Today¡¯s Washington Post¡¯s front page lead is yet another story puffing the paper¡¯s favored candidate for Governor of Virginia, Democrat Creigh Deeds, over his Republican opponent, Bob McDonnell: "Deeds Shows Big Gains In Va. Poll," it announces with an unmistakable note of triumph. "More in N.Va., Women Describe McDonnell As Too Conservative." Read a little further into the story and you may find that
McDonnell, a former state attorney general and legislator, continues to top 50 percent among likely voters and boasts far more enthusiastic supporters than Deeds. The Republican also still holds advantages on handling an array of major issues, including the economy, the state budget, taxes, transportation and guns. A sizable majority of voters also say they want the state, which has been run by Democrats for the past eight years, to move in a new direction.
"Nevertheless," the story continues, "Deeds has gained on many fronts and has a double-digit advantage when it comes to dealing with issues of special concern to women" ¡ª by which, of course, it means women of the Post¡¯s own liberal and progressive persuasion. And why is Mr Deeds doing so well among this demographic, thought to be particularly important in populous Northern Virginia? Because he is getting a lot of traction, thinks the Post, out of hyping to within an inch of its life a 20-year-old thesis written when Mr McDonnell was a student at Regent University in which he decried the deleterious effect of feminism, among other things, on the family. Unmentioned is the Post¡¯s own role in bringing this thesis to light and turning it into a scandal ready-made for Mr Deeds¡¯s purposes.
In short, it looks as if once again the principal journalistic organ of our nation¡¯s capital, which captions its masthead with the words "An Independent Newspaper," is leading the charge to elect a Democrat to statewide office in Virginia, the only jurisdiction in the Post¡¯s catchment area that is occasionally and recalcitrantly guilty of electing Republicans. The last time it did this was in 2006 when it pulled out all the stops to manufacture scandal against then-Senator George Allen and just succeeded in siphoning off enough votes to give his Democratic opponent, Senator Jim Webb, a narrow victory. Senator Webb, you may remember, was the ex-Marine and Vietnam vet whose own tactic was to asperse Senator Allen¡¯s manhood and hype his own with the campaign slogan "Born Fighting" but who bravely outsourced his opposition research to the only too-willing Posties, pretending to be non-partisan reporters. I wrote about it at the time in an article for The New Criterion ("Biased Sensationalism," December, 2006).
That reminder of the paper¡¯s not very carefully concealed bias perhaps comes opportunely on the heels of its generous tributes to the late Irving Kristol, who died on Friday. Not only did it run a judicious front page obituary by Adam Bernstein but also web-site tributes from E.J. Dionne, an ideological opponent, and Robert Kagan. All very handsome of them no doubt. As a friend of Mr Kristol¡¯s myself, I can testify to the accuracy of Mr Kagan¡¯s observation that he was "a deep and fierce thinker, who nevertheless delivered his thoughts in the most amiable fashion, without animus or bile." That¡¯s what made it particularly jarring to cast one¡¯s eye down to the "Comments" section beneath to find such reactions as the following ¡ª all sic as well as sick:
He was a goddamned traitor to the U. S. so the country you refer to (but curiously don''t name) to which he was so patriotic must be Israel. It''s time for zionists like you Kagan to be measured for a rope. But by all means let us know where he will be buried, once in a while I have the runs and would love to squat in reflection over this fine man.
That¡¯s the contribution of the bravely pseudonymous "mot2win." Meanwhile, bigbrother1 is inspired to add:
May Irving Kristol rot in Hell. And may every craven, intellectually weak and dishonest slimeball who followed him suffer torture for an eternity. They all earned it a million times over.
With equal grace, one SODDI shares with us the feeling that he or she is
very glad to hear that this vicious evil old man died. I can only hope he went badly, in a lot of pain and that it took a very, very long time. America is a better place today.
There are several more such "Comments," after each of which the Post has ironically added its own invitation to the reader to "Report Abuse." That the paper¡¯s editors are apparently incapable of spotting such vile, hateful vandalism on the face of informed comment as "abuse" in itself may be just another indication of this "Independent" newspaper¡¯s true but not-so hidden agenda.