Guess what the NY Times thinks of the half-dozen DAs who won in this week’s midterm election? The answer, it seems, is zero, nothing, nada.
Although the term “reform DA” is not easily defined, the following prosecutors were elected on November 8th because they did not support the “tough on crime” mantra. Mary Moriarty won a court case against Martha Holton Dimick in Hennepin County, Minnesota. Sarah George won her Vermont county with no opposition in Chittenden. John Creuzot, a Democrat in Dallas County, Tx, beat over Republican Faith Johnson, a “Tough on Crime” candidate.
Joe Gonzalez beat over Republican Marc LaHood, who had the support of the police, in Texas’s Bexar County. Satana Deberry won an election with no competition in Durham District, North Carolina. Kimberly Graham defeated Republican Allan Richards in Iowa’s Polk County and was elected county attorney.
Consequently, if district attorney elections & recalls have significant national ramifications, the media should describe how the victories of progressive prosecutors would “echo” nationwide. Reformist triumphs will “reverberate across Democratic politics throughout the country,” therefore writers should emphasize that point to their audiences. Why do they “signal a shift” to the left and how. Right?
All of these district attorneys, despite some differences in strategy and political circumstances, have resisted the Tougher on Crime stance that The Times said voters were demanding. The tone of Democrats throughout the country must be changing on the issue of crime, right? Surely, The Times will remind its national audience that these results suggest Democrats can confidently pursue the politics for de-carceration & criminal justice reform.
However, there has been no coverage of these victories by the DA in the wake of the election of The New York Times. Sarah George was mentioned briefly in a sensational front-page article about a fabricated runaway bike theft epidemic in Burlington, Vermont.
So why is it that the recall election in San Francisco has been a major news event with far-reaching national consequences, but these other elections have been mostly ignored? Something is unclear. It certainly can’t be a matter of scale. More than 400 thousand people live in Hennepin County, Minnesota, making it more populous than San Francisco County, California. It’s estimated that there are 1.7 million more individuals living in Dallas County than there are in San Francisco County. An additional 1,250,000 live in Bexar County.
That the place is irrelevant is obvious. Despite its name, The NY Times is not based in the Bay Area; rather, it is situated in Midtown West, Manhattan, some 2,565 miles away from San Francisco. Despite the fact that it has been over a week and The New York Times has plenty of resources, the only real difference is that Boudin’s recall election took place in June instead of during the busy midterm news cycle. Consequently, if district attorney elections & recalls have significant national ramifications, the media should describe how the victories of progressive prosecutors would “echo” nationwide.
Reformist triumphs will “reverberate across Democratic politics throughout the country,” therefore writers should emphasize that point to their audiences. Why do they “signal a shift” to the left and how. Right?
If not, then the simple (but crucial) question is why not?
Not just because their reporters honestly believed such things were true, and yet because they had an advertorial ethos that wished them to be, mainstream newspapers such As the Times sought to encourage the narrative that Black Lives Matter initiatives had become politically dangerous and ought to be forgotten in the pursuit of calls for more funding for police and longer sentences.
The reason why the Boudin memory was singled out is plain to see: it serves The Narrative.
Not because their reporters did believe these facts to be true, but due to an editorial ethos that wanted them to be, mainstream newspapers like The Times sought to promote the narrative that Black Lives Matter reforms were becoming politically toxic and needed to be abandoned in favor of calls for more funding for the police and longer sentences.
The Times’ longstanding belief that Serious People Who Actually Care About Crime necessarily need more officers and lengthier penalties is evident from even the most basic examination of their larger crime reporting throughout the years. The half-dozen district attorneys who ran on reformist platforms and won must be disregarded because they undermine The Narrative, despite the fact that 3 of the districts in which they prevailed are far bigger and more politically contentious than San Francisco.
There is no way, however, to discredit The Narrative. On the surface, last week’s Wednesday morning news was meant to be about a Red Wave sparked by a response against crime. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the case. Indeed, several prominent politicians, including Pennsylvania Senate hopeful John Fetterman (D), who Republicans sought to paint as “soft on crime” because of their prior reformist beliefs, fared better than Hillary Clinton & Joe Biden.
This isn’t to claim that every reformer prevailed or that “crime” always represents a political victory for Democrats; rather, it’s to suggest that the picture is complicated and the signals are mixed, and much will rely on the particular politics of any individual area. The New York Times’ broad conclusions about last June’s recall in San Francisco were clearly less about properly detecting the political sentiment than about deliberately seeking to mold it, as seen by the paper’s failure to acknowledge the other reforming DA victories.