In Tuesday’s New York Times, reporters Astead Herndon and Nick Corasaniti helped out the Democratic cause in the unusual double runoff election in Georgia that will decide which party has control of the Senate next term: “Republicans On Attack In Costly Georgia Runoffs.” The text box established the premise: “A slate of scathing negative ads by two G.O.P. candidates.”
The Democratic candidates in the runoff, including the paper’s old favorite Jon Ossoff, were portrayed as meek little moderate lambs in comparison to the fierce Republicans, Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Sen. David Perdue.
While the Democratic candidates, the Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, have run as pragmatists in the mold of Mr. Biden, declining to endorse proposals like single-payer health care or expanding the Supreme Court, the Republicans have tried to paint them as radicals fundamentally opposed to the country’s core principles, warning that Democratic sway over the Senate would usher in a wave of socialism.
The two Republican senators have not aired a single positive advertisement between them, and neither have two outside groups supporting them, according to the ad tracking firm Advertising Analytics. The breathless ad campaigns and demonizing of liberals reflect the stakes for the Republican Party and its voters as they try to deny Democrats total control of the White House and Congress.
Mr. Perdue said this past week at a rally in Perry, Ga., that his Democratic opponent, Mr. Ossoff, was a “trust fund socialist who lives off his family’s money making documentary movies that no one’s ever watched.”
And even as he acknowledged the dark tenor of the race, he portrayed himself as a victim of the negativity, rather than a participant.
Check out this slant.
Indeed, the races in Georgia offer a window into the future of both parties. Democrats are seeking to maintain their coalition of urban voters and suburbanites, warding off accusations from Republicans that the party has become too progressive. The Republican Party is at war with itself, fueled by Mr. Trump’s refusal to accept his election loss.
The campaign of Ms. Loeffler, one of the wealthiest members of Congress, is a stark example of the country’s shifting politics. Once thought of as a business-focused Republican, she has transformed herself into a culture warrior in the style of Mr. Trump.
That’s how the paper has been framing Loeffler in its hostile coverage, even before the runoff as in Richard Fausset’s October 6 story “From High Society to ‘the Right of Attila.’”
Deep into the story, the Times finally addressed one of Warnock’s controversies, but barely scratched the surface, while again hitting Loeffler for her racial tone.
One Loeffler ad shows a classroom of mostly white students reciting the Pledge of Allegiance as a narrator intones: “This is America. But will it still be if the radical left controls the Senate?”
Another ad features a now-famous clip of the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., once the pastor of former President Barack Obama, delivering a sermon outlining the nation’s past oppression of racial minorities that included the phrase “God damn America.”
That description doesn’t capture the meanness of Wright’s rant. In describing the terrorist attacks of 9-11 that killed thousands of his fellow citizens, Wright relished this phrase: “America’s chickens are coming home to roost.”
In the past, Mr. Warnock has suggested that the sermon squared with the “truth-telling tradition of the Black church.” Ms. Loeffler’s ad says that Mr. Warnock “celebrated anti-American hatred.”
She also mentioned Mr. Wright during her speech at the rally. In a span of 45 seconds, Ms. Loeffler tied Mr. Warnock to Mr. Wright; Fidel Castro; Stacey Abrams; George Soros; Senator Chuck Schumer; and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — a greatest hits of villains to conservatives.
NewsBusters recently reminded readers of Raphael Warnock’s take on Trump: “America needs to repent for its worship of whiteness!” As well as Warnock’s 2011 sermon that “nobody can serve God and the military.”