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Wash Post Continues Relentless Attacks on McDonnell; Nine Stories in Five Days

The Washington Post continued to attack Virginia gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell on Thursday, highlighting the Republican's 1989 thesis three times and bringing the paper's grand total to nine articles in five days. The Post, which recycled George Allen's "macaca" moment 112 times in the 2006 campaign, featured this headline in the Metro section: "McDonnell's Thesis Is Relevant, Deeds Says: 1989 Paper Highlights Candidates' Differences, Senator Says." [Emphasis added.]

So, the Democratic candidate for governor wants to hype a 20-year-old master's thesis on the family structure and that automatically makes it news for the Post? Staff reporters Rosalind S. Helderman and Anita Kumar used the Metro section article to parrot comments from the Creigh Deeds campaign on the importance of the thesis:

Deeds said the thesis has helped crystallize differences between the men's records. He said it also proves that McDonnell pursued a "social crusade" during 17 years in the House of Delegates and as attorney general, instead of the economic development that he has made the center of his gubernatorial campaign.

Deeds said that as a delegate, McDonnell sponsored legislation to establish covenant marriage in Virginia four times, an idea in the thesis.

In a separate piece, Metro columnist Robert McCartney regurgitated this line of thinking. He chided McDonnell, who was 34 at the time he wrote a Regent University thesis which asserted that feminists have been "detrimental" to the traditional family: "That response was misleading, to put it mildly. The subject wasn't a high school term paper written by a teenager the week before prom."

McCartney escalated his complaints about McDonnell and conservatism in general:

Unhappily for McDonnell, except for a hard-core minority, voters have made clear in recent elections that they don't want the kind of intolerant policies that he espoused then. They believe that women, including mothers, are welcome in the workplace. They believe that government should let people decide for themselves whether to use contraception. Even Republican grass-roots activists said they support equal rights for gays, except when it comes to marriage.

He added that on the issue of whether McDonnell has changed his views, that point "will probably be contested through Election Day." Certainly, it seems as though the Washington Post will make sure of it. (A third article on the McDonnell thesis appeared in the Virginia Notebook section of Thursday's paper.)

A November 15, 2006 column by the MRC's Brent Bozell explained how the Post relentlessly ravaged then-Senator George Allen in 2006 for using the word macaca:

You think I exaggerate? How's this for exaggeration: By Election Day, 112 Post news stories and editorials had used the word "macaca." But that wasn't enough. Then came the truly shaky allegations that Allen used the "N-word" during his college days in the 1970s. Still that wasn't enough. Stories that young Allen stuffed deer heads into the mailboxes of black folks for laughs were deemed as newsworthy history and not merely as hearsay. Reporters like Shear acknowledged that the accusers were Democratic partisans, but that didn't stop them from spreading them around. Rumors were king; and the "defensive crouch" was established.

Allen was questioned for every allegedly racist bone in his body (including wearing a Confederate flag pin when he was a high school kid - horrors!). He was even pounded in the Post news columns for stealing another kid's bike in high school and not returning it until the next day - double horrors!

Then Allen gave an interview and complained about the treatment of "his people," the Scotch-Irish rednecks: "Towel-heads and rednecks became the easy villains in so many movies out there." Towel-heads? Clearly this was another Macaca moment, more evidence of Allen's racist proclivities.

-Scott Whitlock is a news analyst for the Media Research Center.