Ugh – here we go again with the relentlessly anti-progressive, anti-liberal, anti-anything-they-see-as-“left” Washington Post. Where to even start with this absurd, Republican/right-wing-framed op-ed masquerading as “objective” news coverage (entitled, misleadingly, “Northern Virginia shifts to the left with Democratic primary victories“? Here are a few points to keep in mind as you read this – if, indeed, you do so.
- Whenever you read the WaPo’s Virginia political coverage, it’s important to keep in mind that they are relentlessly biased against anything they view as “left” (including mainstream Democratic, progressive or liberal), and in general love to whitewash right wingers as “moderates” and/or act as stenographers for those right wingers. For instance, check out: In 2021, the WaPo’s “Journalists” Whitewashed Youngkin/Sears/Miyares. This Election, They’re Doing the Same with Republican VA Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant’s Opposition to Women’s Reproductive Freedom? and Three Front-Page WaPo Stories on the VA Governor’s Race…and They All SUCK (Hell, They Even Describe Youngkin as a “6 foot 5 Mystery Date” – WTF???)
- In this case, they claim that Northern Virginia “shifts to the left with Democratic primary victories,” citing: 1) Saddam Salim’s win over Sen. Chap Petersen; 2) Stella Pekarsky’s defeat of Sen. George Barker; and 3) the victories of “top prosecutors in Arlington, Fairfax and Loudoun counties.”
- Of course, by definition it wasn’t a “shift” with the victories of Parisa Dehghani-Tafti, Steve Descano and Buta Biberaj, all of whom are *incumbents* who won RE-nomination. As for Stella Pekarsky, she’s a mainstream Democrat who ran on a middle-of-the-road platform of “investing in teachers and schools,” taking action to protect our environment, defending workers’ rights and voting rights, fighting for clean/honest government, standing up for women’s reproductive freedom and for gun violence prevention, etc. All of which are majority viewpoints among Virginians, which by definition makes them in the “center,” not the “left.” And regarding Saddam Salim, he’s another mainstream Democrat who holds most of the same views (for gun violence prevention, women’s reproductive freedom, climate action, etc.) as Pekarsky and the vast majority of Democrats.
- Also worth noting is that Chap Petersen had for years been one of the most, if not the most, conservative Democrats in the VA Senate, even joining with a far-right-extremist delegate (Dave LaRock) to sue Gov. Ralph Northam over COVID pandemic protection measures.
- Finally, with regard to the WaPo’s pre-baked/preconceived narrative that NoVA was “shift[ing] to the left,” centrist/”moderate” Democratic Sen. Dave Marsden won his primary in a landslide, while Sen. Jeremy McPike also held off a challenge from a more liberal opponent (Del. Elizabeth Guzman). So…yeah, this narrative is shaky at best.
- By the way, in considering what the impetus for this op-ed masquerading as “objective” news might have been, it’s worth noting that the WaPo editorial board endorsed Sen. Chap Petersen (over Saddam Salim) and Sen. George Barker (over Stella Pekarsky), along with Ed Nuttall (over Steve Descano) and Elizabeth Lancaster (over Buta Biberaj). Perhaps this pro-corporate, anti-progressive paper is just mad that a bunch of their endorsed candidates lost?
- One thing that’s VERY telling in this article is that they turn to two people – Sen. Dick Saslaw and GMU’s Mark Rozell – who, to put it mildly, are no fans of liberals, progressives, or “the left” broadly defined. In the case of Saslaw, who has spent a career taking $$$ from Dominion Energy and other big corporations – and then largely doing nothing that might upset those donors – the condescension drips from his quotes (e.g., “People, as time goes on, tend to drift back toward the middle”; “you’re going to have to make compromises, or you’re not going to be very successful”). And the reporters themselves slip, several times, into just flat-out using anti-progressive, right-wing (or at best conservative Democratic) framing. For instance, the reporters write, as if it’s objective/factual, that the “D.C. suburbs have taken a decisive step away from the region’s more centrist past”; calling Salim and Pekarsky the “winning left-wing candidates”; again casually writing about – as if it’s factual/objective” – “the region’s leftward shift”; etc.
Bottom line: Whatever this article it is, don’t think of it as objective journalism, but as narrative creation – or in this case, not really “creation,” since the it’s the same anti-liberal, anti-progressive narrative the WaPo has been pushing for decades. It’s just what they do…
P.S. As an illustration of the WaPo’s hostility to Democrats, they even take a gratuitous swipe at the Fairfax County Democratic Committee for a mistake – promptly corrected – in a press release they put out regarding the primary results. That’s “news?” Oh, and the WaPo also erroneously claimed that Dominic Thompson is “chair” of the Fairfax Dems, when in fact he’s *Executive Director* and Bryan Graham is *Chair*. My god…