Washington Post Stumps for Pro-Abortion Creigh Deeds as Virginia Governor
by Dave Andrusko
September 9, 2009
LifeNews.com Note: Dave Andrusko is the editor of National Right to Life News and an author and editor of several books on abortion topics. He writes Today’s News and Views, an online editorial column on pro-life issues, where this originally appeared.
Granted, commenting on this will make about as much difference as a wolf baying at the moon. But it deserves a few words nonetheless, not only because the subject is irritating as all get-out, but also because the Washington Post’s coverage of Virginia governor’s race is a prime example of one reason why newspapers are in such horrific shape.
Did I expect something resembling balanced news coverage in the gubernatorial contest between pro-life Republican Bob McDonnell and pro-abortion Democrat R. Creigh Deeds? Only if I still believed in Santa Claus.
Did I ever expect that the editorial page would (just for the sake of ending the monotony) give former Attorney General McDonnell a fair shake? Of course not. Defeating pro-life candidates is an institutional mission of the Post, an imperative they embrace with clarity and singlemindness.
Did I ever, ever expect that most news stories would fail to read like pro-Deeds editorials? Of course not, although once upon a time they would have covered their tracks by labeling it "news analysis."
What is different is this. I assume pretty much anyone can buy an ad on the Post’s website. And that’s what the Deeds campaign did. What is striking is that you’d be hard-pressed to tell the difference between Deeds’ buys that appear on the Post’s web page and the content of the stories in the Post.
I half-smiled when I read yesterday’s story that talked about the candidates appearing at a Labor Day gathering which (in the old days) signaled the kickoff to the fall campaign. The reporters accurately observe, "Deeds has tried to sharpen contrasts with McDonnell by criticizing McDonnell’s conservative record on social issues, including abortion."
What the writers, Anita Kumar and Rosalind S. Helderman, don’t tell you is that Deeds disclaimed an interest in "social issues" in his first debate with McDonnell. However, as soon as his prospects began to dim, suddenly Deeds discovered the abortion issue.
The next sentence in the September 8 story is an oblique reference to how Deeds’ "campaign received a boost last month." Again what they don’t tell you about the "controversy" over "the publication of McDonnell’s 20-year-old graduate school thesis" is that it was the Post that "broke" the story and which has flogged the story unrelentingly ever since.
So the boost for Deeds is advocacy journalism on steroids, bolstered by repetition upon repetition upon repetition. But what else would you expect the Post to do when its candidate is floundering? Play fair? But that’s not the half of it.
The Post is functioning like a campaign consultant to Deeds, except their advice to the candidate is public. The newspaper keeps telling Deeds to stop wasting his time campaigning in the southern, more rural part of the state, which prompts Deeds (who is from that neck of the woods) to respond, "You can’t let people think you are taking them for granted."
Like an old-fashioned record needle stuck in a grove, over and over again the Post counsels/lectures/threatens Deeds that the way pro-abortion Democrats have won statewide in Virginia is to essentially campaign full-time in the suburbs of Northern Virginia. Thus variations of the same chastising headline that appeared yesterday–"Rural Areas A Magnet For Deeds: Suburban Balancing Act Grows Increasingly Shaky."
Bob McDonnell is a solid pro-life candidate, Deeds a dependable pro-abortionist. We know the Post is monotonously pro-abortion, but isn’t this relentless attack on McDonnell and free advice to Deeds embarrassing even by the Post’s hyper- abortion-friendly standards?
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