You can tell that members of the liberal media are uncomfortable that a southern state legislature is finally reflecting the conservative values of its electorate. For the first time in over a century, the GOP in North Carolina controls both chambers of the state legislature as well as the governorship, a feat that has the left-leaning staff at The New York Times extremely nervous and uncomfortable.
Take for example a story in the June 12 edition of the paper which highlights how “Weekly protests challenge conservative shift in state politics.” In a 26-paragraph piece, Times writer Kim Severson sympathizes with liberal protestors and relies heavily on anti-GOP quotes while including only two quotes from Republicans.
With their series of weekly protests dubbed "Moral Mondays," the North Carolina NAACP, Severson approvingly noted, has:
Challenged the newly conservative Republican leadership in North Carolina, raising its voice against the loss of the state’s centrist leadership and what they see as diminished recognition of the poor and minorities.
Severson promoted the president of the North Carolina NAACP lambasting the state’s GOP, claiming that “these folks have lost their constitutional minds and their moral minds.” She then painted the Tar Heel State as having taken a “hard swing to the right” with the NAACP “bent on turning the protests in North Carolina into a national movement” without noting that Republicans across the state were elected with wide majorities of support from the state's voters.
Instead of adequately showing how the GOP-lead legislature is reflecting the conservative values of the state's electorate, the Times instead chose to hype protestors who claim that “This state is hurting the people who are struggling for every penny” and how North Carolina is “one of the least conservative states” where the shift right “ has seemed sudden, stark and well-executed.”
“I want the American people to watch the conservative playbook unfold in North Carolina. It’s mean-spirited, and it’s wrong” thundered Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.).
Towards the end of the piece, Severson did note that it is hard to tell whether or not the protests were having “much effect on the governor and legislators.” She also managed to include two brief quotes from Thom Tillis, the speaker of the North Carolina House, who wants to work with the protestors, but his quotes were buried at the end of the piece and were surrounded by pro-protestor quotes.
The Times’ concern that North Carolina’s legislature is actually representing the values of North Carolinians should come as no surprise given that North Carolina is a conservative state. It is unlikely the Times would feel such sympathy for protestors if they were opposing for example the Maryland legislature taking a “hard swing left.”
Severson concluded her story by quoting Duke Law professor Jedediah Purdy arguing that “the states are the new front line in politics.” As long as the GOP continues to make gains in state legislatures across the country expect to see many more pieces warning about such a “conservative shift in state politics.”