Last week, MSNBC steadfastly refused to dip into a speech by newly-minted Republican and former Rep. Artur Davis (Ala.), who just four years ago was not only a Democrat but an Obama campaign co-chair.
But on Tuesday night, MSNBC showed in full the speech of Maria Ciano, whom anchor Rachel Maddow tagged a "former Republican talking about her conversion to Democratic politics, particularly on the issue of choice." Ciano launched into a misleading, error-laden diatribe, which of course was NOT fact-checked by MSNBC panelists afterward. Also left unmentioned was that Ciano has been a Democrat since at least two years prior to Obama's election to the presidency. From the conservative Power Line blog [emphasis mine]
The liberal media can’t seem to help themselves. While counter-arguments are occasionally acknowledged, most journalists of the progressive persuasion are not interested in fair and balanced coverage of politics. Facts and figures are seemingly subjective in the whole scheme of things. Severely limited studies and polls seem to provide them with all the information they need. Oh, and almost everything is racist.
The Washington Post has been one of most reliable offenders, as far as daily publications are concerned. For example, Rosalind Helderman, Jon Cohen and Aaron Blake collaborated on a report that was published today suggesting the “Republican Party base is white, aging and dying off.” This is according to an “extensive analysis" by David Bositis of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.
CNN contributor Roland Martin quipped on Wednesday that "I'm a black man at a Republican convention. Of course I stand out." Martin then went after black RNC speaker Artur Davis as a "political fraud."
"[Y]ou can have Artur Davis, former Democrat, we don't know what he is now, with that ridiculous speech he gave last night, I call him a political fraud, he is," sounded Martin.
As you may be well aware, MSNBC did not air Democrat-turned-Republican Artur Davis's speech last night. Shortly before 10 p.m. Eastern, anchor Rachel Maddow seemed to offer the network's rationale: Davis was a low-profile Democrat who is just bitter because he was "absolutely destroyed" in his primary race for Alabama governor in 2010.
Yet in the very next breath, Maddow seemed positively giddy that the Democrats had landed former Gov. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.) to speak at their convention next week. There was no mention that he too was being so thoroughly and "absolutely destroyed" by Marco Rubio in the primary election polls in 2010 that he dropped out of the GOP primary in order to run as an independent. He of course, subsequently lost to Rubio in the general election by 19 percentage points. [MP3 audio here; video embedded below page break]
Most Americans don't watch the coverage of party nominating conventions, and everyone in the media knows it. So as a public service, "NBC Politics team has curated some of the notable speeches from the first night of the Republican National Convention in Tampa," according to a late night August 28 post on NBCNews.com website.
While NBC has the resources to embed videos of EVERY speech from last night, it decided to judge which ones were "notable." Wouldn't you know it, the speech of Artur Davis -- the former Democratic congressman from Alabama who seconded Barack Obama's nomination for the presidency at the Democratic convention in 2008 -- was not included in the list.
CNN's Gloria Borger challenged former congressman Artur Davis' "incredible 180-degree shift" from the Democratic Party to GOP convention speaker, but the GOP's new addition had an answer ready and waiting on Tuesday night.
"Well, Gloria, I'll be honest with you, the easy thing would have been for me to frankly to do what you guys are doing and to be a pundit. The easy thing for me, and no offense for what you do, but the easy thing would be to do a 'plague on both your houses'," Davis retorted.
Update/Correction: MSNBC aired South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley's speech. Haley is Indian-American. | A funny thing happened on race-obsessed MSNBC tonight. The liberal network failed to give viewers coverage of the speakers who happen to be member of racial minorities. As Francesca Chambers, Editor of Red Alert Politics, reported on August 28th:
When popular Tea Party candidate Ted Cruz, the GOP nominee for Senate, took the stage, MSNBC cut away from the Republican National Convention and the Hispanic Republican from Texas’ speech.
It looks like former Alabama congressman Artur Davis has completed his transition from Democrat to Republican. Davis, the first congressman not from Illinois to endorse President Barack Obama during his candidacy will help the Republican Party continue a recent tradition of featuring Democrats and former Democrats at its nominating convention, the party announced today.
Davis also has come forward to attack vice president Joe Biden's offensive statement that Republicans want to put black Americans "back in chains" in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer:
Yesterday former Rep. Artur Davis -- who served in Congress as a Democrat but recently became a Republican out of frustration with the Obama administration -- was a featured guest of the Heritage Foundation's weekly blogger briefing.
Davis briefly discussed the similarities between the upcoming election and the election of 1980. He claimed that Ronald Reagan had to make the American people realize that what the Carter administration was doing was ruining the economy and that Mitt Romney will have to make a similar case regarding President Obama.
Artur who? The seems to be the question at the New York Times and the national site of the Associated Press. Searches on former Congressman Artur Davis (in quotes at the Times, not in quotes at AP) return nothing relevant and nothing, respectively, even though Davis appears to be the only African-American current or former congressman to leave the Democratic Part and become a Republican in decades. As noted yesterday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), the AP treated the story as a local item yesterday, and the Washington Post carried the AP's story in its Metro local section.
It appears that the two entities might be using the old "Well, Politico covered it, so we don't have to" excuse. On Tuesday of last week, the online publication filed a story reporting rumors that Davis was changing parties. Two days ago (updated yesterday), Alex Eisenstadt made it appear as if anger and not political philosophy largely drove Davis to switch:
You might think that the news of an African-American former Congressman switching his publicly declared party loyalty from Democrat to Republican would a national story.
Well, it isn't at the Associated Press, as a search returning no results at the wire service's national site on the full name of former Alabama Congressman Artur Davis (not in quotes) done at about 9 p.m. indicates. Additionally, the link to news about Davis's party switch is currently perched in the "Post Local" section at the Washington Post's web site. If this makes TV anywhere but Fox News, I'll be surprised, even though by any rational definition of "news," this is an objectively big deal. Davis is a former four-term Congressman, was a Barack Obama campaign co-chair in 2008, and was a former member of the Congressional Black Caucus. The last time an African-American congressman or former congressman changed his party from Democrat to Republican was ... well, maybe someone else can come up with a previous example, but I can't. Several paragraphs from the AP's "local" story in the Post follow the jump:
If a prominent white man said all white men in Congress should vote for or against a pending piece of legislation, what do you think the media firestorm would be like?
As you ponder, consider that Jesse Jackson on Wednesday told a reception held by the Congressional Black Caucus, “You can’t vote against healthcare and call yourself a black man.”
Although the comment was first reported by The Hill at 5:42 PM EST Wednesday, LexisNexis and Google news searches identified astonishingly little media coverage.
Here's The Hill's report: