Puget Sound reporters and editorialists have gone out of their way to praise U.S. Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler (R – Battle Ground) for her actions during the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump.
Seattle media members have also been kind to Congressman Dan Newhouse’s (R – Sunnyside) for his statements regarding his decision to support the impeachment of President Trump.
And, while it is a pleasant surprise to see the always liberal local media portray Republican lawmakers in a positive light – when the usual treatment is a silent one, if not hostile – these recent stories reveal the persistent bias within the media. That is, it’s the media’s failure to report on the range of Republican viewpoints, and journalists’ refusal to hold Democrats to the same high standards they impose on Republican lawmakers.
In an editorial titled “Herrera Beutler’s valor and honesty set national example,” the Seattle Times said the Southwest Washington congresswoman “stepped forward to lay out the truth, bravery that deserves reward, not scorn.” After bashing many Republicans, the editorial concluded by stating, “Herrera Beutler deserves praise for stepping up to share a valuable piece of it with the nation. Those political waters should be far less lonely.”
The (Tacoma) News Tribune also published a praise-filled editorial regarding Herrera Beutler’s actions during the impeachment process. The paper wrote, “She deserves the respect of all Evergreen State residents, from her politically purple home base in Southwest Washington to the deep blue Puget Sound region, for the integrity and courage she exemplified throughout the whole sordid affair.”
And, like the Times, the remainder of The News Tribune’s editorial was used to criticize Republicans.
Congressman Newhouse was even featured in a recent Danny Westneat column in the Seattle Times, where his reasons for voting to impeach President Trump were selectively quoted for local consumption. Westneat concluded that the Republican lawmaker’s comments were so sound that everyone should listen to them, even those crazy people he represents back in Central Washington.
How do these positive stories about individual Republicans actually represent a negative indictment of the media? There are three reasons.
- The media positively portrays Republicans only when they are critical of other Republicans, and almost never when they take well-reasoned positions on partisan issues. There were none of the same glowing pieces from the media when both Herrera-Beutler and Newhouse voted “No” during the politically driven first impeachment attempt by Democrat congressional members in December 2019. Apparently, the local media feels the two Republican lawmakers suddenly obtained their valor and wisdom when the 2nd impeachment proceedings occurred earlier this year.
- While positively depicting Republicans when they are critical of other Republicans, the media never provides the same flattering portrayal when they rightfully criticize Democrats. Westneat extensively quotes Newhouse’s comments when he refutes Republicans, but he fails to mention that Newhouse was extremely critical of the Democrats as well. Westneat never mentioned the beginning of Newhouse’s speech on the floor of the House of Representatives, when the Central Washington congressman pointed to the Democrat side of the chamber and said, “My colleagues are responsible (for the increase in political violence) for not condemning the rioters this past year. Like those who barricaded the doors of the Seattle Police Department and attempted to murder the officers inside.” Why wasn’t this statement from Newhouse carried in Westneat’s column, or by any other media outlet?
- And, while all of the news articles mentioned above criticize Republicans who failed to condemn President Trump’s actions during the January 6th siege of the U.S. Capitol building, the same editorial writers and columnist have not been critical of Democrat politicians who have stubbornly never condemned the violence that was committed by liberal activists in the streets of Seattle and Portland last summer (and into this year). Not one Democrat member of the Washington congressional delegation condemned the attempted murder, physical assaults, property damage, theft, and mayhem caused by their liberal supporters in Seattle last summer. While Republicans are being criticized for not convicting President Trump, all Democrats were given a free ride in the media for not condemning the assaults on democracy by their supporters. This is a dangerous double-standard, for the failure of the Democrats to refute the frightening actions of their follow liberals has made political violence a more acceptable form of protest. Congressman Newhouse was absolutely correct when he stated that the failure of Democrats to condemn political violence last summer was a significant factor in the violence that occurred on January 6th.
While it is nice to see the media show respect to Republican lawmakers, the press must realize that they also bear some responsibility for the increase in political violence.
There should be multiple editorials holding Democrat political leaders (at both the congressional and state levels) accountable for the actions of their supporters. There should be more media stories about the refusal of Democrat politicians to condemn the partisan violence.
It should be a repeated punchline that Governor Jay Inslee stated he had no clue about the forced closure of a police precinct, and the violent take-over of six blocks on Seattle’s Capitol Hill.
There should be multiple political cartoons about the state’s top law officer (Attorney General Bob Ferguson) not saying one negative word about the violence and law-breaking which took place in Seattle- especially against law enforcement officers
It should be repeatedly mentioned in the media that our state’s Republican leaders (like Representative Newhouse, Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, state House Republican Leader JT Wilcox, and Washington State GOP Party Chair Caleb Heimlich) all condemned the January 6 violence by Trump supporters (while it was taking place), yet nine months have passed and Democrat politicians have still said nothing about the ongoing liberal political violence in the Pacific Northwest (while all have repeatedly rushed to microphones and Twitter to condemn violence they can attribute to Trump supporters).
Instead the media remains silent about Democrats’ lack of responsibility and, as a result, violence becomes an unfortunately growing and worrisome method for expressing political beliefs.