Washington Post Hypes 'Strident' Anti-Obama 'Tea Party Threat' to GOP's Senate Hopes in 2014

The Washington Post is painting the Tea Party as all “threat” and no benefit to the Republicans. Paul Kane’s Wednesday story is headlined “Tea party threat again hangs over Republicans’ efforts to take Senate.” Conservatives think some incumbents are “insufficiently strident” against Obama.

Kane played up several times how the GOP whiffed in “seemingly winnable” states with Tea Party candidates, demonstrating complete amnesia about how liberal national media outlets piled on the Angles, O’Donnells and Akins with partisan aggression.

Many of the upstarts are considered long shots, and some are in states that are so deeply conservative that even a gadfly Republican would be likely to win in the general election. But a similar situation has tripped up Republicans in the past two elections, costing them seemingly winnable seats in states such as Nevada, Missouri and Indiana.

A few paragraphs later, Kane repeats like a bad phonograph needle:

Republicans need to pick up six seats to win the majority, while Democrats are defending 21 seats, including seven key Senate battlegrounds in places where Obama lost in 2012. That margin would be much smaller if not for a series of GOP candidates who emerged from ideological primaries in 2010 and 2012 as tea party heroes, only to blunder through the general election and lose winnable races.

Like moderate Republicans, Kane makes the predictive leap that Rep. Mike Castle in Delaware had a “winnable race” in Delaware, or that another Republican had a “winnable race” against the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid.

While Sen. Orrin Hatch complained about the primary challenges from the right, Kane countered, "Conservative activists, however, say their goal is to remake the Republican Party from the outside, focusing their efforts particularly on red-leaning states where the incumbent is insufficiently strident in opposing Obama and Democrats." This is not the kind of adjective they use for leftist Democrat groups. 

In case anyone missed how the national media has put its 800-pound-gorilla weight on top of Tea Party challengers, let's review from our book "Collusion" on the media bias that tripped up Todd Akin:

On August 19, 2012, Representative Todd Akin, Missouri’s GOP nominee for the U.S. Senate, appeared on the Fox station in St. Louis with Charles Jaco, a leftist and former national reporter for CNN and NBC. (This is a man who had attacked conservative bloggers as lacking “opposable thumbs.”) Jaco asked a series of pointed questions about what he felt were Akin’s extremist conservative stands, including on abortion. When Jaco asked Akin if he supported abortion after a rape, Akin replied, “First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

The answer was plain stupid. The phrase “legitimate rape” is politically insensitive, if not monstrous, and the notion that the female body can prevent pregnancy from a rape is just medically wrong. But notice what started a national media feeding frenzy: a former national reporter pushing Akin on the toughest abortion decisions. Did Jaco ever try this with the incumbent, Senator Claire McCaskill?

Here’s your answer.  After boasting that his Akin interview had “created worldwide headlines,” Jaco asked McCaskill two weeks later, “Would it be unfair to describe you as pro-choice?” No, she said. “So when you heard  Congressman Akin’s comments, were you taken aback, or how did it strike you?”

[McCaskill replied that her opponent was "outside the mainstream. Todd Akin would consider it an insult to be called a moderate. I wear the term 'moderate' like a badge of honor."]

Jaco also described McCaskill on air as a “centrist Democrat.” In reality, McCaskill failed to cast a single pro-life vote in her first term in the Senate, earning a perfect 100 score from NARAL Pro-Choice America and a perfect zero from the National Right to Life Committee. She voted for everything the left wanted, from embryo-destroying stem-cell research to UN funding for communist China’s forced one-child policy.

But the national media leaped all over Akin’s medical gaffe. The ABC, CBS, and NBC evening newscasts and morning shows offered a massive ninety-six minutes (and forty-five segments) of coverage over three and a half days. The disparity between Akin and gaffe-prone Vice President Biden’s “chains” controversy from the week before was 5 to 1. Biden was excused. Akin was savaged.

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Campaigns & Elections 2014 Congressional Washington Post Paul Kane Orrin Hatch
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