As even the casual reader of NewsBusters is well aware, the MSNBC cable news network is forever on the lookout for racially-tinged "code words" in Republican speeches and "dog whistle" ads by GOP super PACs against Democrats. But the network's keen sense of outrage is conspicuously absent when it comes to attacks by Democratic groups against Mia Love, the African-American Republican Mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, who is challenging long-time liberal -- he boasts a lifetime American Conservative Union score of 38.61 out of a possible 100 -- Rep. Jim Matheson (D).
Michael Warren of the Weekly Standard reported on Sept. 28 about a Utah State Democratic Committee mailer than seems to have darkened Love's skin tone. Warren also linked to a Blue Dog Democrat-linked Super PAC ad that falsely charged that Love's record is summed up in the words "skyrocketing crime" [video embedded below page break].
But even there, Center Forward is grossly misleading folks about Love's record, as Robert Gehrke of Salt Lake Tribune's Political Cornflakes feature explained in a September 29 post (emphasis mine; h/t email tipster Charles Bogue):
Hide your kids, hide your wife. There’s a crime wave sweeping through … Saratoga Springs?
An ad by Center Forward PAC — which is supporting Rep. Jim Matheson — makes the claim that Saratoga Springs experienced "skyrocketing crime" during Mia Love’s tenure on the city council and as mayor.
But the data doesn’t actually bear out the claim. The chart above shows that the crime rate in Saratoga Springs is considerably lower than the rest of Utah County and is roughly a third of what the crime rate is statewide.
There was a 400 percent increase in rape and aggravated assault from 2009 to 2010, but the numbers — rising from one case of each to five cases of each — remain small.
Matheson made a claim a few weeks ago, asserting that burglaries increased nearly 400 percent in Saratoga Springs in one year. He has since said he was wrong about those numbers.
The Center Forward ad also says that Love wanted to cut the city’s police budget — a statement that Matheson has also made. That seems to be valid. The city council meeting minutes from May 2008, which the Center Forward ad cites, shows that when the city was facing a budget crisis, she challenged the police to cut their budget.
A grossly inaccurate attack ad in a mostly-white congressional district hitting a black mayor for a spike in crime under her watch that, quite simply, never happened. Were this a spot by Republicans against a liberal black Democrat, the media outrage would be turned up to 11.
The liberal media, however, seem determined to remain mute on this matter.