Lots of right-winged Republicans claim the liberal media treats them unfairly. For Rick Scott, the GOP candidate for governor, lately it seems to be true.
Or at least, that's a conclusion easily drawn after a couple weeks of some pretty scathing articles and headlines about Scott in state and national news outlets.
Meanwhile, his opponent, Alex Sink, has enjoyed a week of happy headlines. The Miami Herald
two days ago offered a piece titled "Sink's pledge: I'll bring business acumen to governor's office
." Orlando's Channel 13 served up: "Orlando Sentinel endorses Alex Sink
." And the Ledger
in Lakeland threw a softball: "Alex Sink Finds Warm Welcome Among Poinciana Hispanics
Now sure, Scott did oversee a company that committed the biggest Medicare fraud in history, which led to $1.7 billion in fines. He has no business or political experience to qualify him as the state's highest official, and video depositions of him
are downright frightening. So perhaps the scathing headlines are deserved. Either way, here's a sample of the anti-Scott press, with our own fairness ranking system.
You Ain't No Public Housing Child
Scott likes to rally his forces with a rags-to-riches tale of growing
up in an Urbana, Illinois, public housing complex, then going on to
become a multimillionaire health-care executive. On Saturday, the Palm Beach Post ran this piece
questioning that claim under the headline: "Rick Scott says he 'grew
up' in public housing, but spent just 3 years in subsidized apartment,
Bias: There's technically nothing incorrect about Scott
saying he grew up in a public housing project -- he did live in one for a bit of his childhood. And good for Scott's mama
for raising a child from the mean streets of Urbana.
Fairness rating: Three out of five Carl Bernsteins.
Scott's Favorite Amendment: The FifthThe story
: Tubs of ink have been applied to newsprint to explain lawsuits Scott's companies have faced. The Hill
weighed in October 15 with this piece
citing two more sources questioning why Scott won't answer questions under oath. Bias
The problem with The Hill
's story: It quotes American Bar Association
past president Talbot "Sandy" D'Alemberte and Florida Eighth Judicial
Circuit State Attorney William Cervone -- both Alex Sink supporters. Fairness rating:
Two out of four Brian Williamses.Fuzzy Answers, Fuzzy ResponseThe story
: Perhaps no media outlet has covered the Columbia/HCA story more than the Miami Herald
, including this piece
(maybe the most comprehensive article on it yet). The paper
in again yesterday with a front-page story titled "Straight talk gets
fuzzy under oath." The article
began with this: "Rick Scott the candidate promises voters 'the
unvarnished truth.' But Rick Scott the witness offers little but murky
: The testimony cited in the article has been
widely reported, and worse, the Herald
offers no response from Scott or
his campaign. (To be fair, Scott doesn't seem to like calling reporters
back, but if that's the case here, the Herald
should've said so. And
speaking of which, Scott's campaign didn't return a message seeking
comment for this story, even after the message explained that the article would be about an apparent anti-Scott bias in the press.)Fairness rating
: Six out of ten Walter Cronkites.The Miscellaneous and the MaliciousThe stories and the biases
A piece on the Florida Independent
website pointed out on October 15
that he hasn't mentioned immigration since winning the Republican
primary. The piece
was a fine example of unbiased reporting until the opinionated
conclusion: "It's a classic case of running to the center after running
to his primary opponent's right in the primary." St. Petersburg Times
columnist Talbot "Sandy" D'Alemberte lambasted Scott in this piece
October 18, saying he "manipulated" the legal system by pleading the
Fifth Amendment in legal cases. Sure Scott's answers are sneaky and
question his character, but it's also his constitutional right to do so.
Tallahassee's WCTV questioned Scott's failure to show up for debates
and editorial boards. It's a fair story
except when the reporter speculates that Scott would rather "spend
millions of his own dollars to tell voters what to think of him."
Considering Scott is in a virtual dead heat with Sink, it's easy to draw
the conclusion that he's smartly avoiding debates and editorial boards because of his fear of answering questions.Fairness rating
: Zero out of a hundred Geraldo Riveras.