WaPo “News” Article Tries to Turn Right Wingnut Barbara Comstock Into Closet “Moderate”


    I kept shaking my head and squinting my eyes as I read this morning’s Washington Post story, GOP leaders unite behind Comstock as its voters diverge, about the Barbara Comstock and Virginia 10th CD race for Congress. It went off the rails quickly, after just 75 words. Check it out:

    Through all the appearances with her primary opponents, Comstock (R-Fairfax) smiled and said little – trying at once to hide her moderation yet not betray it for a fall election she hoped to win in ever-bluer Northern Virginia.

    That’s right, it’s stated as a simple, obvious fact – keep in mind that this ran not as an editorial, but a straight “news” piece – that Comstock not only is a moderate (WTF?), but that she spent the past few months trying to “hide” it from 10th CD Republican voters. Apparently, that strategy of hiding her “moderation” was the reason why Comstock rolled out a parade of extreme right-wingnut endorsements over the past few months. Endorsements such as the following:

    *Penny Nance of the virulently homophobic, Islamophobic, theocratic “Concerned Women for America.” In the video you can watch at the link, Nance rants about how the “Age of Reason” let to “moral relativism” which led to…yep, you guessed it, major Godwin’s Law violation! Comstock the “moderate” attended a fundraiser with this extremist wacko. Apparently this was part of Comstock’s efforts “to hide her moderation.”

    *Brent Bozell, a far-right-wing bigot who called Obama a “skinny, ghetto crackhead,” and who also claimed that “the gay agenda endorses the right of gays to marry and teach children, and that’s in utter opposition to mainstream America.” Yep, it’s amazing the lengths Barbara Comstock went to hide her “moderation,” such as by touting endorsements from people like Bozell. Diabolically clever! (snark)

    *Mark Levin, a far-right-wing hate radio host who has all kinds of “interesting” things to say, such as that the GOP is filled with “cockroaches” who aren’t conservative enough and need to be “fumigated;” that “Women In Combat Pose A Danger To ‘A Real Man’ Who Will React Differently If They’re In Danger,” etc, etc. Again, it’s diabolically clever of Comstock to “hide” her “moderation” by touting endorsements by folks like Mark Levin.

    *Sean Hannity, as extreme as they come, a guy who most recently was the #1 cheerleader in the country for violent, racist extremist Cliven Bundy.

    By the way, note how the Post article doesn’t mention any of these endorsements? And the reason it doesn’t do so is…what exactly??? Perhaps because the author would then have to explain to readers that either: a) Comstock really doesn’t agree with any of the people whose endorsements she touted, was outright lying to 10th CD Republican voters, and IS truly the “moderate” the author’s narrative is attempting to push; or b) Comstock really DOES agree with these right wingnuts, bigots, extremists, etc., in which case she’s NOT a “moderate” at all.  Very strange either way.

    I was very curious how readers would react to this deeply weird piece. The top-rated comments are highly revealing.

    *”Barbara Comstock is moderate?” (the commenter then provides a long list of examples of how she’s anything but) “Comstock has a track record against women, youth, minorities, gays, the elderly, supporters of reasonable firearm restrictions, and people that use state roads.” Uh, yeah!

    *”You have got to be kidding me…Get past the smile and the handshake and you’re looking at Ken Cucinelli.” Bingo.

    *”Let’s make sure that everyone knows about Barbara Comstock right now. She was the aide to Dan Burton and spent at least four years of her life trying to convince people that the Clintons were responsible for the murder of Vince Foster.” (e.g., see here)

    *”Bob Marshall even said that Comstock votes as he does. Comstock a moderate? No way!”

    *”The woman got her start in politics by purchasing watermelons for Dan Burton to shoot at in backyard, reenactments 0f the the Clintons’ murder of Vince Foster. Why would anyone need to know anymore about such a woman?”

    The bottom line is that Barbara Comstock is about as right wingnutty as they come. She touted that during the recent Republican nominating process, but now that she’s won the nomination, it’s likely she’ll try to “move to the center,” as the political cliche goes. Of course, that will only work if the media aids and abets her in doing so, by ignoring her extremist endorsements and hard-right votes, for instance. You know, kinda like the Washington Post just did this morning in its editorial masquerading as a “news” article.

    • During a candidates’ forum in Purcellville, Rob Wasinger ignited anti-Comstock sentiments inside a packed Patrick Henry College auditorium with a favorite tea party line.

      “Barbara, you lie!” said Wasinger, a former chief of staff to two congressman, paraphrasing a charge Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) hurled at President Obama in 2009 during a speech about the health-care law.

      In the face of many of those attacks, Comstock stayed silent – the only woman amid five white men smiling quietly and looking down as her opponents hammered away at her again and again.

      Just one problem: Barbara Comstock wasn’t at the forum in question, so how could she have been “the only woman amid five white men,” staying silent, “looking down,” etc?  (see the video here. Did the reporter just make up the scene or was he conflating several debates into one? Extremely confusing, misleading, etc.. Of course, the article is so poorly written, it’s almost impossible to know what the author’s referring to. Personally, I read it multiple times and still wasn’t sure exactly what on earth the reporter was saying.

      Also noteworthy is that the reporter never says what Wasinger accused Comstock of lying about (his own paper had previously reported on this, as did Blue Virginia — Comstock lied about her vote for Barack Obama in the 2008 Virginia Democratic primary, claiming that it was part of Rush Limbaugh’s “Operation Chaos,” which in fact wasn’t announced until several weeks AFTER the Virginia Dem primary, and also which encouraged Republicans to vote for Hillary Clinton NOT Barack Obama).

    • kindler

      …would make Vladimir Putin look reasonable and moderate.  

      But now that the primary’s over, we can talk about who Comstock really is and what she stands for.  And “moderate” won’t appear in any of those sentences.  

    • AnonymousIsAWoman

      Even the way that article ended was designed to leave the reader with the impression that Barbara Comstock was moderate.  The reporter (and I use that term loosely) ended with a statement that Comstock’s moderation risks losing the hardcore conservatives who are known to sit out elections when the GOP candidate isn’t conservative enough for them.  The last statement was from one such woman saying that Barbara isn’t Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachman, so she won’t bother voting in November.

      The whole article was written to reinvent Barbara Comstock for the general election.  It could have been written by her campaign communication staff rather than an actual journalist.  It was a sad piece of inaccurate reporting.