Hey, was there a presidential election this week?
You wouldn't know it by the Wheeling News-Register -- most of Saturday's weekend edition is devoted to celebrating West Virginia’s Republican specialness
Readers who have taken my “quizzes” before as well as those familiar with our local Ogden papers probably got both of these right: Biden does not appear anywhere in the 6-page front section, while Trump appears 14 times.
Today’s paper is not about news; it’s about propagandizing for the Republican Party. There is little news and even less objectivity as the News-Register completely ignores President-elect Biden while putting a Republican spin on the election.
For example, the “news” section's front page includes the following article by Steven Allen Adams:
Republicans’ Sweep Of Legislative Races Due to Hard Work, Quality Candidates
From this, we can infer that the Democrats put up lazy, inferior candidates. To that end, the article quotes a number of Republican-friendly sources but cites no Democrats. For example:
[Former Republican senate president] Cole said that despite hostility to Republicans by union leadership, union members are reaping the benefits of Republican-led policies. Natural gas pipeline construction was a huge driver of employment over the last several years, along with new manufacturing opportunities. Teachers received two back-to-back raises, and the Public Employee Insurance Agency hasn’t had to make any changes to benefits for several years.
With no quotes from union leaders, I was left asking whether these benefits went to out-of-state, non-union workers and why there were no teachers quoted to affirm the Republican spin on teacher raises. Again, if workers and teachers are so happy with Republican leadership, couldn't Adams find just one who would say so?
Additionally, the largest article on the page (with a sizable picture of Trump and Governor Justice) describes West Virginia as:
The article serves as a complement to the previous article only with a bigger headline and a larger picture.
The region section features more of the same.* Here, Editor Mike Myer tells us:
Women W.Va. Voters Trust Can Get Elected
Of course, the trustworthy women mentioned are all Republican. But how do we know that Democratic women are untrustworthy when Myer and his papers have consistently ignored them? This especially applies to Senator Capito’s opponent, Paula Jean Swearengin who received only one sentence of coverage this election cycle. And while Myer doesn’t mention this year’s favorite Ogden target, Michigan’s Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer (she’s out-of-state), he does conclude by playing an oldie-but-goodie which, for Myer, never gets old:
Hillary Clinton — and lots of other people who don’t know us — are wrong about West Virginia. Women we trust can and do get elected here. I suppose that says something about Clinton . . .
No, Mike, it says something about you and your papers. Democratic women get little or no coverage in Ogden papers – how might they do if they got just half the coverage that their Republican opponents received? We'll probably never know.
Finally, former WV Republican state senator and Ogden favorite Ryan Ferns began his comeback tour with an op-ed against a public option for medical care. Trust me, this will not be the last time we will see Ferns’ ideas.
*There is one exception: Ogden’s political reporter, Steven Allen Adams, does an article on Senator Joe Manchin’s reaction to the election. Part of it is a rehash of Adams’ earlier article and the rest includes Manchin’s reaction to election news and the prospect for working with the other side come January.
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