Media’s Fawning Coverage of Texas House Democrats Skipping Town Shows Staggering Hypocrisy


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The mainstream media has been in awe of the Texas Democrats who fled the state to the nation’s capital to filibuster a state electoral reform bill.

The hypocrisy of press coverage has been pervasive. For starters, the delegation traveled maskless on a private plane. The media has consistently pushed the narrative of needing to wear masks even if someone is vaccinated and, before the vaccines were approved and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed its guidance on masks, shamed those on the right, not so much those on the left, who were not wearing masks. An executive order President Joe Biden signed shortly after he took office requires mask-wearing on planes and other public transportation.

Additionally, the media has pushed for the end of the Senate filibuster by constantly asking Democrats including Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) if they would vote to nuke it. Yet the media has largely given a pass to the Democratic Party’s hypocrisy in being for the Texas Democrats using a walking filibuster, in denying the Republican majority the necessary quorum in the state’s House of Representatives, while being against the Senate legislative filibuster.

Ironically, former Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) admitted this hypocrisy on MSNBC — which has largely been cheering on the Texas Democrats.

“I know this is painful for people to hear, but the minority in Texas is using a procedure to block what they’re trying to do in Texas, just as the minority in the Senate is using a procedure to try to block what the Democrats are trying to do in Washington,” she said on Monday. “Except, it’s a much closer body in Washington. It’s 50/50.”

McCaskill’s comments aside, the mainstream media cheerleading of the Texas Democrats has been obvious.

On Monday, ABC News anchor David Muir said in what is a “battle in this country over voting rights… Democratic lawmakers are now leaving the state to block the vote on a Republican measure, all in their effort, they say, to protect voting access in Texas.”

ABC correspondent Rachel Scott sensationalized that those lawmakers were “once again, using the only tool they have left to block one of the most restrictive voting bills in the country. They say they’re in it for the long haul.”

During the CBS Evening News, anchor Norah O’Donnell hyped, “Democratic lawmakers bolted the state capitol this afternoon to prevent passage of a new election law, and they say they’re prepared to stay away for weeks.”

On NBC’s The Today Show on Tuesday, co-host Hoda Kotb enthusiastically said at the top of the show, “Getting out of dodge. Dozens of Texas Democrats flee the state in an attempt to block a voting bill they claim is a dangerous attack on democracy.” In a report moments later, senior Washington correspondent Hallie Jackson excitedly said, “They’ve walked out before in May, but this is the farthest they’ve gone, literally and figuratively, putting a national spotlight on what they see as a dangerous attack on democracy.”

Portraying them as warriors, Jackson said, “Ditching their state overnight, potentially risking arrest when they get back, Texas state Democrats blocking Republican bills on voting rights with a walkout gone airborne….Arriving in Washington, more than 50 state lawmakers on a pair of private planes from Austin, their absence now preventing Texas Republicans from passing those voting bills, since they’d need two-thirds of the chamber present….With the dramatic departure, the Democrats hope to highlight their mission and put pressure on Congress to act.”

Following a clip of the Texas Democrats singing “We Shall Overcome” and a soundbite of Texas Democratic State Representative Chris Turner calling on Congress to “pass strong federal voter protection legislation,” Jackson lamented, “The U.S. Senate stalled on a sweeping plan that would protect voting rights. Republicans don’t support it and not enough Democrats want to change the Senate rules to pass it along party lines. But Texas Democrats are all but begging for backup.”

Outside TV, a Washington Post headline reads, “Inside the secret plan for the Texas Democratic exodus: A phone tree, a scramble to pack and a politically perilous trip.” The article took a sympathetic tone to what the Democrats were doing: “What followed over a matter of hours was a riveting exodus from Texas as dozens of Democratic lawmakers said goodbye to young children and aging parents, made arrangements to leave their homes and their jobs, potentially for weeks — and drew sharp rebukes for walking away from their responsibilities in the Texas legislature.”

If Republicans acted the way the Texas Democrats are, the mainstream media would rightfully deride them for a dereliction of duty at the state taxpayer’s expense. Moreover, the Texas bill seeks to strengthen electoral integrity such as prohibiting unsolicited mail-in ballots. Meanwhile, the media has gaslighted the radical bill congressional Democrats are trying to pass that would subvert and federalize our elections.

While applauding obstruction by Democrats, the mainstream media has slammed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Republicans for doing the same.

Earlier this month, the mainstream media blasted McConnell and his rank-and-file for blocking that dangerous bill. For example, this is how the New York Times framed it: “Republicans on Tuesday blocked the most ambitious voting rights legislation to come before Congress in a generation, dealing a blow to Democrats’ attempts to counter a wave of state-level ballot restrictions and supercharging a campaign to end the legislative filibuster.” National Public Radio gaslighted it: “Democrats’ massive election overhaul bill aimed at protecting and expanding voting rights and reforming campaign finance laws has stalled in the Senate.”

Additionally, the mainstream media slammed McConnell and Senate Republicans for blocking a bill in May to establish a commission to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. An example is this Associated Press story with this passionate lede: “Senate Republicans on Friday blocked creation of a bipartisan panel to investigate the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, displaying continuing party loyalty to former President Donald Trump and firm determination to shift the political focus away from the violent insurrection by his GOP supporters.”

At the end of the day, the media should equally cover obstruction by both parties instead of taking a side, specifically, that of the Democrats. Just like there was no excuse for Senate Republicans to block the bill that would’ve created an equal commission to investigate what was the worst attack on American soil since 9/11, there was no excuse for Texas state Democrats to flee their state to block a bill that would make it easier to vote but harder to cheat.

This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.

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