Reporters at the Washington Post need a refresher already on the November elections. Obama beat Romney 51-47; Senate Democrats gained two seats, up to 53; House Democrats gained eight seats, but still trail 234-201. Somehow, the Post says this is a “shellacking.” That’s a word Obama used more accurately after the wave election of 2010, when the Republicans added a historic 63 seats.
In Friday’s Post, reporters David Nakamura and Rosalind Helderman discussed whether Republicans would move toward the center on immigration: “Months after GOP leaders began signaling that the party would shift positions on immigration in response to their shellacking in the November election, Republicans are still working out their stance.” The Post website carried a similar line from an AP article:
The liberal media can’t seem to help themselves. While counter-arguments are occasionally acknowledged, most journalists of the progressive persuasion are not interested in fair and balanced coverage of politics. Facts and figures are seemingly subjective in the whole scheme of things. Severely limited studies and polls seem to provide them with all the information they need. Oh, and almost everything is racist.
The Washington Post has been one of most reliable offenders, as far as daily publications are concerned. For example, Rosalind Helderman, Jon Cohen and Aaron Blake collaborated on a report that was published today suggesting the “Republican Party base is white, aging and dying off.” This is according to an “extensive analysis" by David Bositis of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.
Providing Washington Post Metro section readers a review of the just-closed legislative session of the Virginia General Assembly, staff writers Rosalind Helderman and Fredrick Kunkle today deployed some colorfully loaded language that portrayed conservative Republicans in an unfavorable light.
For example [emphasis mine], the "divided legislature reached a compromise on budget amendments that mollified Republicans bent on paring government to its core services and Democrats eager to restore spending on schools, health care and other priorities as the economy improves."
But what really struck me was the part a few paragraphs later where Helderman and Kunkle described the successful effort Republicans waged to pass a bill opposed by pro-choice activists and politicians [emphasis mine]:
A new ABC-Washington Post poll found ObamaCare sunk to its lowest popularity yet: 52 percent opposed, and only 43 percent in favor. ABC mentioned the poll without fanfare at the end of a Jake Tapper report on Monday’s World News, and Tapper added this was the health law's "lowest level of popularity ever." But Tuesday’s Washington Post reported not one sentence on the poll in the paper – even as they reported in the paper that the same survey found Obama’s tax-and-unemployment-compensation deal has “broad bipartisan support.”
The numbers weren't excluded because they arrived late. The Post poll numbers went up on the website yesterday at about 1 pm, under the headline “Health care opponents divided on repeal.” That obscured the numbers a bit, as Cohen found a “slim majority” (not a “clear majority”?) currently oppose ObamaCare:
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.
His state voted Democratic in the 2008 presidential contest for the first time in 44 years, he's personally popular with voters, and he's currently the chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Yet not once in her November 17 11-paragraph story did Washington Post's Rosalind Helderman raise the notion that Gov. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) might share blame for his party's gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds getting thoroughly trounced in the voting booth 14 days earlier.
Helderman's story, "Democrat Deeds ran without his base, Kaine says," was based on Kaine's recent "meeting with editors and reporters of The Washington Post." Helderman's reporting makes clear, however, that the paper was only interested in dutifully relaying Kaine's spin on the 2009 gubernatorial election, not in challenging any of his claims.
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 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:
As veteran readers of NewsBusters know, a good deal of liberal media bias comes in subtle labeling and phrasing. Today's Washington Post provides an excellent example of just that in a Metro section article pitting "victims' advocates" against "gun rights advocates" in a story about new gun restrictions lobbied for by Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown (D) and approved by the Maryland House of Delegates.
The House yesterday approved two measures that make it easier for judges to confiscate the guns of people accused -- but not yet convicted -- of domestic violence. Brown had "campaigned for the proposals in the name of his cousin, who was killed last year by an estranged boyfriend," staffer Rosalind Helderman noted.
Meanwhile a separate bill by a Republican legislator that would make it easier for persons filing restraining orders to be granted concealed carry permits was defeated "along heavily partisan lines. Maryland is a "may-issue" state where the state police have wide latitude in denying concealed carry requests: