Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Media Watch: N&O Giving Conservatives Reason to be "Paranoid"

Whenever a conservative stands up to complain that the GOP or conservative causes or candidates are not getting a fair shake from the media, the sentiment is summarily dismissed as "paranoia" or some attempt at self-martyrdom. However, the latest episode involving Governor Easley's alleged misdeeds has shown a double standard being practiced on the editorial page of the News & Observer.

In editorials in today's paper here and here, you will find some harsh critiques of Governor Easley but conspicuously absent is any mention of the party affiliation of our former governor. You're just being paranoid, you say. It's an editorial page. You can't expect them to report party affiliations as if it were a straight news story.

Funny you say that because the N&O editors had no problems identifying Cary Allred as a Republican in unflattering articles that ran on the editorial page just last week.

An even bigger problem is that you see the Easley story already losing momentum. The story broke on a Friday, was in the weekend papers, and is already dwindling down to nothing.

Meanwhile, if there is a story to be reported that casts a negative light on a Republican officeholder, we often see it drag on for days or weeks with several follow-up pieces and reporters going back to the source for multiple comments. The story develops into a meme about all Republican officeholders and casts a negative light on all of our candidates. The GOP has dealing with that problem in one form or another for several years now and it is part of the reason the party finds itself where it currently sits when it comes to having candidates win elections.

For Easley, it's a two day story. The former governor typically stonewalls the media as does his attorney and that's that. Case closed.

This information was out there to be found during Easley's tenure. Conservative bloggers and writers in N.C. were putting this information out during the last election cycle and the mainstream media turned a blind eye. Until the media does a better job of reporting these continuous scandals on the other side in a timely and evenhanded manner, the politicians on the other side of the aisle will never pay a price at the ballot box for their misdeeds. Power is all these people understand. Until they have that taken away, no rule and no law is sacred.

Even though some conservatives won't want to hear this, the press plays a critical role in our democratic society of holding our elected officials accountable. We need the press to do its job better or we will never break the cycle of corruption that has plagued state government in North Carolina.