Even when conservatives express their view that any adult male who seeks out underage girls is a "pervert," they will still be questioned for suggesting the liberal media has a partisan tilt. National Public Radio's All Things Considered has been rotating some fresh conservative pundits on their Week in Review segments on Fridays, and Orange County Register columnist John Phillips said things that David Brooks never says -- that the media aren't trusted because they advocate for the liberal side. That drew a laughable reply from NPR anchor Kelly McEvers. She denied they had an openly anti-Trump, anti-Republican bias.
Perhaps she meant we weren't openly anti-Trump. We denied it suggested we were objective, and expected people to buy that, despite our anti-Trump reporting. Denying the obvious doesn't make you more professional.
The topic was The Washington Post reporting on the unusual dating style of Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama, accused of dating teenagers when he was in his early 30s. One accuser said she was 14 when he asked for sex. Liberal Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne brought Friday's liberal spin: "I think we never expected to see the Republican Party divided over pedophilia, which is - which the anti-Trump Republican Evan McMullin noted today."
Phillips began by declaring his belief that "first of all, any adult who has sex with someone who's underage to me is a pervert. And if this guy did this, he should resign. He should not run for office." But he explained Republican discomfort with the agenda of the Post, even among people who think the allegations sound credible.
JOHN PHILLIPS: I also think there is an element of the fact that the Republicans right now - Republican voters, people in the heartland just do not believe the mainstream media.Under any circumstances. So the fact that the media is the one that came up with this - The Washington Post - to Republican voters, it's just their political enemies going after another one of their guys. And they kind of don't get too deep into the weeds.
KELLY McEVERS: We are seeing, though, a...
E.J. DIONNE: Which is, by the way, pretty appalling because I think what Mitt Romney said was very important here, which is - he said, forget who reported it. [Says the Washington Post employee!] Just read the accounts of these women, and they sure sound credible. And so the inclination to take whatever is reported by the mainstream media and assume that it's untrue is really very bad for our politics.
McEVERS: Right. We saw one of the editors of The Washington Post come forward and say, look; four women told the stories; 30 people were interviewed for this, many corroborations. I mean, what else do you need here?
PHILLIPS: Right. And I believe that these allegations are most likely true. That being said, this is the side effect of the mainstream media essentially picking a side during the last election. Let's not forget when Jorge Ramos came out and said that people covering this election have an obligation not to be fair, have an obligation not to treat both sides the same way, the way the late night hosts blatantly picked a side, the way the newspapers came down almost unanimously against Donald Trump. Republican voters remember that, and they carry a grudge.
McEVERS: Not to say we all took Jorge Ramos' advice there, but...
PHILLIPS: That is true.
Peter Hasson of the Daily Caller tweeted one suggestion of a Post double-standard on old pols dating teenagers: a September 27, 2016 story headlined “In Virginia’s capital, a political ‘bad boy’ upends race for mayor.” Paul Schwartzman reported:
Everyone in Richmond knows about Joe and Myrna Morrissey, as do many across Virginia and as far away as Europe, having feasted on a gush of salacious stories three years ago about the then-55-year-old state lawmaker who went to jail for cavorting with his 17-year-old receptionist.
That he is white and she is black only added another level of intrigue to the saga.
The Post admitted many people were appalled by the campaign, but this is how the story ended:
Myrna was with her husband on a recent afternoon as he spoke before an audience of several dozen senior citizens, including Guy Kinman, 98, a gay activist who asked how the candidate would deal with people “who feel it’s horrible you have a chance.”
“How are you going to govern with people who say, ‘Never Joe’?” Kinman asked.
“To the extent that some folk have some difficulty with Myrna and me — get over it,” Morrissey said.
He predicted that Richmond’s brand would benefit with the Morrisseys as the city’s face. “People are going to look at that and say, ‘What a cool city,’ ” he said. “People are going to flock to this city.”
Morrissey came in third with 21 percent of the vote. Back in 2014, I had another item on the Post coverage of Morrissey scandal:
When December was new, we reported that The Washington Post was incensed enough to put obscure congressional press aide Elizabeth Lauten on the front page for disparaging the Obama daughters on her personal Facebook page, while the story of a former Democratic congressional aide [Donny Ray Williams Jr.] pleading guilty to two counts of sexual assault ended up in a 281-word article tucked away on the far-right edge of page A-5.
The Post repeated this obvious double standard on Sunday, when it buried a Democratic state legislator on page C-7: “Republicans and Democrats are calling on Del. Joseph D. Morrissey (D-Henrico) to resign from the Virginia House of Delegates after his conviction Friday on a charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.”
The headline was only a bland, forgettable “Del. Morrissey urged to resign seat.”