Filed Under: Elections, Featured, Featured Local, Government, Iowa, Iowa Congressional Delegation, Iowa Politics
Though the U.S. Senate race in Iowa is only in the pre-natal stage the Des Moines Register hasn’t wasted any time in displaying the partisan favoritism it has become infamous for—an impressive feat given the race is only a few months old and has only a combined three candidates declared.
In the last month they have run two stories solely based on Democratic talking points, a practice they have failed to reciprocate for the other side, and flat-out offered no coverage of a significant Republican event.
The first instance occurred almost a month ago when, days after candidate Matt Whitaker announced on The Simon Conway Show, the Register’s Jennifer Jacobs published verbatim a full press-release from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee attacking Whitaker for comments he made on the program (http://blogs.desmoinesregister.com/dmr/index.php/2013/05/08/democrats-criticize-whitaker-for-pledging-to-vote-with-extremist-senators/article). In theory this practice is fine by me—provided of course that as a “reputable” statewide news organization they follow suit when the releases come from the other side of the aisle…I haven’t seen this yet.
What makes this so damaging is that there is no shortage of releases from the DSCC’s counterpart in Washington—the National Republican Senatorial Committee—but they seem unable to merit the same ink. I routinely get these releases from the NRSC and if they are well sourced and fact based I occasionally run them. An example would be the following from yesterday:
June 5, 2013
Lawyer Speak: Braley Misleads Iowa Students…Says Student Loan Rates Must be Kept from Doubling, But Votes Against Legislation to Extend Lower Rates for Iowa Students
Bruce Braley isn’t fooling anyone. The slick former head of the trial lawyers association and liberal loyalist to Nancy Pelosi – in true trial lawyer fashion – is trying to fool Iowa voters yet again, this time about the rising cost of student loans.
Less than two weeks ago, Bruce Braley voted AGAINST a bill on the House floor that would have extended a lower rate for Iowa students’ loans. Bruce Braley might be able to fool a jury, but he can’t fool Iowans.
SHOT: @TeamBraley – Help @BruceBraley’s effort to keep college affordable by adding your name here…. #DontDoubleMyRate #IAProblemSolver
CHASER: Bruce Braley Voted Against A Bill To Extend A Lower Rate For Student Loans. “Passage of the bill that would tie student loan interest rates to the 10-year Treasury note rate. Interest rates on all federal student loans (except Perkins loans) issued on or after July 1, 2013 would be set each year at the 10-year Treasury note plus 2.5 percent. Rates for graduate and parent PLUS loans would be set at the 10-year note plus 4.5 percent. Overall interest rates would be capped at 8.5 percent and 10.5 percent, respectively.” (H.R. 1911, CQ Vote #183: Passed 221-198: R 217-8; D 4-190, 5/23/13, Braley Voted Nay)
If Bruce Braley was actually worried about student loan rates, why did he oppose a bill to prevent the rates from doubling for Iowa students in less than a month? Why is he hiding from his vote?
“Preventing student loan rates from crushing Iowa students who are already struggling should be an issue of bipartisan agreement in Washington, but Bruce Braley would rather politicize the issue than actually help the struggling middle class. Braley’s misleading trial lawyer speak is just the latest example of his slick attempt to fool the jury – Iowa voters. Iowans are too smart for that.”said NRSC Press Secretary Brook Hougesen.
The second example of this behavior—also from the aforementioned Jennifer Jacobs—came just yesterday via a story on a “snarky” website just launched by the Iowa Democratic Party. The website makes a pretty juvenile attempt at poking fun of newly declared Republican candidate David Young. You can check it out here if you wish (http://welcometoia.com/), but I’m not going to give it any more play. The point here is the story published by the Register gave this Democratic effort everything it wanted—publicity and exposure.
What’s Not News?
A further slap in the face to Republican candidate David Young was the paper not even covering his official campaign announcement last Saturday at a restaurant in Van Meter—this is inconceivable. So to recap here—the Register can’t find the time or personnel to cover the announcement of a serious Republican candidate for the United States Senate…but they have the time and space to promote a Democrat website created to mock him. It’s just ridiculous.
This is merely a continuation of blatant bias—my all-time favorite was the Republican presidential endorsement debacle from 2008, which if you haven’t seen you need to click the link. The Register’s economic struggles of late have been well documented. Though I concede much of this is due to the struggle of integrating a web-based model, it’s hard not to assume a portion of the problem is their distinct and continuing partisan slant.
What kind of business model rejects and insults the sensibilities of what amounts to nearly half of their potential customer base? Answer: A struggling one that will continue to be further marginalized unless they change course and offer some balance.
About the Author
Mr. Arnold is a long time constitutional conservative. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature from the University of Iowa. Over the last few years he has been involved in numerous political campaigns, most recently serving as campaign manager for an Iowa House candidate and serving as a city chair for Tom Latham. He is self-employed, running a small business in Ankeny, Iowa where he resides with his wife.
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