Thursday, July 8, 2010

Dear R-J: Huh?

I've been trying really, really hard to argue that the Review-Journal's political coverage is NOT in the tank for Sharron Angle. It was looking good as recently as this morning when I read today's paper to find the lead local story was all about dissension in Nevada's GOP ranks over Angle's candidacy. There was even a column by Jane Ann Morrison extolling a form of Reid's clout. A paper in the tank wouldn't print those, would they?

But then, for whatever reason, the R-J's Laura Myers posted this, uh, scoop:

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle declared Thursday that Nevada and the nation are "going in the wrong direction" under the leadership of Sen. Harry Reid and President Barack Obama.

Well stop the fucking (digital) presses. It's news when a candidate from any party out of power bitches that those whose power they seek are doing a bad job? Isn't this what Sharron Angle says every day of her life, at least as often as she says grace or has bowel movements?

And here's the thing: Angle DID say something newsworthy this morning. On Alan Stock's KXNT talk show, she called the $20 billion compensation account set up by BP a "slush fund" and noted the "government shouldn't be doing that to a private company." She also said: "It's an overreaction by government for not the right reasons. They're actually using this crisis if you will, because they never waste one -- Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals -- they are using this crisis now to get in cap and trade, and every crime and penalty, and slush fund."

A few hours later, she issued a statement saying she shouldn't have used the term "slush fund." She went on with this: "My position is that the creation of this fund to compensate victims was an important first step -- BP caused this disaster and they should pay for it. But there are multiple parties at fault here and there should be a thorough investigation. We need to look into the actions, or inactions, of the Administration and why the regulatory agency in charge of oversight was asleep at the wheel while BP was cutting corners. Every party involved should be held fully accountable."

People like Angle have for years been insisting Barack Obama's remarks about clinging to guns and religion are what he truly believes because he said it in a friendly environment. But now she wants her second statement, the precise opposite of her first, to be her "actual" view on these matters. Cool!

Yet even with all of this exploding today, the Review-Journal stuck with its piece on how Angle had "declared" that Reid and Obama suck. Only in the last few paragraphs does Myers get to the BP matter that had preoccupied the national media all day, using the transition, "On another matter..."

No, dear. That was the ONLY matter.

I suspect I know what happened here. President Obama is arriving tonight, so the news will be full for the next day or so with images of Obama and Reid and with other stories about what Reid claims he's done for the state. Someone at Bonanza Road probably decided they needed to be "fair" to his opponent by reporting on a speech she gave today, too.

Except that's not how the news works. Reid gets the coverage because the president is coming here for him. When Sarah Palin or Dick Cheney or -- and we can only pray for this -- Michael Steele comes to stump for Angle, she'll get covered, too.

But the story out of Angle today was not that she hated on Reid and Obama, it's that she said something so controversial she had to walk it back immediately. Can't wait to see where the R-J prints that one tomorrow. If it's not at least mentioned on the front page, it will be difficult to defend the paper's news judgment in this race going forward.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for pointing this out! I was going to write something on Facebook about this but didn't want the RJ gods to drop down and sue me.

Anonymous said...

Obama is addressing the comments she retracted regarding BP. And, other inconsitencies, which is good!