WaPo: Anita Kumar’s Attack on McDonnell and Abortion (Part 37)

So Virginia finally passes a budget.  What makes the front page of the Washington ComPost’s Metro section?

Why… it’s Governor Bob McDonnell’s waffling position on his pro-life convictions!  From outta nowhere!!

Of course, as a practicing Catholic who has done a heck of a lot more for his faith than Tim Kaine some, McDonnell’s personal beliefs on abortion are the same as every other Catholic — 100% pro-life, no exceptions.  Of course, McDonnell makes the nuance for “double effect” which the media loves to extrapolate into “life of the mother” exceptions, but I digress…

…this story isn’t about Bob McDonnell.

It’s about Anita Kumar’s hatchet job on McDonnell’s presupposed flip-flopping on life.  To wit:

McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin said the governor’s position has not changed. It has been misunderstood, he said, over the past two decades. He did not explain why McDonnell had not tried harder to correct the record if that was the case.

Since McDonnell’s days as a delegate from Virginia Beach, countless news accounts have reported that he opposes abortion except when the woman’s life is in danger.

Martin acknowledged that was how McDonnell’s position had been reported but said those news accounts had been in error. Martin pointed to one newspaper article in 1996, when McDonnell was a delegate, that mentioned rape and incest in connection with McDonnell’s stance. It described McDonnell as someone who “opposes abortions except when the life of the mother is at stake, but from the public policy standpoint realizes that exceptions also should be made in the case of rape or incest.’’

You gotta feel bad for ol’ Tucker Martin at the Governor’s office.  With journalistic hatchet jobs like this from the Washington Post, going to work every day has gotta feel a lot like… well… let’s just go to Bearing Drift’s hidden video cameras in Richmond:

Bet you didn’t know we had hidden cameras in Richmond, eh?

But I digress… back to the hatchet job courtesy of Anita Kumar.

Let’s talk about what the record says, shall we?  How’s about McDonnell back in 2009 when this issue was first second constantly been brought up by the press for one reason or another… this edition from the AP’s Bob Lewis:

McDonnell also said his oft-quoted opposition to abortion except to save a woman’s life, even in cases of rape and incest, has been misinterpreted. He said that while that is his personal belief, born of his Roman Catholic teachings, “when it comes to public policy, I’ve never said that. That would not be legal.”

Ooooo… what does Anita Kumar have to say to that?

Okay, not much.

So let’s go back and see if the Democrats were somehow unclear on McDonnell’s pro-life credentials, eh?  From the Deeds campaign in 2009:


“Despite all the campaign trail fanfare, this was anything but the typical launch of a Republican campaign for governor of Virginia. In fact, McDonnell’s speech was remarkable for what went unsaid. Unlike past GOP nominees, McDonnell stayed silent on almost every bedrock conservative issue — abortion, guns, the sanctity of marriage, school choice — the very issues that served as the foundation for his 20-year political career.” -The

7. Reproductive Choice

THEN: McDonnell Opposed Abortion Even in Cases of Rape and Incest for His Entire Public Career. (Washington Post, 8/09/09)

NOW: McDonnell Said That He Does Not Support Public Policy That Would Restrict Abortion in Cases of Rape and Incest. (AP, 09/01/09)

Ummm… that’s not consistent with the WaPo story, is it?

OK — let’s try a different tack and just jump in the wayback machine.  By wayback, I’m talking like 1996 wayback and the Tyler Whitney Era!  Come on, Tyler — make this story pan out, my man!

RTD; 1996 (Tyler Whitley) McDonnell said he opposes abortions except when the life of the mother is at stake, but from the public policy standpoint realizes that exceptions also should be made in the case of rape or incest.


So um… why did Anita Kumar…

…write this story?

Of course, the Washington Post doesn’t cover Governor McDonnell or the Republicans General Assembly on job creation, the economy, additional education funding, transportation, etc.

Heck — maybe we could do a story about Virginia’s kick-ass unemployment rate??

But nah.  Anita Kumar would much rather recycle an old saw, one that is patently false on the merits and only buttresses the line that the Washington Post and the mainstream media have only one position with regards to Republicans: attack.

Any small wonder why the MSM is dying?

Now I happen to like Anita Kumar… and sometimes editors tell you to write or rehash a story, etc.  Of course, when it’s not the first time, or the second time, or the third or thirteenth or thirtieth time it’s happened… you begin to wonder whether the Washington Post is merely reporting the news… or manufacturing it.

That may-or-may-not be Anita’s fault.  But was this story pulled from absolute thin air?  You’re damn straight it was.