CBS Compares Doug Jones to Atticus Finch: A ‘Red-State Democrat’ From ‘New Alabama’

In a fawning softball interview with Alabama Senator-elect Doug Jones for CBS Sunday Morning, reporter Manuel Bajorquez treated the Democrat to a comparison with To Kill a Mocking Bird protagonist Atticus Finch and assured viewers that the radically pro-abortion liberal was actually a “red-state Democrat” who represented the “new Alabama.”

Midway through the glowing segment touting Jones’s victory, Bajorquez offered highlights of the attorney’s legal career: “So who is Doug Jones? The 63-year-old grew up in Fairfield, Alabama, when the south was still segregated. His interest in social justice led him to become a lawyer. In 1997, he was appointed U.S. Attorney and he decided to take on a case that had been unresolved for decades.”

 

 

Turning to Jones, the reporter described the case in question: “You prosecuted two of the Klansmen involved in the 1963 church bombing that killed four African American girls.” Bajorquez promoted how politically useful it was in the special election: “That was a prominent part of this campaign as well, and it seemed to have resonated.” Jones agreed: “It did. It was important for everyone in the state.”

The journalist then proclaimed: “Prosecuting that case earned him comparisons to another Alabama attorney, Atticus Finch, the moral hero in the classic novel, To Kill a Mocking Bird.” He asked Jones: “How do you feel about that comparison?” After admitting that it was “incredibly flattering,” Jones further encouraged the narrative: “I’ve got a book sitting right over there, To Kill a Mocking Bird, autographed by Harper Lee, and she put on there, ‘To Doug Jones with admiration.’” Bajorquez replied: “Wow.”

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The CBS correspondent was so busy labeling Jones a “moral hero” that he forgot to ask about the Democrat’s extreme pro-abortion views. NBC also conveniently skipped that subject in an interview with Jones on Thursday.

After ignoring Jones’s left-wing positions, Bajorquez instead tried to paint him as a conservative:

But Jones says he’s still a red-state Democrat. [Pointing to deer head in Jones’s office] This right here is proof that you do hunt....He’s a gun owner and strong Second Amendment supporter. And while he would not vote for the current GOP tax bill, he does favor lowering the corporate tax rate.

The reporter then shared an anecdote from the campaign trail that perfectly matched Democratic talking points about the Senate race: “One of your supporters who was out canvassing, we interviewed him. He said this is old Alabama versus new Alabama.” Jones happily accepted the portrayal: “I think that that’s a good description.”

Bajorquez then teed up Jones to explain the difference:

BAJORQUEZ:  What is old Alabama?

JONES: Old Alabama is nothing but divisive politics, demagogues that try to divide us. You know, we are still living with all of the images in black and white, and of the George Wallace era. And the Roy Moores, to be honest with you. I am here for all people. And Alabama is changing. Alabama is getting more diverse every day.

BAJORQUEZ: That’s the new Alabama?

JONES: That’s the new Alabama.

The biased segment was brought to viewers by Fidelity Investments, Crest, and Cuisinart.

Here is a full transcript of the December 17 interview:

10:19 AM ET

JANE PAULEY: Democrat Doug Jones made headlines last Tuesday, winning the election for U.S. Senate in Alabama. This morning, the Senator-elect has some questions to answer from Manuel Bajorquez.

MANUEL BAJORQUEZ: Even after Roy Moore faced multiple accusations of sexual misconduct, some involving teenagers, many political experts thought the Republican, who rode his horse in to cast his vote last week, could still ride off to victory. But they didn’t ask Doug Jones.

DOUG JONES: Thank you!

BAJORQUEZ: So let’s go to the headline here. Alabama has not sent a Democrat to the Senate in 25 years. How did you do it?

JONES: People forget that, you know, a Republican didn’t send anybody to the Senate for over a hundred years before that changed. And it changes one election at a time.

BAJORQUEZ: But do you think you would have won had The Washington Post not broken the story about the sexual misconduct allegations against Roy Moore?

JONES: Yes. Yeah, I think we would have beaten him. We were getting traction. We were being inclusive and talking about issues that people care about.

BAJORQUEZ: His stunning win in deep-red Alabama came by about 20,000 votes.

WOLF BLITZER [CNN]: Doug Jones, the Democrat, he will be the next United States senator from Alabama.

BAJORQUEZ: That slim margin of victory thanks to Republicans who rejected Moore with write-in votes and a significant turnout by African Americans. So let’s talk about your victory speech. You got up there and said, I feel like I've been waiting my whole life –  

JONES: I’ve been waiting all my life and now I just don’t know what the hell to say.

BAJORQUEZ: Is it because you were so surprised, shocked?

JONES: No, I was – I was just kind of overcome. It was just being out on that stage and seeing that little sea of people that when you look across there, it was – it represented Alabama.

BAJORQUEZ: So who is Doug Jones? The 63-year-old grew up in Fairfield, Alabama, when the south was still segregated. His interest in social justice led him to become a lawyer. In 1997, he was appointed U.S. Attorney and he decided to take on a case that had been unresolved for decades.

JONES [2001]: Justice delayed is still justice.

BAJORQUEZ: You prosecuted two of the Klansmen involved in the 1963 church bombing that killed four African American girls. That was a prominent part of this campaign as well, and it seemed to have resonated.

JONES: It did. It was important for everyone in the state. When you’re on the right side of history, you can do – you can accomplish a lot of things.

BAJORQUEZ: Prosecuting that case earned him comparisons to another Alabama attorney, Atticus Finch, the moral hero in the classic novel, To Kill a Mocking Bird. How do you feel about that comparison?

JONES: Well, I mean, that’s incredibly flattering and I’ve got a book sitting right over there, To Kill a Mocking Bird, autographed by Harper Lee, and she put on there, "To Doug Jones with admiration.” That’s a real prize.

BAJORQUEZ: Wow.

JONES: Yeah.  

BAJORQUEZ: With admiration?

JONES: With admiration.

BAJORQUEZ: But Jones says he’s still a red-state Democrat. [Pointing to deer head in Jones’s office] This right here is proof that you do hunt.

JONES: That was my one shot I took last year, 300 yards, and that eight-point fell.

BAJORQUEZ: He’s a gun owner and strong Second Amendment supporter. And while he would not vote for the current GOP tax bill, he does favor lowering the corporate tax rate. He says his win is proof his sweet home Alabama wants more from politicians.

One of your supporters who was out canvassing, we interviewed him. He said this is old Alabama versus new Alabama.

JONES: I think that that’s a good description.

BAJORQUEZ:  What is old Alabama?

JONES: Old Alabama is nothing but divisive politics, demagogues that try to divide us. You know, we are still living with all of the images in black and white, and of the George Wallace era. And the Roy Moores, to be honest with you. I am here for all people. And Alabama is changing. Alabama is getting more diverse every day.

BAJORQUEZ: That’s the new Alabama?

JONES: That’s the new Alabama.

ROY MOORE: And realize when the vote is this close, that it’s not over.

BAJORQUEZ: While he still hasn’t heard from Roy Moore, Jones says he got a gracious phone call from President Trump, congratulating him on election night. And says he knows, even in victory, he now has a lot of Alabamaians to win over.

JONES: I can work with the President, I can work with people in my own party. And when I talk about reaching across the aisle, there’s probably a fair amount of issues I want to reach inside the Democratic caucus to try to pull them a little bit more to make sure that they know that the people of Alabama might need a little bit different direction.

BAJORQUEZ: That sounds great. But given the current political climate, is it possible?

JONES: It’s as possible as a snow in December in Alabama or a long-shot Democrat getting elected from a deep-red state.


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