Leave It to Becky: In AK Senate Race, AP's Bohrer Ignores Murkowski's 'Unfit to Serve' Hit at Miller

October 26th, 2010 2:48 PM

Clearly, Becky Bohrer at the Associated Press is very picky about what she'll report.

In her story datelined early this morning ("Senate race in Alaska is bitter and unpredictable"), she played the "any Tea Partier whose family or extended family has ever taken a government benefit is automatically a hypocrite" card. She made sure readers knew about Republican candidate Joe Miller's incredibly awful (that's sarcasm, in case anyone doesn't get it) violation of a government entity's office policy, wherein he was "disciplined for participating in a private poll during his lunch hour" (oh, the humanity!), and how Miller's presence in the campaign has "frightened" many Democrats into seriously considering their candidate, Scott McAdams.

In discussing Lisa Murkowski's performance at a Sunday night debate with Miller and Democratic candidate Scott McAdams, Bohrer gave visibility to Murkowski's questioning of whether Miller, who earned a Bronze Star in the Army, "has lived up to the (military) code of honor." But the AP writer "somehow forgot" that Murkowski flatly asserted in her closing remarks that Miller is "not fit to serve" -- a contention that drew sharp negative reaction from the crowd on hand (I guess that was Bohrer's "gosh, I'd better not report this" signal).

All in all, Bohrer's blather is a clear attempt to portray Miller as struggling, Murkowski as ascending, and "tireless campaigner" McAdams as a potential upset winner.

Here are several paragraphs from Becky's blather:

For Alaskan voters, this year's Senate election is venturing into unexplored territory.


The three-way contest features a rematch of the bitter Republican primary, a rising Democrat who is moving from spoiler to contender, and even a voice from the grave. With millions of dollars flowing into the state to help fuel nonstop TV and radio ads, the scope of outside interest in the election is virtually unprecedented.


Don't count on a quick resolution to the drama on Election Night. If the race turns out to be as tight as polling suggests, write-in and absentee ballots could come into play. That could put off a final tally - and the determination of the winner - for weeks.


... Miller, 43, has been working to regain focus and overcome a series of missteps. The fiscal conservative has acknowledged that he or members of his family received Medicaid, unemployment and farm subsidies in the past - government largesse he's criticized as a candidate - and his security detail was criticized for handcuffing and detaining a journalist after a town hall meeting.


Miller fought release of his personnel file from his time as a government attorney with the Fairbanks North Star Borough, admitting only that he had violated office policy and refusing to provide details. After a judge ordered the release of the personnel records, Miller said during a debate Sunday night that he had been disciplined for participating in a private poll during his lunch hour. He called it a mistake he's learned from.


... The race turned personal a long time ago. In the debate Sunday night, Murkowski accused Miller of telling lies about her record and misusing government computers while a borough attorney. She asked him whether he believed his instructors and classmates at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point would say he has lived up to the code of honor.


... But McAdams has proven to be a tireless campaigner, filling town hall meetings, working the phones with potential donors and proving to many Democrats - lukewarm about Murkowski but frightened by what a Miller win would mean - that he's not a token candidate.

Here is what Murkowski said at the end of Sunday night's debate (video is here at Right Scoop):

I think it's important that Alaskans look at this race. They need to know whether or not any of the three of us can take this state into the future.


Scott is not ready to lead, Joe is not fit to lead. I have been leading this state ... (crowd boos and reacts negatively) ... I have been leading this state ... ... (negative crowd reaction continues) ... for eight years, and I will continue to do so, bringing the seniority that I have built, the, the work ethic that I have built, and the passion for the state that I live, love. I ask Alaskans for their support on November 2.

Ms. "Bridge to Nowhere Supporter" Murkowski's remark would turn off virtually any Alaskan voter aware of it. That's where Becky Bohrer's non-reporting of the remark comes in. Shame on you, Ms. Bohrer.

Since she won't report it, and since I suspect the state's local press will relatively downplay it, Alaskans will need to ensure that all of their friends and neighbors are aware of Murkowski's outrageous contention with all deliberate speed.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.