News and notes from Reston (tm).

Friday, October 23, 2009

Some Politics are Local: A Haiku of an Endorsement

333539_107164623b.jpgThe Washington Post wasted precious little ink in endorsing incumbent Delegate Ken Plum (D-Mauve) in his race against challenger Hugh "Mac" Cannon.

Kenneth R. Plum, the conscientious, tough-minded leader of the Democratic Caucus in the House, is a 30-year veteran lawmaker, widely respected in Richmond. His Republican opponent, Hugh "Mac" Cannon, is pleasant but unschooled in state and local issues.
That's it? Next time, they should totally do it in haiku form:
Neighborhood watch chief
Dragged RA into debate spat
'Pleasant' not enough
Update: The Fairfax Times has also endorsed Plum, using just slightly more words than the Post. Bonus points though, Times, for using the phrase "down south."


  1. "D-Mauve" made me cubicle laugh quite a bit.

  2. Hmmm... The Post endorsed Deeds too. Kiss of death? Today's Post had a front pager about the Dems already blamestorming over Deeds' loss. 2 weeks BEFORE the election?

  3. I'm going with "unschooled" Cannon. How long could it take to get schooled in state and local issues, six months? D-mauve Plum took away the Wiehle Town Charter which would have allowed us to be a town in control of our own destiny (zoning). And he did it without public hearings.

  4. No surprise.. if the candidate is a Dem, and especially if running on a platform of raising taxes, it is a near certainty he/she will get a WP endorsement...

  5. Anon 2:25 -- Actually the Post has gone conservatibve big time since the Neo-Cons came in around 2000.

    It has endorsed Republican politicians, such as Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich. In 2006, it repeated its historic endorsements of every Republican incumbent for Congress in Northern Virginia. There have also been times when the Post has specifically chosen not to endorse any candidate, such as in 1988 when it refused to endorse then Governor Michael Dukakis or then Vice President George H.W. Bush. On October 17, 2008, the Post endorsed Barack Obama for President of the United States.

    Despite its liberal reputation, the Post's editorial positions on foreign policy and economic issues have seen a definitively conservative bent: it has steadfastly supported the 2003 invasion of Iraq, warmed to President George W. Bush's proposal to partially privatize Social Security, opposed a deadline for U.S. withdrawal from the Iraq War, and advocated free trade agreements, including CAFTA.

    In "Buying the War" on PBS, Bill Moyers noted 27 editorials supporting George W. Bush's ambitions to invade Iraq. National security correspondent Walter Pincus reported that he had been ordered to cease his reports that were critical of Republican administrations.

    In 1992, the PBS investigative news program Frontline suggested that the Post had moved to the right in response to its smaller, more conservative rival The Washington Times. The program quoted Paul Weyrich, one of the founders of the conservative activist organization the Moral Majority, as saying "The Washington Post became very arrogant and they just decided that they would determine what was news and what wasn't news and they wouldn't cover a lot of things that went on. And The Washington Times has forced the Post to cover a lot of things that they wouldn't cover if the Times wasn't in existence." In 2008, Thomas F. Roeser of the Chicago Daily Observer also mentioned competition from the Washington Times as a factor moving the Post to the right.

    On March 26, 2007, Chris Matthews said on his television program, "Well, The Washington Post is not the liberal newspaper it was, Congressman, let me tell you. I have been reading it for years and it is a neocon newspaper". It has regularly published an ideological mixture of op-ed columnists, some of them on the left (including E.J. Dionne and Eugene Robinson), and some on the right (including George Will, Michael Gerson, and Charles Krauthammer).

    In an June 2009 article on the conservative website, journalist Ronald Kessler reported that "... recent developments at the Washington Post demonstrate that a return to fair coverage attracts readers," and that, "Since Katharine Weymouth became publisher more than a year ago, and she named Marcus Brauchli, a former Wall Street Journal editor, executive editor in September, the paper has been making an honest effort to be fair. Hit jobs against Bush administration programs and Republicans in general have virtually vanished. Instead, the paper presents issues fairly. No longer is the other side suppressed or relegated to the last paragraph.

  6. I'm one of the 4,700 who signed the petition. I'll never vote for Plum.


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