Despite the fact that there has been no resolution to any of the scandals surrounding the three Democrats who sit atop Virginia's government, ABC, CBS and NBC have essentially dropped the stories from their flagship newscasts. From February 1-7, ABC, CBS, and NBC combined for 116 minutes and 19 seconds and then 96 minutes and 12 seconds from February 8-14, but since then, there have only been eight minutes and eight seconds devoted to the Virginia officeholders between February 15's CBS This Morning and February 19's Good Morning America.
Modern Hollywood has never been so vocal. Talk shows. Social media. Awards stages. Marches. Rallies. Protests. Name the venue, and a star or starlet is there, promoting a crush of causes. It’s inescapable, from climate change to “Hitler 2.0” AKA President Donald Trump.
What a difference a week makes! Last Sunday on AM Joy, MSNBC contributor Jason Johnson accused Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam of "arrogance" for refusing to resign. Railed Johnson: "he caused this problem on his own, and the best way to save his party would be for him to leave." But now that scandals have engulfed Virginia's Dem lieutenant governor and attorney general, Johnson has changed his tune. He is counseling the Dems not to resign, and to "back off" any resignation talk, because the result could be to elevate a Republican to the governorship.
Our friend Joe Concha with The Hill was in rare form on Friday’s Fox & Friends, ripping everyone from Chuck Todd for not fact-checking Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) about the Green New Deal to late night comics for their refusal to lampoon her to the double standard regarding the scandals rocking the three state-wide Democrats in Virginia.
As Virginia Democrats are imploding, the journalists on NBC, MSNBC, ABC and CBS have found the real disaster: It might result in a Republican governor. Scandals involving blackface, the KKK, and sexual assault have engulfed the Democratic Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General. On NBC’s Today, reporter Geoff Bennett fretted, “If the governor, lieutenant governor, and Attorney General all resign, or are forced out of office, the leadership of this state, the governorship would go to the House Speaker. The House Speaker is a conservative Republican.”
It was all fun and games for Dems when Brett Kavanaugh was in the barrel. But now that allegations of sexual misconduct and racial insensitivity threaten to take down Virginia's Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General, and even—horror of horrors—elevate a Republican to the governorship, the Dem thrill is gone. CNN's New Day was surprisingly tough on the Dems this morning. Washington Post reporter Toluse Olorunnipa began by offering an unsparing assessment of the Dem predicament.
According to disturbing reports out Wednesday, Virginia Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax was in a closed-door meeting with other Democrats discussion the sexual assault allegations against him when he angrily declared “f*** that b****”. In what seemed like an effort to help Fairfax’s image, none of the broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) reported the comments that evening. Instead, they chose to focus on the toned down statements Fairfax released later in the day.
On Sunday, I posted on the saga of Andrew Spieles, a member of the Young Democrats at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia who admitted to submitting fraudulent voter registrations for 19 dead people, and the national press's virtually complete disinterest in covering the story.
Spieles' activities, which have gained the attention of but not yet prosecution by law enforcement, represent child's play in comparison to the horrible findings reported Friday by the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) and the Virginia Voter’s Alliance (VVA) after an investigation relating to only a small portion of the state's voter-registration rolls.
To the Washington Post's Laura Vozzella, NARAL Pro-Choice America-endorsed liberal Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe is a politician making good on a promise to "free Virginia's abortion clinics from strict hospital-style building codes," set to take effect this June. It's a move which heartens the abortion industry fearful that regulations authorized by a bipartisan vote in the state legislature in 2011 and fleshed out by the state board of health last year "threaten to put them out of business."
Vozzella didn't get around to the objections of McAuliffe's critics until the ninth paragraph of her Tuesday, May 13 front-pager, "McAuliffe moves to lift clinic rules." What's more, she buried in the 23rd paragraph -- of a 30-paragraph story -- the fact that "McAuliffe, elected with help from abortion rights groups, [has] made no pretense of ignoring the litmus test [for his new appointees to the state Board of Health], stating flatly that his appointees reflected his views." What's more, it wasn't until paragraph 27 that Vozzella noticed that (emphasis mine):
Last November, liberal Democrat Mark Herring barely eked out a win over conservative Mark Obenshain (R) in the Virginia Attorney General race. Herring had been enthusiastically endorsed by the Washington Post, which promised that, unlike outgoing AG Ken Cuccinelli, Mr. Herring would refuse to "[turn] the office into a platform for ideological crusades." But of course, shortly after being sworn in, Herring made himself a darling of the Left for his refusal to defend the Old Dominion's voter-approved constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. At the time, the Washington Post editorial board praised that maneuver, saying "extraordinary circumstances" justified Herring refusing to, you know, do his job and actually defend the state government in court.
Well, the Post is at it again today with an editorial cheering on Mr. Herring's decision that illegal immigrants may attend Virginia public colleges and universities paying the discounted in-state tuition rate. Having informed readers of the development on the April 30 paper's front page -- although that article contained no cost estimate for move -- the Post editorial board gushed about how it offered "A brighter future for 'Dreamers.'" "The Va. attorney general discards an irrational policy," harumphed the print edition subheadline. Here's the full editorial (emphasis mine):
As I noted last week, when the Washington Post in mid-October issued their endorsement of Democrat Mark Herring for Virginia attorney general, the paper's editorial board hailed the then-state senator as someone who, unlike his "doctrinaire conservative" opponent Mark Obenshain and predecessor conservative Ken Cuccinelli would "hew to the former Virginia tradition of offering restrained and responsible advice" for the state government. After all, the attorney general is responsible for managing the "office that functions as the law firm for the governor, legislature and agencies of state government" and as such should be above ideological or partisan hobby horses, the paper argued.
Fast forward to last week. Herring, on the job barely two weeks as Virginia attorney general, announces he will not only refuse to defend the state's constitutional definition of marriage as between a man and a woman but that his office will file a brief in federal court arguing that the state's definition of marriage violates the U.S. Constitution. Feeling the need to defend their man Herring from charges by Republicans that the AG is not only shirking his duty, but flaunting his intention to do so, the Post editorial rides out to the rescue with a six-paragraph defense of his "strategy," excerpted in full below (emphasis mine):
Democrat Mark Herring pulled out a squeaker of a win last fall, narrowly besting Republican Mark Obenshain to become Virginia's attorney general. In October, the Washington Post endorsed Herring, then a state senator, insisting that Herring "would hew to the former Virginia tradition of offering restrained and responsible advice" to the governor and state agencies and by refusing to "[turn] the office into a platform for ideological crusades."
He's not even a month into the job, and yet Mr. Herring is set to do just that, announcing yesterday his intention to file a brief in federal court attacking the state's 2006 voter-approved constitutional definition of marriage as an institution consisting of one man and one woman. Although it's a stunning, bold-faced repudiation of his constitutional duty to defend the state constitution, you'd be hard-pressed to get that by reading Post court reporter Robert Barnes's coverage in Thursday's paper (emphasis mine):