I think that it is fair to state that the Democratic candidate in the 1st Congressional District, Kendra Fershee, has largely been ignored by Wheeling's "newspapers." Last May, after she won the Democratic primary, she was questioned about some of her positions. This summer, she was mentioned when the Democratic headquarters opened in Wheeling. Finally, in September, a reporter attended her local town hall only to ignore most of what she discussed in order to focus on the abortion issue. That's the sum total of her news articles for the last six months.
Two weeks ago, the Wheeling Intelligencer endorsed her opponent, David McKinley. Fershee's candidacy was not even mentioned. Contrast that with the News-Register's Sunday endorsement of Joe Manchin in which his opponent, Republican Patrick Morrisey, received over a 100 words worth of praise. However, simply ignoring Fershee's candidacy was not enough for our local Ogden papers; yesterday, the News-Register editorially attacked her and questioned her motives.
The editorial*, "McKinley Correct About Health Care," begins:
Obamacare, known formally if inaccurately as the Affordable Care Act, has done nothing but make health care more expensive for many Americans. It has helped only those receiving taxpayer-funded care through Medicaid and subsidized “marketplace” insurance.
No wonder it's so unpopular! Or so you would think from reading the editorial. But a two-week-old poll from, of all sources, Fox News found that 53% of Americans had a favorable view of Obamacare compared to 43% who did not.
More importantly (since we are talking about McKinley), how has Obamacare affected West Virginians? Here’s what Ballotpedia tells us:
Between 2013 and 2016, the number of uninsured individuals in West Virginia declined by 62.4 percent.
About 562,000 individuals in West Virginia were enrolled in health plans offered through the health insurance exchange in 2017. Enrollment in Medicaid amounted to about 30,000 in May 2017.
The editorial assures us that McKinley wants to ensure that those covered continue to receive coverage ignoring the number of times that McKinley has voted to kill Obamacare without a replacement in place. "Yes, we have always wanted to continue coverage" is the new Republican line now that health care has become an issue. (See, for instance, Patrick Morrisey's gyrations to rationalize his lawsuit to end Obamacare.)
From here, the editorial moves on to attack Fershee because she is in favor of universal health care:
His opponent in the First District congressional election, Kendra Fershee, thinks the answer to the ACA’s woes is – sit down for this – to force all Americans to participate in it.
Yes, the concept of universal health care (as the editorial's next paragraph explains) is so foreign, drastic and unbelievable that we need to sit down to even contemplate it! Who could possibly be in favor of that idea? How about a majority of Democrats and Republicans? From a September Reuters poll:
The vast majority of Americans, 70 percent, now support Medicare-for-all, otherwise known as single-payer health care, according to a new Reuters survey. That includes 85 percent of Democrats and 52 percent of Republicans. Only 20 percent of Americans say they outright oppose the idea.
But the editorial is not content to simply misrepresent how Americans view healthcare; it then moves on to attack Fershee's motives:
Her mantra of “universal health care” is intellectually dishonest, as we suspect Fershee knows.
("Intellectually dishonest"? Project much?)
So without a shred of evidence, the editorial tells us that Fershee knows that it is dishonest but she is supporting it anyway. Not content to simply ignore her candidacy for six months, the News-Register has now chosen to attack her personally.
An editorial filled with misrepresentations, outright lies, and personal attacks. Although it's a crowded field, I think it's a contender for my 2018 Worst Editorial of the Year Award.
*Note -- no link, editorial is not online.