Did Aliens Abduct the Real WaPo Reporters?

Notice to the Washington Post metro desk: Have your your Richmond reporters been acting strangely recently? Have they exhibited any quirks or unusual mannerisms? Are you quite certain they are who they say they are? You might want to have them tested.

After yesterday’s emotion-charged General Assembly session, in which the GOP-dominated House of Delegates rejected the last-minute budget amendments submitted by Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, Michael Shear and Rosalind Helderman with the Washington Post wrote an article that was highly negative toward… are you ready for this… toward Gov. Kaine.

The article started as follows.

The 2006 General Assembly gave final approval to the state budget and went home Wednesday, leaving behind a first-year governor who presided over the worst stalemate in the legislature’s history while failing to make good on his promise to ease traffic congestion for Virginians.

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) confronted an issue that has bedeviled state leaders for two decades: how to finance billions of dollars in road and transit construction. His plan for tax increases to finance those improvements, presented six days into his term, stalled after he misread the resolve of his adversaries and overestimated public pressure for improvements.

He had mixed success with his other major initiative, an ambitious push to adopt new tools to slow growth. Efforts to help localities study the impact of development on traffic passed. But he failed to win passage of his boldest proposal, a new law letting local government turn down development if nearby roads are inadequate.

By pushing for the higher taxes, he also prompted the state’s worst budget stalemate, which ended four days shy of a deadline that threatened to shut down the government and cause a constitutional crisis.

“There’s a lot of people who have been around a long time who were surprised he attempted to tackle this elephant in his first session,” said Michael Toalson, the chief lobbyist for the Homebuilders Association of Virginia. “Most successful governors just try to survive their first session.”

Failing to make good… misreading the resolve of his adversaries… prompted the state’s worst budget stalemate…

Ouch! Real Washington Post reporters don’t apply that kind of language to Democratic governors!

Contrast the WaPo’s coverage to the conventional Mainstream Media spin by Jeff Schapiro and Michael Hardy at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, who portrayed the “House Republicans” as hard-hearted meanies:

In a raucous finale to the unprecedented budget marathon, House Republicans yesterday spurned millions of dollars sought by Gov. Timothy M. Kaine for colleges, the environment and child care.

Concluding action on the state budget after a 169-day standoff, the General Assembly again spotlighted the bitter differences over taxes and spending that have splintered its fledgling GOP majority.

“This is almost a shameful day,” said Senate Republican Floor Leader Thomas K. Norment Jr. of James City County.

“Maybe it’s fitting we have a dysfunctional end to a dysfunctional session,” said Del. Ward L. Armstrong, D-Henry. …

“I’m just scratching my head in wonder of it all,” Kaine said.

Schapiro and Hardy finally get around to getting the House Republican side of the story by the 12th paragraph.

(In defense of the Mainstream Media, I would observe that the other accounts are largely neutral. The Virginian-Pilot emphasized the contention between local legislators over local pork-barrel projects, as did the Roanoke Times. The Washington Times played it straight down the middle, as did the Free Lance-Star.)

The coverage by the Times-Dispatch, supposedly the state’s “conservative” newspaper, doesn’t surprise me. The T-D political reporters have slanted the reporting in favor of the Governor and the Senate throughout the budgetary controversy. But the Post story? That confounds all expectations.

Washington Post reporters just don’t do that — they don’t trash talk Democratic governors. Did aliens abduct the real Shear and Helderman? Is House Speaker William Howell holding their families for ransom? I just don’t know. It will take me a while to sort all of this out.

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4 responses to “Did Aliens Abduct the Real WaPo Reporters?”

  1. Stomp Allen Avatar
    Stomp Allen

    The Washington Post has become as right wing as the Washington Times. From their support of Iraq, to outsourcing, etc. and now this.

  2. Anonymous Avatar

    Right, and then there is their take on inheritance: what is yours is ours.

  3. Jim Patrick Avatar
    Jim Patrick

    Warner laid the foundations for his proposal years beforehand; and ensured there were GOP allies in both sides of the GA. No matter what you think of Warner’s policy and the AAA rating kerfluffle, his method was sound and …well, methodical.

    From a neutral position, Warner’s move was delightful. To watch a single individual slowly and deliberately demolish his opposition is always a great story —the traps laid, hooks set, and favors called. It was great press.

    In contrast, Kaine’s rush to renege on his campaign promises has been clumsy and more than a little arrogant. Robocalls to legislators? Gimme a break.

    The media has kept silent hoping for a Warner repeat —they’ve certainly been enjoying the impending ‘budget crisis’ story— but the crude methodology has been transparent. Now that it’s over, there’s no reason to keep quiet about the details.

    The next press assignment is to cover the Transportation Crisis, the part deliberately created by the CTB to punish districts that didn’t support Kaine’s tax raise.

  4. Anonymous Avatar

    The point of view of the House Republicans? They haven’t suddenly gotten religion on excess spending (look at the rest of the budget.) They can’t seriously think anybody is gooey eyed over another $22 million cash for transportation. That was a temper tantrum, the kind of bully boy tactics that cost the Democrats the majority (especially the move to prevent votes on the individual items in violation of House rules and customs). They zapped those projects for purely partisan reasons. Some were questionable, some were quite reasonable — all died. That’s not random — that’s rude.

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