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June 23, 2010
Citizen Journalists Needed
Kentucky's Rand Paul has been on the receiving end of lots of negative media attention lately, but a recent editorial in the state's largest newspaper, The Courier-Journal, exposes the fawning and free pass given to his opponent, Democrat Jack Conway. The writer, John David Dyche, a Louisville attorney, writes:
Kentucky media have made Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul their political punching bag since last month's primary. Meanwhile, the press coddles Democrat Jack Conway like a vintage Ken doll that would be worth a lot less if they took him out of the box and played with him...Just imagine if journalists were as eager to expose Conway as an empty suit as they have been to portray Paul as a libertarian kook.
Dyche poses excellent questions in ten key areas that the press should but hasn't asked Conway, and judging from The Courier's past performance during key races, probably never will.
Here are some examples:
Abortion. Where in the Constitution do you find the right to abortion?
Health care. You support the health care reform act despite polling showing 60 percent of Kentucky voters favor its repeal. Are Kentuckians just too stupid to know their own best interests?
As Kentucky's attorney general (the office you held for about a half-term before deciding to seek the Senate) you refused to join legal challenges to the health care act's constitutionality. Will you provide all analysis and research upon which you based your decision or was it purely political?
Does the act's requirement that people purchase health insurance violate either the commerce clause or Roe v. Wade's "privacy right," which the Supreme Court has said protects "intimate and personal choices ... central to personal dignity."
Immigration. Do you support the administration or Arizona?
Spending. This year's deficit is $1.5trillion and the national debt exceeds $13trillion. Do you support the Saving America's Future Economy Act (HR 5323) that would limit annual federal spending increases to the sum of percentage increases in population growth and inflation?
The list of tough questions posed by this editorial should be noted and saved for future reference by voters, not just in Kentucky, but in every upcoming election in every state. The mainstream media won't do the asking, so citizen journalists must.
Dyche closes with this punch line:
Maybe media take it easy on Conway not because of bias, but because he is boring, evasive and superficial. Paul is at least interesting, engaging, and serious. Regardless of the reason, the press is indisputably reluctant to scrutinize the Democratic lawyer as intensely as it has the Republican doctor.
Kentucky seems to represent not only a microcosm of national liberal media bias, but also a replay of the 2008 Presidential election. Hopefully Kentuckians will recognize Conway for the "empty suit" he is, before they vote.