Yesterday, Senator Capito met virtually with members of the West Virginia press. From today’s write-ups in the Morgantown Dominion-Post and Ogden Newspapers, the bulk of the questions were on four topics: Afghanistan, immigration, and congressional action on infrastructure and voting. The write-ups suggest that the press dutifully listened to her answers and then wrote down what the senator said: neither writer suggested that anyone followed-up or asked anything challenging.
For example, I was surprised that the senator brought up the Afghan refugees. As Steven Allen Adams wrote:
“The exit from Afghanistan obviously weighs pretty heavily on all of us,” Capito said. “We left American citizens behind. We left the Afghans who had helped us, whether it was through interpretive services, intelligence, all kinds of services. We left many Afghans behind. It was a rushed and hurried exit. Quite frankly, I think it was humiliating for the United States and for the world to see.”
Wouldn’t that have been a great place for a reporter to ask the senator what she has done to help those Afghans? As I wrote last Friday, West Virginia is one of only four states that are not taking Afghans “who helped us.” Capito is one of the two most powerful Republicans in the state – so, what has the senator personally done to help refugees? As far as I can tell, nothing. Perhaps more importantly, wouldn’t this have been a good moment to ask the senator why she did not sign the bipartisan letter from 46 senators
asking the Biden administration to expedite the evacuations of at-risk Afghans and create a specific humanitarian parole category for female leaders, journalists, activists, security forces and others who are at risk.
Capito tells them how concerned she was and then heaps blame on the Biden administration. The senator did nothing to help those who helped us and yet, no reporter bothered to ask her about it.
Additionally, it would appear that no one questioned Capito about the Texas anti-abortion law and the Supreme Court’s unwillingness to act. While voting to confirm all three of Trump’s Supreme Court appointments, Capito assured us that neither Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, or Barrett would act to overturn five decades of settled law (i.e. Roe v. Wade). Since I first wrote about this three weeks ago, I have yet to find any reporter who has asked her what she thinks of the decision and the judges she so heartily endorsed.
Capito on WV Metro News
Capito was on Hoppy Kercheval’s interview program on Metro News earlier today. A month ago, Kercheval wrote a column:
Why Can’t West Virginia Be Home For Afghan Refugees?
In that column, Kercheval made the case for West Virginia taking some of the refugees:
West Virginia could be a good home for some. We pride ourselves on being a welcoming place and our faith-based values of service and compassion inspire us to help others, regardless of their ethnicity or religion.
In addition, we could use the help from hard-working immigrants. Our population is declining and just over half of the state’s adults are in the workforce. Businesses across the state are desperate for employees. It is reasonable to expect that Afghans who can escape their war-torn country with their lives would be happy to settle in a secure and beautiful state where a full-time job is waiting.
Reading these words, you would think that Kercheval would ask Senator Capito why she was not doing anything to bring some of these immigrants to West Virginia? The senator was on for 10 minutes and it never came up. Yes, Kercheval fits in well with the rest of West Virginia’s reporters.