That the folks at the Associated Press have had it in for Scott Walker for over 3-1/2 years has been quite obvious. The wire service's reporters, particularly Scott Bauer, have made their personal opposition quite clear, sometimes quite bitterly and often dishonestly, to Walker's Act 10 and other policies in their supposedly "objective" reports.
So it wasn't any surprise, or really even a disappointment, that the wire service's unbylined report out of Washington noting Walker's victory Tuesday evening wouldn't even acknowledge that he "won" — only that he "survived."
Here are the first two paragraphs of the AP's initial four-paragraph report (the other two paragraphs were about developments in U.S. House and Senate races):
Bauer's report early Wednesday morning was at least more balanced and acknowledged that Walker had achieved a victory, though his story's headline — "Walker survives re-election challenge, stoking White House speculation" — still didn't:
Wisconsin's Republican Gov. Scott Walker won his third election victory in four years Tuesday, overcoming fierce opposition from unions and other liberal groups and cementing his credentials for a possible 2016 GOP presidential run.
Walker told The Associated Press after he was declared the winner that any decision about running for president "will have to wait," as he focuses on quickly passing his agenda through the Legislature next year.
But Walker's victory speech to a raucous crowd sounded like a politician with the White House on his mind as he railed against Washington and talked of America's virtues.
"I'm an optimist," Walker said. "I believe here in Wisconsin and in America we want to be for something and not against something. But you know what? That's the difference between Washington and Wisconsin. They're all against something. We're for something."
Old habits are obviously hard to break. Look at the title of the AP video carried at the end of Bauer's report at TwinCities.com, the web site of the St. Paul (MN) Pioneer Press:
For the record, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tells us the following concerning Walker's victories:
Walker won 52.2% of the vote in 2010, 53.1% in 2012 and 52.3% in 2014. The governor re-created not only the same demographic coalition but the same political map that got him elected in 2010 and 2012.
Tim Graham at NewsBusters also noted in 2012 after Walker's recall victory that the national press frequently used "Walker survives" headlines, while the Washington Post described Barack Obama's presidential election victory in 2008 by a nearly identical percentage of the vote as follows: "US DECISIVELY ELECTS FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT."
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.