Sunday, January 6, 2008

Opposite Day At The C-J

If we needed another example to show the liberal bias of The Courier-Journal's news reporting, we got it today. The headline of an article written by James R. Carroll was neutral enough ("Campaign-finance watchdog agency in limbo"), but the subheading ("McConnell faulted for obstructionism") and substance of the piece were blatantly slanted against Republicans in general and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell in particular.

The story Carroll was covering is that the U.S. Senate has not confirmed four of President Bush's nominees to the six-member Federal Election Commission. National media have correctly reported that the Democratic majority is at fault for the impasse. The Washington Post, for example, noted that the nominations have been "hamstrung for months" by Democrats, and quoted former FEC chairman Bradley Smith, who supports the confirmation of Hans A. von Spakovsky, a recess Republican appointee that draws the ire of critic Fred Wertheimer in Carroll's piece:

"The fact is, in the 21 months that Commissioner von Spakovsky has already served, he has consistently enforced the law while respecting the First Amendment -- something that cannot be said for all his critics," Smith said.

The Democrats have insisted upon confirmation of the President's two Democratic nominees, Robert Lenhard and Steven Walther, who were recommended by Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid. But the Democrats won't afford reciprocity to both von Spakovsky and David Mason, the Republican nominees, by confirming them also, even though traditionally each political party has deferred to the other party's picks for its own designated commissioner slots.

Essentially, the Democrats want to change the rules and stack the FEC's deck in their favor during this election year. The Republicans, led by McConnell, have rightly resisted this obvious power play and have insisted that all four nominees be confirmed together.

In a remarkable piece of reporting, however, Carroll flips the story. Instead of leading with McConnell's point that the Democrats seek to exercise inordinate control over the FEC, Carroll buries McConnell's position towards the end of the article. Carroll begins the article and devotes his focus to extensive discussion of the views of Fred Wertheimer of Democracy 21, which Carroll claims is a "non-partisan campaign finance watch-dog."

So just how "non-partisan" is Democracy 21?

According to The Lonely Centrist, Democracy 21 "relies on large donations from," among others, "George Soros's Open Society Institute." We all know how "non-partisan" billionaire George Soros, the patron of the Democratic Left, is.

According to, the chairman of Democracy 21's board of directors is former U.S. Senator Dick Clark, a Democrat. Also on the board are Susan Estrich, who was Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis's campaign manager; and Nick Ucci, who is chief operating officer of People For the American Way, the group formed by Hollywood producer Norman Lear to promote the leftist way. Fred Wertheimer shows no conservative Republican proclivities either, and he is the husband of Linda Wertheimer of National Public Radio, not exactly a conservative talk show, to say the least.

As far as we can tell, Democracy 21 does not have a single conservative Republican on its board or as part of its management. But this group is cited by the C-J as a supposedly unbiased source for the spin that Republicans are engaging in "obstructionism." It's as if the C-J is taking its cue from the Demo-blogs, who appear to be constipated with the word, they mutter it so much when Republicans prevent Democrats from running roughshod.

The lead editorial of the C-J on December 28th called McConnell "The Obstructer"; that was the headline for the editorial. Now the newspaper is spinning its news coverage to give a post hoc justification for its editorial. At least The Washington Post had the integrity to report the story in a way that resembled reality, and nobody has ever accused the Post of being part of the "vast right-wing conspiracy."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good commentary, Mr. Morris. I am constantly amazed at the dems efforts to hide their identities in various situations. The question I always ask myself is: "What are they ashamed of?...."