Last year, the national media spent the campaign highlighting (or inventing) problems for the Republican ticket of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, while downplaying or ignoring the shortcomings in Barack Obama’s record as President. Next year, we’ll find out if the media will be more successful than they were in 2010, when they attempted to marginalize and discredit conservative Tea Party candidates in a campaign that turned out to be a crushing defeat for liberals.
This year, however, there’s really only one major political race on the political radar: the Virginia governor’s race between former Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe (a longtime associate of Bill and Hillary Clinton) and Republican Ken Cuccinelli, currently the state’s attorney general. And a new MRC study of major newspapers in the state finds the GOP candidate is receiving far more negative coverage than his Democratic counterpart — just four positive stories vs. 95 negative ones, a whopping 24-to-1 margin.
The paper that gave you an obsessive focus on George Allen's "macaca" gaffe and Bob McDonnell's master's thesis is doing its best to run block for Terry McAuliffe. Just take today's front-pager by staff writer Paul Schwartzman, "Va. governor's race drips with venom," which amounts to 44 paragraphs of concern trolling about mean-spirited, partisan sniping in the Virginia governor's race between Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and Democratic challenger Terry McAuliffe.
Of course, Schwartzman opened his story with and seemed chiefly concerned about the Cuccinelli camp's creative swipes at McAuliffe, whom, you may recall Schwartzman portrayed as "laid back" and "easygoing" in a puffy July 29 article:
Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus is doing the right thing. He’s making the national media’s blatant partisan bias a prominent issue right out of the gate to Campaign 2016. Priebus sent a letter to CNN president Jeff Zucker and NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt demanding they cease efforts to air promotional Hillary Clinton films on their airwaves, or he’ll seek to stop any effort to allow presidential debates on their networks.
“It’s appalling to know executives at major networks like NBC and CNN who have donated to Democrats and Hillary Clinton have taken it upon themselves to be Hillary Clinton’s campaign operatives,” the RNC chair declared. “Their actions to promote Secretary Clinton are disturbing and disappointing. I hope Americans will question the credibility of these networks and that NBC and CNN will reconsider their partisan actions and cancel these political ads masked as unbiased entertainment.”
Appearing as a guest on Sunday's Melissa Harris-Perry show on MSNBC, PBS's Christina Bellantoni labeled Virginia Republican gubernatorial nominee Ken Cuccinelli as "very conservative," but, when discussing presumptive Democratic nominee and former DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe, the PBS NewsHour political editor did not include a liberal ideological label.
Additionally, as she recounted Cuccinelli's history of opposing abortion, she euphemistically inserted the word "freedoms" as being what the Virginia attorney general and former state senator has a record of "fighting against." Discussing Cuccinelli and GOP lieutenant govenor nominee E. W. Jackson, Bellantoni asserted:
MSNBC political analyst Michael Eric Dyson on Saturday called Virginia Republican lieutenant governor nominee E.W. Jackson a "black puppet...His mouth is moving but white supremacist ideology is floating through it."
Such occurred on the Ed Show (video follows with transcript and commentary):
What will be the political fallout of the various scandals in which President Obama is ensnared? Chris Matthews thinks it will be huge.
Appearing on today's Morning Joe, Matthews mused that the IRS scandal alone would be worth 5-10 points to Republican candidates. He specifically mentioned Mitch McConnell, Tom Corbett and Ken Cuccinelli as Republicans whom the scandal would aid in their 2014 races. View the video after the jump.
The Washington Post put a poll it doesn’t like on the front of Sunday’s paper: Six months before Election Day in the Virginia gubernatorial race, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli “has a slender 46 to 41 percent edge over [Terry] McAuliffe (D) among all Virginia voters and a significant 51 to 41 percent lead among those who say they’re certain to cast ballots in November.”
The Post has tried for years to demonize Cuccinelli, so it can’t quite believe it. “But those numbers may change before then: The poll found that barely 10 percent say they are following the campaign ‘very closely’ and that nearly half of the electorate says they’re either undecided or could change their minds.” But Republicans are hardly undecided:
"Virginia's assault on abortion claims a victim," lamented the WashingtonPost.com headline for an April 28 editorial -- headlined "Virginia's assault on abortion" in the print edition -- savaging the new regulations on clinics in the Old Dominion.
It seems the Post, generally no opponent of government regulation, is staunchly pro-free enterprise when the business in question is killing unborn children for a fee. Here's how the liberal editorial board began its overwrought piece:
On Thursday, The Washington Post's Metro section put the Democrats' choice of “news” on the front page. “Democrats keep focus on abortion in Va. Race.” Post reporter Laura Vozzella relayed their outrage that GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli was caught by a Democrat tracker describing abortion as a moral evil like slavery, as did one of his big financial backers, the Susan B. Anthony List.
On Friday, after the Washington Free Beacon reported that Cuccinelli's Democrat opponent Terry McAuliffe kept silent in 2008 as his candidate Hillary Clinton compared slavery to – get this – stripping Democrat convention delegates of their vote in two states, the Post put that Laura Vozzella story on B3. The Free Beacon headline was “McAuliffe Supported Slavery Comparisons Before He Opposed Them.”
The Beltway news operation National Journal attacked Virginia Attorney General and gubernatorial hopeful Ken Cuccinelli for his stance on political issues, particularly global warming. In a March 2 article entitled “Can Climate-Change Denier Ken Cuccinelli Win a Swing State?” National Journal asked how “[i]n storm-battered Virginia, the Republican candidate for governor still doubts the science.” The story was illustrated with a flood picture to underscore the point.
In "G.O.P.'s Ideological Split Appears in Virginia Governor's Race," New York Times reporter Trip Gabriel saw a controversial candidate on one side of the Virginia governor's race -- Republican candidate Kenneth Cuccinelli, Virginia's attorney general, who has support in the Tea Party and social conservative wings of the party.
His likely Democratic opponent? Terry McAuliffe, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee and controversial fundraiser for the Clinton administration. But judging by the paper's lack of coverage so far, only Republicans have a problem. Gabriel doesn't even mention Democrat McAuliffe until paragraph 12, and in an odd omission, calls him only "a businessman and former political operative."
The Washington Post somehow calls one of their blogs “Right Turn: Jennifer Rubin’s take from a conservative perspective.” This is an odd title when Rubin complains that a politician is destroying himself and the Republican Party by advocating conservative principles. Rubin was put on the Post op-ed page on Friday trashing Virginia’s Attorney General and GOP candidate for governor this fall: “It is not like I didn’t spot the Ken Cuccinelli train wreck coming up around the bend.”
Then, in another blog from her pro-Israel perch, Rubin blasted Chuck Hagel, but this take did not make the newspaper: “It’s fascinating, actually, to see a nominee of this importance do so poorly. Chuck Hagel, nominated for defense secretary, has gone from awful to atrocious today... It is unclear whether he was not prepped properly, whether he refused to be coached or whether he simply isn’t bright.”