is exploit- is fan the flames of this civil war.
With this in mind, one has to wonder how media are going to report the news that Scozzafava has actually recorded a "robocall" for Democrat candidate Bill Owens (audio available here, transcript below the fold, h/t Tweeter EndTheRoboCalls):
When Mike Allen appeared on Morning Joe today, the very first thing he did was tweak Joe Scarborough over the 3:1 odds, described below, that Joe had offered to those wanting to bet against Doug Hoffman. Joe responded that no one, including Allen, had taken up the bet. While Allen apparently didn't plunk down any dollars, it must be mentioned that at the end of the original segment, the Politico correspondent did say "we're in" on Scarborough's offer.
So let me acknowledge that in calling the race in the 23rd a toss-up, Mike Allen was right--not ridiculous.
Looking back, my two cents say the turning point might well have been the under-reported fact that when Hoffman, who does not live in the district, was interviewed by the Watertown newspaper, he demonstrated surprising unfamiliarity with issues important to the district including a major highway proposal and changes to the St. Lawrence Seaway. Not the kind of thing that gets national headlines, but important to people who live and work in the area. Candidates everywhere, take note.
The results should also be a rebuke to the New York Republican establishment. Remember that Dede Scozzafava was foisted on Republicans as their candidate by party chairmen meeting behind closed doors. If instead there had been a primary, Republicans would almost surely have chosen someone who would have won this race.
When you're an MSMer, you're an MSMer all the way--even when faced with facts that might make you like, well, ridiculous . . .
Mike Allen, appearing on Morning Joe, has declared the NY-23rd race a "real toss-up" despite a new poll from a respected organization showing Doug Hoffman with a 17-point lead.
The claim by Allen, Politico's chief political correspondent, was so absurd that, on the spot, host Joe Scarborough offered 3:1 odds to Allen and anyone else wanting to place a few kopeks on Dem Bill Owens.
Dede Scozzafava, the Republican and Independence Parties' candidate for the 23rd Congressional District of New York state who suspended her campaign Saturday, announced moments ago she was throwing her support behind Democrat candidate Bill Owens rather than the Conservative Party's Doug Hoffman.
This should make liberal media members ecstatic for the next 48 hours.
Scozzafava just released the following statement to the Watertown Daily Times (h/t Tweeter NYfitter):
In the wake of liberal Republican Dede Scozzafava suspending her congressional campaign after polls put her behind the Democrat and New York's Conservative Party nominee Doug Hoffman who has earned support from many conservatives, Los Angeles Times veteran Ron Brownstein fretted over how it's “a sign that the leash that the base is holding on the party is tightening and that the Palins, the talk radio, Rush Limbaughs, the Fox, the definition of what is acceptable as a Republican I think is narrowing.”
Brownstein, who joined National Journal in 2007 after nearly two decades at the LA Times and three years as “chief staff writer” for Ralph Nader, conceded that “in the short run there's clear energy here in the small government/anti–government argument, but in the long run,” he warned, “I do wonder about whether Republicans are going to have the freedom to maneuver they'll need to recover in some of those blue states where they've significantly eroded?”
Undermining his credibility, Brownstein painted Senator Arlen Specter as another victim of the awful right-wingers, claiming “Specter essentially was forced to leave the party after voting for the stimulus.”
"The battle for upstate New York confirms just how swiftly the right has devolved into a wacky, paranoid cult that is as eager to eat its own as it is to destroy Obama. The movement’s undisputed leaders, Palin and Beck, neither of whom have what Palin once called the 'actual responsibilities' of public office, would gladly see the Republican Party die on the cross of right-wing ideological purity."
So wrote New York Times columnist Frank Rich in a piece that won't appear in print until Sunday, but was clearly intended to scare the Dickens out of the Times' few conservative readers on Halloween.
After all, in his "The G.O.P. Stalinists Invade Upstate New York," Rich unapologetically said no matter who wins in Tuesday's election for a House representative from New York's 23rd district, "the Republicans are the sure losers":
UPDATE AT END OF POST: Scozzafava's statement to supporters.
Dede Scozzafava, the Republican and Independence Parties' candidate for the 23rd Congressional District of New York state, announced Saturday that she is suspending her campaign and releasing all her supporters.
