California State Senator and Gun Smuggler Leland Yee (D-San Francisco)
Glenn Reynolds, a professor of Law at the University of Tennessee and the scribe of the popular Instapundit web log, has penned another column for USA Today that takes up a spate of recent examples, reported as "The media hate Republicans". He begins with the recent news (some people would call it that) that Democrat California state senator Leland Yee, a frequent and vocal opponent of gun rights, has been caught in an FBI sting operation (think west-coast version of American Hustle) trying to smuggle guns and rocket launchers from a Muslim terrorist group in the Philippines into New Jersey, with the help of contacts in a Chinese crime syndicate.
Some people trying to follow the story found it curious that CNN had not reported the story at all. Among them, one source on Twitter is @TheINDYpundit (pardon me on the copying; I don't tweet), who asked last Friday:
Curious that the Leland Yee story appears nowhere on @CNN's website. What say you, @CNNWriters?To which the reply:
@The INDYpundit It's in line with us covering state senators & state secretary of state races just about never. You see another conspiracy?Nice touch that – "another conspiracy", as opposed to bias. The helpful reply reminding them of their notes from Journalism 101:
Not a conspiracy. Just fascinating story. Undercover FBI, Gun-Running, Bribery, Corruption from pro-gun control legislator. @CNNWritersCNN promised to Get Right On It™:
Apologies, @TheINDYpundit. Thought you were alluding to reluctance to chase on our part. We'll make sure politics crew is across it. Thanks!Some five days later now, CNN has done precisely nothing with the story, after dismissing it as not newsworthy beyond its political angle. Yet Reynolds finds the "we don't do local" excuse rather curious considering CNN stories on Tennessee state senator Stacey Campbell on his "extreme" comments, and Wisconsin state senator Randy Hooper and his "marital problems". The distinction is that the media will leap upon local Republicans if the story is critical and comparatively minor (Campbell, Hooper) but will give a pass if the story involves a Democrat (Yee) even if it involves federal felonies involving terrorism and gun-running (a page from Fast & Furious?) that are directly counter to his public gun control campaign.
As for a positive story, if it can spun that way, a local Democrat gets an enormous benefit, as for example Texas state senator Wendy Davis and her widely covered filibuster against a state bill that restricts abortions past the five-month period of gestation.
Reynolds tosses in another comparison for clarity's sake, wherein the Washington Post refused to cover the stomach-churning Kermit Gosnell murder trial for his abortion chamber of horrors since it was a "local crime story", but went ape over the local crime story of George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin.
It's almost as if "what's news" is just a synonym for "what advances the narrative chosen by the Democratic Party." The question that "news" operations like CNN may want to ask is, how many people are really interested in getting their news from party organs.