Wow, I'd better get this post done quickly, because Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis has been tweeting up a storm and has posted "an open letter" at her web site. If I blink, I might miss a half-dozen more tweets.
Davis apparently thinks that if she accuses Republican candidate Greg Abbott and his campaign of being behind the Sunday Dallas Morning News story which poked gaping holes in her picture-perfect bio often enough, it will somehow become true. It won't. Wayne Slater, the DMN reporter who authored the story, has tweeted that "I talked to no - zero - Abbott people." But sadly, in the current establishment media environment, the in-your-face "poor little girl fights back against bullies" tactic might work. A pic of the eight tweets from three hours ago and excerpts from her "open letter" follow the jump.
To be fair, it started with the original story broken at the Dallas Morning News, where Wayne Slater's substantive story about Wendy Davis's problems with the truth was headlined "As Wendy Davis touts life story in race for governor, key facts blurred."
"Blurred" is clearly a popular word with an establishment press which is determined to try to make this problem with Davis's basic credibility go away. The New York Times ("Accused of Blurring Facts of Stirring Life Story, Texas Lawmaker Offers Chronology") and NBCnews.com ("Off to the races: Wendy Davis' 'blurred' bio") have also gotten in on the "blurred" headline act (Perhaps surprisingly, the Associated Press and Politico, whose coverage I addressed yesterday, have not). So has CBS News, whose Rebecca Kaplan bent over backwards to try to keep Davis in a favorable light (links are in original; bolds and numbered tags are mine):
MSNBC darling Wendy Davis is in some hot water over inaccuracies surrounding her personal biography. According to the Dallas Morning News's Wayne Slater -- no conservative he, by the way -- despite Ms. Davis’s own claims, she was 21, not 19 when she was divorced and living in a trailer as a single mother.
Despite the glaring factual inconsistencies in Ms. Davis’s own biography, on January 21, Chris Jansing was quick to rush to her defense. During her daily Jansing & Co. show, Jansing proclaimed Davis a “Democratic rising star” without mentioning that her very own network is in no small way responsible for raising the previously unknown Texas state senator’s rise to national prominence.
In a fawning puff piece on Texas gubernatorial candidate Wemdy Davis on NBC's January 15 Today, correspondent Maria Shriver celebrated the liberal abortion heroine as an "overnight sensation" whose "personal story" has "resonated across this country." The only problem with the gushing profile that followed was that key facts and details of Davis's life were either left out or just untrue.
In an article for The Dallas Morning News, senior political writer Wayne Slater, hardly a conservative, pointed out several glaring inaccuracies in the account put forward by Davis in Shiver's report.
Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, who is considered a hero of the pro-abortion crowd yet declared herself "pro-life" in November as her people attempted to bully the local media into twisting stories her way, is blaming her opponent for a Sunday Dallas Morning News story which pointed to significant discrepancies between her campaign biography and the truth.
It's pretty bad when I have to say that the Politico's Katie Glueck did a far better job with this story than Will Weissert at the Associated Press, but that's the case. Glueck at least challenged Davis's contention of an Abbott connection – getting a mushy, meaningless answer – and carried the unconditional denial of any contact from the Abbott campaign by DMN reporter Wayne Slater. Weissert delivered neither. Both missed something important Steve Ertelt at Life News noticed in a series of pathetic Davis tweets.
When a politician -- male or female, liberal or conservative -- writes a memoir*, anything therein is fair game for the news media and his or her opponents, particularly when claims made therein are false or misleading. But to the gang at MSNBC, Republican criticism of the network's anointed golden girl Wendy Davis is beyond the pale.
"Right attacks Wendy Davis," screams the top msnbc.com headline this afternoon. Clicking that teaser headline takes the reader to Zachary Roth's "Right pounces on news that Wendy Davis embellished life story." Roth went on to practically script a melodrama where Davis is the damsel in distress tied to the railroad tracks by those dastardly, vile Texas Republicans (emphasis mine):
In a glowing profile of Texas state senator and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis that amounted to a campaign commercial on Wednesday's NBC Today, correspondent Maria Shriver proclaimed: "Wendy Davis became a familiar name last year when she stood in her pink tennis shoes for eleven hours to defeat a Texas abortion bill. Even though the bill eventually passed, Davis became a star. And her story, her personal story, resonated across this country." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Following footage of cheering Davis supports, Shriver lobbed this ridiculous softball to the Texas abortion heroine: "Everybody says Wendy Davis is an overnight sensation. Does it irritate you that people call you an overnight sensation?" Davis replied: "I'm not an overnight sensation. I'm a Texan. And I'm a Texas success story. I am the epitome of hard work and optimism."
Former Time reporter Nina Burleigh – the infamous feminist journalist who once announced "I'd be happy to give [Bill Clinton oral sex] just to thank him for keeping abortion legal" -- has a new article at The New York Observer on “The Year In Sexism.”
Even the trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell in May was used audaciously as a feminist moment to correct those who “demonize abortion generally.” She insisted while late-term abortions were violent and gruesome, so is childbirth:
It’s only natural that both liberal state Sen. Wendy Davis and conservative U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz would be nominees for “Texan of the Year” at the Dallas Morning News. (In the end, they chose the rescuers at the West, Texas fertilizer-plant explosion, which killed 12 first responders.) But the two editorials on Davis (on December 26) and Cruz (on December 27) show how liberal editorialists can struggle with being honest with the facts.
Both went to Harvard Law School – Davis graduating in 1993, Cruz in 1995. Both gained prominence this year with failed legislative maneuvers. Both draw great excitement from their party’s base voters. Let’s see how the Dallas pundits played with the facts:
Recently declared Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis had a really, really bad opening round of campaign appearances. Naturally, the national press, which swooned over the Fort Worth Democrat's ultimately failed filibuster against a common-sense pro-life law in the Lone Star State's legislature, pretended not to notice.
They had local help. On Wednesday, At The Monitor in McAllen, Texas, in an item mirrored at the Brownsville Herald, "reporter" Ty Johnson opened with six paragraphs of fanboy fawning about Davis's Tuesday campaign appearance in Brownville, and then buried Davis's galling attempt to portray herself as "pro-life" in Paragraph 23. Also, stay tuned until the final segment of this post for how a Davis press aide tried to bully a local paper into retracting a headline.
Ever since Texas State Senator Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth) engaged in an 13-hour filibuster to protest new abortion safety measures, the folks at MSNBC have taken it upon themselves to act as her unofficial campaign for governor. Apart from the numerous on-air segments pushing Ms. Davis’ candidacy, the new MSNBC.com website has followed suit in a new puff piece entitled “How Wendy Davis can win.”
Author Zachary Roth penned a 23-paragraph article which serves more as a memo for Democratic strategists than an actual informative piece of journalism. Peppered with quotes from Democratic strategists, the MSNBC national reporter argues that Davis has a chance to instead put together a cross-racial coalition that brings together minorities and liberal or moderate whites—especially women.”
When a network's ad—putatively for its own website—extensively features a candidate for office in a high-profile race, at what point does the ad constitute a contribution in kind to that politician's campaign?
The question arises in light of MSNBC's ad for its new website that aired on today's Morning Joe. In the space of 30 seconds, the ad twice featured shots of Wendy Davis, the Dem candidate for Texas governor whose filibuster of a Texas law imposing restrictions on abortion made her an overnight liberal darling. For good measure, the ad also displayed jubiliant crowd reaction to Davis's filibuster. View the video after the jump.