The annual rites that accompany the conclusion of Virginia’s General Assembly session are apparent for all to enjoy. Unfortunately, so is the annual tradition of media bias. Just this week, the Richmond Times-Dispatch takes Delegate Brenda Pogge to task for having the audacity to submit House Bill 1573 requiring the Attorney General defend the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia. According to the RTD, her legislation was described as being “…widely seen as an angry legislative response by Republicans to the refusal of Attorney General Mark R. Herring, a Democrat, to defend the state’s constitutional ban on gay marriage…..” The overwhelming majority of legislation is introduced in response to a situation that the delegate or senator would like to see changed. That does not make it an “angry legislative response.” Many in Virginia disagreed with the Attorney General’s decision and his refusal to appoint outside counsel. HB 1573 was a legislative response to address the concern. That does not make it angry.
Funny, I don’t recall the Times-Dispatch referring to Governor McAuliffe’s “Governor’s Access Plan” an angry response to the legislature’s refusal to expand Medicaid. Even though he held a press conference last year blasting Republicans in the legislature, declaring he would act unilaterally to expand Medicaid, vetoing budget items and refusing to proceed with the construction of a new General Assembly building.
Then again, we shouldn’t be surprised that the media cannot remove their political bias from coloring how they describe conservative legislation. After all, it is an annual rite in politics.