So reported the Watertown Daily Times moments ago:
Markos Moulitsas, founder of the Daily Kos, has discovered that his endorsement can be political poison. Such was the case with his endorsement at the beginning of this month of the very liberal Republican candidate, Dede Scozzafava, in the New York 23rd CD special election:
Club for Growth darling Doug Hoffman is running on the Conservative Party line, and has even garnered the endorsement of Fred Thompson. The guy has legitimate traction, fueled by the fact that Dede Scozzafava, the Republican, is actually the most liberal candidate in the race. (Heck, she has run on the very liberal Working Families Party ballot line in the past.)
Sure, she is a Republican, and opposes the public option. But she's been willing to raise taxes when budgets require it, and is to the left of most Democrats on social issues (including supporting gay marriage). That's why conservatives are panicked about her -- for a party that is becoming more regional, more conservative, more ideologically rigid, Scozzafava's brand of moderate conservatism is grating. Hence, Hoffman has a real shot at not just playing spoiler and undermining the GOP candidate's chances, but also of potentially winning.
As a congresswoman, she could either move even more to the left to properly represent her progressive-trending district and be a pain in the side of the GOP caucus (they have nothing like our Blue Dogs), or Democrats can field a real Democrat to challenge her in 2010.
Mike Allen has dumped on Doug Hoffmann's candidacy. Again. Yesterday, as noted here, Allen said Republicans would be "crazy" and "suicidal" to support the conservative in the special congressional election in New York's 23rd CD. Today, Politico's chief political correspondent has claimed that a Hoffman victory would spell "chaos" in Republican ranks.
And check the video for Mike Barnicle making an elitist crack about the upstate NY district, and Chuck Todd trying to embarrass RNC Chairman Michael Steele . . .
Hmm. So you would think that any recent news story about that race would have to at least include a mention of the Conservative challenger Doug Hoffman who has surged to the lead in a couple of recent polls as the Republican, Dede Scozzafava, plunged to last place. Well, in the world of the New York Daily News, Doug Hoffman doesn't even exist. At least not in this story yesterday by Elizabeth Benjamin. She writes The Daily Politics but her article appears to be The Daily Politics of an alternate universe in which the contest in the 23rd CD is strictly between Scozzafava and Democrat Bill Owens. Here is her story about New York governor David Paterson endorsing Owens and how this affects the campaigns of both the Democrat and Republican candidates but not a certain person whose candidacy dare not speak its name...at least not by Benjamin in this article:
Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post has written a story in his Morning Fix political news analysis that is sure to cause conniption fits over at the Daily Kos which endorsed "Republican" Dede Scozzafava in the New York 23rd CD race that has now grabbed the attention of the political world. The political news that Cillizza has reported looks great for Conservative Doug Hoffman, bad for Scozzafava, and very depressing for the Daily Kos (and Newt Gingrich):
The Iowa caucuses may be more than two years from now but a series of moves by potential Republican presidential contenders has turned a special election in New York's 23rd district into an early test of conservative bona fides.
In the last week three GOPers with an eye on 2012 -- former House speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.), Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin -- have weighed in on the race with Tpaw and Palin throwing their support behind Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman and Gingrich endorsing state Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava.
(Polling and conversations with those close to the contest on both sides suggest it is now a two-person race between Hoffman and Democrat Bill Owens with Scozzafava fading badly.)
Mike Allen might not be a Republican political strategist, but he tried playing one on TV today, telling the GOP it was "crazy" and "suicidal" to be supporting Doug Hoffman over Dede Scozzafava in a special congressional election in northern New York.
Politico's chief political correspondent offered his unsolicited advice on today's Morning Joe.
This is a Politico congressional race story that should have been labeled "WARNING: Read this story with a huge grain of salt." Why? First of all because the poll of the New York 23rd Congressional District was mostly taken before the big events of this past week were well known there. And even more importantly, the source of the poll was the Daily Kos which endorsed the very liberal Republican in the race, Dede Scozzafava. However, before we go into how absurd this poll was, let us watch Josh Kraushaar of Politico get all breathless about this highly questionable story:
The Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll provides some encouraging news for Scozzafava, who remains in second place – and within striking distance of Owens – despite a week of bad publicity. It shows her leading Hoffman among Republican voters, 46 to 27 percent.