07.07.2010 0

When Libertarians and Tea Party Favorites Win, That’s Not News

By Kevin Mooney — If the election results in Utah, South Carolina and North Carolina had gone differently in the June Republican primary elections, The New York Times would run headlines celebrating conservative setbacks. But because the establishment candidates went down, there is no mention of ideology in the coverage.

Nikki Haley, who won the Republican nomination for governor of South Carolina, had strong support from Tea Party activists. She was not considered a favorite to win and worked tenaciously to overcome various allegations that were not substantiated.

The report reviewing election results makes no mention of Haley’s conservative credentials or her connection with the Tea Party movement. Instead, readers are told that she was “strongly embraced by Republican leaders in Washington and touted as one of the party’s next leaders.” But that’s after the fact. If Haley, had been defeated her affiliation with Tea Party activists would have not have gone unmentioned.

But there’s more here.

Rep. Bob Inglis, (R-S.C.), who favored a deal on global warming legislation and joined with congressional leftists to censure his colleague Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) ,was defeated by Trey Gowdy, a local prosecutor with conservative credentials.

These details do not find their way into the following paragraph:

“Representative Bob Inglis, a six-term Republican from South Carolina, was defeated in a runoff election. He became the fifth incumbent congressman or senator to be turned out of office in the latest round of primaries that have upended the midterm election year.”

But if Inglis emerged as the winner, he would been touted as a champion of moderation and enlightened thinking in the Republican Party. His support for “cap and trade” would have been held up as evidence that climate change legislation had traction with the electorate.

The race is worthy of closer examination took place in Utah where Mike Lee won a narrow victory as the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate. It was an intense contest replete with negative advertising. But Lee had the backing of Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) who appealed to the party’s conservative base. There’s doubt that he his connection with Lee would have been mentioned in the report if the election results went the other way.

Here again the report is short on details:

“In Utah, Republicans nominated Mike Lee, an attorney, in a race for the United States Senate. He defeated Tim Bridgewater, a businessman, in the primary Tuesday, one month after both men knocked out Senator Robert F. Bennett, a three-term Republican.”

The coverage here is deliberately bland because it does fit in with an inaccurate news media narrative that says Tea Party candidates are radioactive to mainstream voters in both parties.

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