• Monthly
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $other
  • use PayPal

ONE WEEK TO DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!

We are inching along, but not as quickly as we (or you) would like. If you have already donated, thank you so much. If you haven’t had a chance, consider skipping the coffee this week and drop CounterPunch $5 or more. We provide our content for free, but it costs us a lot to do so. Every dollar counts.
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

The Washington Post Really Wants to Stop Ben Jealous

The Washington Post is trying to stop Democrat Ben Jealous from becoming Maryland’s next governor. I wrote about this recently (here) and didn’t expect to do so again so soon, but the Post’s biased coverage has been too much to ignore.

At a rally in Montana last week President Trump railed against Jealous’s plan to provide free state college tuition to Dreamers – undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.

A sensible headline for a story on the president’s rant might read, “Trump Attacks Jealous,” as I pointed out on Twitter.

But with Trump despised in deep-blue Maryland, such a headline could only help Jealous, so the Post got creative. Instead of focusing on Trump’s attack, the Post switched the spotlight to Jealous’s response. The paper’s slanted headline read, “Jealous tries to leverage Trump’s attack on his free community college proposal.”

By the next day the Post had quietly changed the headline to “Trump slams Jealous’s plan for free community college for ‘dreamers’.”

Just a day earlier the Post got creative with another headline. When Jealous called for lowering Maryland’s sales tax – a move likely to be popular with voters – the Post switched the spotlight to his Republican opponent: “Borrowing a page from Gov. Larry Hogan, Ben Jealous wants to cut Md. sales tax.”

Hogan is the apple of the Post’s eye. He can do no wrong. I wrote about this in my earlier piece but the two weeks since have offered ample examples.

The Buck Stops Somewhere Else

As the Post tells it, Maryland’s problems are not attributable to Hogan. This viewpoint is evident in the coverage of the recent wave of school closures due to hot temperatures and lack of air-conditioning.

Along with the heat, apparently a collective political helplessness has descended en masse upon Maryland parents, at least those who speak with the Post’s Erin Cox. Society’s “lack of caring has gotten worse” but there’s no one to hold accountable since “everybody has something to do with it,” lamented a father. Reflecting on the governor’s race, a mother said, “I’m over it.”

One Post story, which notes that over 134,000 students were sent home early in Prince George’s County alone, manages to avoid naming Hogan at all.

As with schools, the Post also refuses to hold Hogan accountable for the actions of his fellow Republicans, despite his leadership position as vice-chair of the Republican Governors Association.

When Trump recently announced his plan to freeze federal workers’ pay – which would negatively impact the D.C. region, including many of Hogan’s constituents – the Post asked Republican representatives from neighboring Virginia where they stand, with Trump or their constituents. But the Post hasn’t put the same question to Hogan, the region’s highest-ranking Republican.

Last week when Nike launched its campaign starring Colin Kaepernick, the former quarterback and social justice activist, the Republican mayor of La Plata, Maryland put out a call to “#BoycottNike.” Backlash ensued, but not for Hogan. The Post didn’t ask the governor, the leader of the Maryland Republicans, if he supported the mayor’s call, which she withdrew.

If You Pave It They Will Come

Perhaps the biggest pass the Post has given Hogan is over his $9 billion plan to add toll lanes to crowded Maryland highways (I-270, the Beltway and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway).

What Hogan says will be the country’s largest public-private partnership got off to an inauspicious start. The initial contract for overseeing and managing the mega-project was killed because of questions surrounding lack of transparency and potential conflicts of interest. The Post reported on this at the time, but with the election nearing it’s now politely forgotten.

Even if the contracting is flawless going forward the project will still be a “boondoggle,” according to a report by two public interest groups, U.S. PIRG and Frontier Group. They point out that adding lanes only lures more drivers to the road and traffic quickly rebounds to prior levels, while pollution increases. Meanwhile the report also notes that Hogan’s plan “will likely require relocating homes and businesses,” which would be politically toxic.

Hogan insists he can expand the highways without the use of eminent domain, but some media outlets are challenging his claim (here,here,here). The Post has been less critical, headlining a recent story, “State official: Widening of Beltway, I-270 would be in existing right of way.” (As with the headline noted earlier, this one was also quietly changed.)

With the Post carrying water for Hogan, Jealous (who I support) has a heavy lift, especially since he has just one debate in which to directly challenge Hogan.

