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Study: Virginia Newspapers 3 Times More Favorable Towards McAuliffe (D) Than Cuccinelli (R)

When I was 14 I began working summer jobs and after school jobs when I could find them. I enjoyed having my own money and making my own decisions on how to spend it. One of the expenditures I found to be an absolute necessity was a daily subscription to the Richmond Times Dispatch and the Richmond News Leader. I read the entire papers from front to back. It was the late 1960’s and I wanted to know everything about the world I lived in.

The Editorial Page was the second section I read (right after the comics). And I will have to admit that my Conservative views were most likely formed with a great deal of influence from the Editorial Staff.

I noticed about a decade ago, or probably more, the paper started moving to the left. First with the News and eventually the Editorial Page. And with more readily available and up to the minute coverage from the internet and 24 hour news, I found that the paper would sit in the plastic bag day after day and end up going from driveway to garbage without ever being read.

I am, or was, a die hard newspaper reader. I still have the phone number to the Richmond Times Dispatch memorized.

But the final straw that ended my life-long love affair with the Richmond Times Dispatch and the nearly permanent ink stains on my hands was their complete sellout to left-wing ideology. In the “old days” the coverage of news was completely objective with only the editorials slanting right.

But like most newspapers today, objectivity has completely been thrown out the window and the news – especially the political news – has become nothing more than a platform to bash Conservatives and Republicans and praise and promote the Democrats and the left-wing cause du jour.

And then there are the other regional papers in the Commonwealth: The Washington Post, The Virginian-Pilot in Tidewater and The Roanoke Times in the Southwestern part of Virginia.

But how do you measure the biased coverage that we all know favors Democrat Terry McAuliffe over Republican Ken Cuccinelli?

The best way I have seen is the efforts of Rich Noyes who is the Research Director at Media Research Center.

His conclusions will remove the “who me, biased?” liberal smirk from the state’s newspapers. What I found most telling was that the Richmond Times Dispatch was about equal with the Washington Post in their left wing slant. There used to be a stark contrast between the two so we can see just how far left the RTD has moved. And the most liberal (as if RTD and WaPo wasn’t liberal enough) were the Virginian-Pilot and the Roanoke Times.

But how bad is the slant?

The article appears on Newsbusters here titled MRC Study Documents Virginia Newspapers’ Viciously Negative Slant on GOP Gubernatorial Candidate.

Here is how Noyes measured the bias in the 4 newspapers:

For this report, Media Research Center analysts reviewed the coverage in Virginia’s four most widely-circulated newspapers: The Washington Post, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Roanoke Times and the Virginian-Pilot, based in Norfolk. Using Nexis, we located 405 news stories, editorial and columns that either mentioned the governor’s race or one of the candidates, beginning on June 12 (the day after the primary) and continuing through August 31. Of those, 221 stories were primarily about the governor’s race, while the remaining 184 either briefly mentioned the race, or talked about one of the candidates outside of the context of the campaign (usually actions Cuccinelli had taken as attorney general).

For those outside of Virginia, you will remember Terry McAuliffe as the money man for Bill Clinton. He ran four years ago for governor in Virginia and lost to Creigh Deeds in the Democratic Primary. He has spent the last few years pretending to be a green jobs creator in what looks to be a company that is nothing more than smoke and mirrors and a way to raise cash by selling American Citizenship to foreigners who pay $500,000 or more. No cars. No jobs and McAuliffe refuses to tell Virginia how much money he has made by releasing his taxes.
And Ken Cuccinelli is not without his valid controversial elements. The Attorney General accepted $18,000 in gifts from vitamin company CEO Jonnie Williams. He recently donated that amount to a charity.
So there are valid criticisms of both candidates that can be made based on their financial dealings. And while many of the stories deal with these issues, Noyes research uncovered some of the problem areas most on the right find most disturbing. Quoting the study again:

Overall, readers saw 173 stories that were predominantly critical of Cuccinelli, vs. just 11 that reflected a pro-Cuccinelli tilt. For McAuliffe, the same numbers were 112 negative stories vs. 24 positive ones. Thus, the Republican faced not only more lopsidedly negative coverage, but 35% more negative stories overall than his Democratic opponent.

The bias shows up in the number of negative vs. positive stories.

GOP candidate Ken Cuccinelli was labeled as a “conservative” 26 times (15 in news stories, 11 in opinion items) during the study period, while Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe was never once described as a liberal. (Note: This tally only includes labels affixed by the reporter, editorial writer or columnist; it does not reflect any ideological tags used by partisan sources quoted in the story.)The Democrat’s strategy was to claim the center, and by never once employing the “liberal” label, reporters obliged — even as they passed on claims of a “mainstream” McAuliffe. In a June 13 article about a joint appearance by the three-man Democratic ticket, the Washington Post’s Laura Vozzella relayed how they were “portraying themselves as mainstream alternatives to the Republicans’ ‘Tea Party ticket.’” A week later, describing the candidates’ speeches at a June 20 forum in Reston, the Washington Post’s Ben Pershing merely recounted how “McAuliffe presented himself as a business-friendly moderate,” making no attempt to puncture the persona.

The bias shows up as something as simple as a label.

And then there was Julian Walker of the Virginian-Pilot that essentially smeared Cuccinelli as a racist.

And if you want to know which candidate gets the most “fluff” pieces, of course that would be McAuliffe.

Overall, readers saw 173 stories that were predominantly critical of Cuccinelli, vs. just 11 that reflected a pro-Cuccinelli tilt. For McAuliffe, the same numbers were 112 negative stories vs. 24 positive ones. Thus, the Republican faced not only more lopsidedly negative coverage, but 35% more negative stories overall than his Democratic opponent.

So what is the breakdown? Just 6% of the stories about Cuccinelli were positive compared to 18% for McAuliffe. The newspapers are 3 times more favorable to the Democrat than the Republican.
That is a 300% pro Democrat bias.
Is it any wonder that Newspapers are on their way out?
This study proves bias, but more than that it offers statistical proof that Virginia’s four largest newspapers have an agenda. And they are not out to report the news, they are out to sway elections.
That is a shame.

About Tom White

Tom is a US Navy Veteran, owns an Insurance Agency and is currently an IT Manager for a Virginia Distributor. He has been published in American Thinker, currently writes for the Richmond Examiner as well as Virginia Right! Blog.Tom lives in Hanover County, Va and is involved in politics at every level and is a Recovering Republican who has finally had enough of the War on Conservatives in progress with the Leadership of the GOP on a National Level.

3 Responses to “Study: Virginia Newspapers 3 Times More Favorable Towards McAuliffe (D) Than Cuccinelli (R)”

  1. Gene says:

    Have you lost your mind? You people already own or control just about everything in the media except NPR & Aljazeera. And you still can’t lie, buy, or steal, an election. Would you be happy if they changed the name to Republican Times Dispatch? They would have to hire a staff of very creative liars. And they still would not be able to sell your hatred.

    You know, the problem is that even a talented newspaper writer can only make a crook like Cuccinelli look but so good. I mean they just don’t have anything to work with but a second rate “used car salesman”. We need to get Cuccinelli to trial, and let a jury take a good look at that $18,000 grease job.

    Have you read today’s RTD, and you think it is tilted left? Boloney Do you see the Democrats complaining about your beloved Faux News, and the EVIL network that your leader is on?

    You people are cry babies. Harry Reid listened to you people complain about not having passed a budget for over what, 4, or how many years? Now, they sent a budget to the Republican House. Let me ask you, where is it ? Where?

    Your are crying even before your November lose is even official. This is ridiculous.

  2. Jack Lee says:

    Dear Mr. Gene,

    I’m quite befuddled by your comment. I thought Mr. White’s report was loaded w/ verifiable statistical data which I find refreshing in this day and age of political talking points and name calling that is of no benefit whatsoever. I would be VERY interested in seeing some statistical data to back up your main argument which was the “baloney” argument.

    You comments always make me think about my Debate 101 class when one of the first things we learned was that when one of your adversaries uses personal attacks, name calling, and makes their point by using rhetoric like the “baloney” argument they generally have nothing else of substance to offer. I’m just say’in!

  3. Gene Lefty says:

    Thank you for your comment Mr. Lee.

    Now, have you lost your mind too!

    1) Just what is the political affiliation of this “verifiable statistical data” source that you mentioned? Do you think that I do not know it, or is it you who does not know? If not I would suggest that you Goggle the source. Was the writer confident no one would investigate his source? You got to be kidding? “I am just say’in”

    2) Let us just suppose, If a Right wing person, who runs a Right wing blog, were to go to a Right wing organization, for stats, would you expect the stats to be Left wing? The very existence of that source proves my point. Can anyone name a Liberal organization comparable to Mr. Whites source? “I am just say’in”

    Regarding my use of the term “used car salesman”, are you insinuating that I am belittling their profession? If so, I apologize to all of the used car salesman out there.

    Have you expressed the same name calling concerns to the “real leader” of the Republican Party, regarding his constant use of name calling, and his disrespect for the office of the President of the United States? How about all the hate TV & Radio hosts, reached out to any of them about their name calling?

    3) When a politician steps into the ring, no matter the party, their life goes under a microscope. What McDonnell and Cuccinelli did was wrong. I do not care that lawmakers have legalized crime. That whole deal stinks. They should both resign and go to trial in my opinion.

    4) The RTD in my opinion was totally a far Right tilted newspaper up until a few years ago. I cannot say exactly when, because I stopped reading it regularly due to it was so biased to the Right, at least in my opinion , it was useless for accurate news. In my opinion, it would be virtually impossible for a newspaper to have that far a Right Editorial page, and be anywhere near the center in news reporting. “I am just say’in”

    One must understand, Wall St. owned media is tilted to the making of a PROFIT, right or left. Honesty, accuracy,, ethics, or the law, are under the bus.The appetite for profit seems to always grow into a greed monster, where anything goes. Unfortunate.

    5) The “real leader” of the Republican Party, has complained for years about a left tilt media. Do you disagree that other that Aljeezra, and NPR, all mainstream media is owned by the Right? If so, could you name the owner of this Left wing media that is not? I need to know.

    I would just like to say that I believe Mr. White would make an excellent writer for an organization such as Pravda. The Republican Right is moving closer and closer to modern Communism. We can debate the similarities if you would like.

    In summary, what is not factual in my comment?

    Again, thanks for your time and comment.

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    Tom White Says:

    Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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