The Mississippi mainstream media has had a long history of being one-sided.
If you read the Clarion Ledger on a daily basis, you see a one-sided liberal point of view being espoused. And, yes, you can even see this in articles that are supposed to be news reports. They have figured out how spin almost any narrative to their worldview.
A clear example of this is the handling of two stories from the Mississippi U.S. Senate race. While there are clearly others, these two show exactly how one-sided they have been.
But first go back a few months when the whole nursing home photo scandal was their main obsession. If you recall, they ran every story they could to portray Chris McDaniel’s campaign in a negative light. Without any true connection, they would publish photos of Senator McDaniel with Clayton Kelly and even with those who were alleged to have been in some “conspiracy.”
They ran with it as though those “conspirators” were already convicted and without asking basic questions like what is the actual crime here? Should it even have been a criminal case? Why are these people getting outrageously high bonds? Is it possible these arrests are political in nature?
They didn’t even care to ask when Cochran’s camp first found out about this photo and why they held it so long. The only narrative they appeared interested in was how McDaniel’s campaign was involved and, as it turned out, they were not.
As we know, the media’s coverage helped lead to a tragic end for one of the men alleged to be part of the “conspiracy.” They were one-sided and cared only about moving forward an anti-McDaniel narrative that is nothing short of irresponsible journalism.
Now we see it on display once again. A real investigative journalist, Charles Johnson, broke the story about an African-American preacher who was paid to deliver money to people in exchange for their votes. The media, though, went on the defensive in favor of Thad Cochran.
Instead of investigating these serious claims, they went on the attack. Once again, instead of asking questions they decided to discredit the messenger and repeat the Cochran campaign’s approved narrative.
Paul Gallo of SuperTalk Mississippi is one of the greatest perpetrators of this shameful tactic. Gallo had no problem throwing wild accusations at McDaniel over the nursing home scandal but when it came time to look into vote fraud by the Cochran team, he was quick with the “nothing to see here” or “Johnson is just some crazed blogger” narratives. He has been so dishonest and in the tank for Thad Cochran that some question if he has a man crush on him.
For Gallo it comes down to the fact that SuperTalk is funded by our tax dollars. The network has been able to survive for years even though they have had extremely low ratings. This is because they get a lot of advertising from state and federal agencies that I’m sure Mr. Gallo and his higher ups are afraid will dry up if McDaniel is the winner. That is one of the main narratives of this whole race.
But let us not stop there. Geoff Pender of the Clarion Ledger has been just as guilty as Gallo. He published numerous stories that put McDaniel in a negative light, while glossing over Cochran missteps. He has even purposely misquoted or misinterpreted quotes from McDaniel.
One clear example of this is when Pender claimed McDaniel was making fun of Cochran’s age at an event when he mentioned “gray hairs.” He claimed McDaniel was attacking Cochran’s age by calling out his gray hairs. But what everyone else heard was McDaniel making reference to his own gray hairs. There is little chance that Pender simply misheard this.
Let us also not forget cartoonist Marshall Ramsey, who has not drawn a story that put any negative light on Cochran. He famously took Cochran’s “I don’t know who the TEA party is” quote and drew a cartoon that made it appear McDaniel’s out of context “It is hard vote” line about Katrina relief. Ramsey didn’t care that McDaniel said numerous times in the interview he would fund Katrina relief, instead he chose to use the Cochran narrative sound bite for his cartoon and once again proved his bias.
The mainstream media also glossed over Cochran’s lack of accessibility. They also appeared to pass over the stories about Cochran’s memory issues. The stories about Cochran’s issues with animals were also greatly downplayed by the mainstream media. As far as they were concerned, any excuse given by the Cochran campaign was good enough for them.
But again you can see this isn’t how they treated the McDaniel campaign. Any negative story they could write or any twisting of words was what they wanted. And if the Cochran camp said something, they would print it as it was the gospel.
Then comes the incident at the Hinds County courthouse on election night. This was a clear case of a sensationalized story. It was quickly proven they did nothing wrong. And yet the media did not ask the appropriate questions, like why weren’t the people still there counting if it wasn’t finished, and why did Pete Perry close up the count shop at 11:30?
Instead they repeated whatever narrative the Cochran campaign asked them to repeat. It didn’t matter that they were cleared quickly. Instead they kept trying to make this a story and drag it out for as long as possible.
But again, we now have multiple stories coming out from other media outlets and yet the mainstream media would rather ignore them. They have picked their side in this battle and they don’t appear to care if there is fraud going on in our state or not.
They instead write articles that keep repeating whatever the Cochran camp wants them to push forward. It has been a painful to watch the spin and flat out ignore the issues. Charles C. Johnson is a plague on all media in their minds and Chris McDaniel is a sore loser.
But as more and more issues come out, it is hard to ignore. The biggest questions remain, how do they spin back out and cover these stories? How do they cover the fraud that has been exposed by people they wanted to laugh off?
They still refuse to ask tough questions like why was Secretary of State Delbert Hosseman’s office taking money from the Cochran campaign? What are all these ties to Roger Wicker? Why is Austin Barbour suddenly the spokesman for the Cochran campaign while Thad hides again? Where is campaign manager Kirk Sims? He is at the center of the vote buying scandal and hasn’t been heard from since it broke!
It would be nice to see the media attempt to get some of these important questions answered. But I assume we won’t see these stories broke by any of them. And the apologies to all those they have attacked in vain won’t be coming either.