Debatable

Moderated by Maryland Public Television, the September 24 debate will include questions from reporters at the Post, the Baltimore Sun, WBAL and WJLA (Channel 7).

This lineup could be a problem for Jealous, and not just because of the Post. WJLA is owned by Sinclair Broadcasting, the vast right-wing television network that helped elect Trump (here).Previously, Sinclair used its powerful reach to aid a Republican gubernatorial candidate in Maryland, its home state. This past spring many learned of Sinclair’s questionable practices when it required newscasters around the country, including at WJLA, to read from the same “Orwellian” script.

Instead of just one 60-minute debate, Jealous wanted five debates, and for the pool of media sponsors to be expanded to better reflect the diversity of the state. But the Post dismissed this, saying Jealous, the former head of the NAACP, was suggesting sponsors that “­cater more to minority viewers” only because they’re “crucial to his coalition.”

More articles by:

Pete Tucker is a journalist based in DC. He can be reached at his website.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
October 22, 2019
Gary Leupp
The Kurds as U.S. Sacrificial Lambs
Robert Fisk
Trump and the Retreat of the American Empire
John Feffer
Trump’s Endless Wars
Marshall Auerback
Will the GOP Become the Party of Blue-Collar Conservatism?
Medea Benjamin - Nicolas J. S. Davies
Trump’s Fake Withdrawal From Endless War
Dean Baker
Trump Declares Victory in China Trade War
Patrick Bond
Bretton Woods Institutions’ Neoliberal Over-Reach Leaves Global Governance in the Gutter
Robert Hunziker
XR Co-Founder Discusses Climate Emergency
John W. Whitehead
Terrorized, Traumatized and Killed: The Police State’s Deadly Toll on America’s Children
Evaggelos Vallianatos
A World Partnership for Ecopolitical Health and Security
Binoy Kampmark
The Decent Protester: a Down Under Creation
Frances Madeson
Pro-Democracy Movement in Haiti Swells Despite Police Violence
Mike Garrity
Alliance for the Wild Rockies Challenges Logging and Burning Project in Methow Valley
Chelli Stanley
Change the Nation You Live In
Elliot Sperber
Humane War 
October 21, 2019
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Wolf at the Door: Adventures in Fundraising With Cockburn
Rev. William Alberts
Myopic Morality: The Rehabilitation of George W. Bush
Sheldon Richman
Let’s Make Sure the Nazis Killed in Vain
Horace G. Campbell
Chinese Revolution at 70: Twists and Turns, to What?
Jim Kavanagh
The Empire Steps Back
Ralph Nader
Where are the Influentials Who Find Trump Despicable?
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Poll Projection: Left-Leaning Jagmeet Singh to Share Power with Trudeau in Canada
Thomas Knapp
Excuses, Excuses: Now Hillary Clinton’s Attacking Her Own Party’s Candidates
Brian Terrell
The United States Air Force at Incirlik, Our National “Black Eye”
Paul Bentley
A Plea for More Cynicism, Not Less: Election Day in Canada
Walter Clemens
No Limits to Evil?
Robert Koehler
The Collusion of Church and State
Kathy Kelly
Taking Next Steps Toward Nuclear Abolition
Charlie Simmons
How the Tax System Rewards Polluters
Chuck Collins
Who is Buying Seattle? The Perils of the Luxury Real Estate Boom
Weekend Edition
October 18, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Anthony DiMaggio
Trump as the “Anti-War” President: on Misinformation in American Political Discourse
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Where’s the Beef With Billionaires?
Rob Urie
Capitalism and the Violence of Environmental Decline
Paul Street
Bernie in the Deep Shit: Dismal Dem Debate Reflections
Andrew Levine
What’s So Awful About Foreign Interference?
T.J. Coles
Boris Johnson’s Brexit “Betrayal”: Elect a Clown, Expect a Pie in Your Face
Joseph Natoli
Trump on the March
Ashley Smith
Stop the Normalization of Concentration Camps
Pete Dolack
The Fight to Overturn the Latest Corporate Coup at Pacifica Has Only Begun
Jeremy Kuzmarov
Russophobia at Democratic Party Debate
Chris Gilbert
Forward! A Week of Protest in Catalonia
Daniel Beaumont
Pressing Done Here: Syria, Iraq and “Informed Discussion”
Daniel Warner
Greta the Disturber
M. G. Piety
“Grim Positivism” vs. Truthiness in Biography
John Kendall Hawkins
Journey to the Unknown Interior of (You)
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail