May 20, 2024

Keeping Media and Government Accountable.

Star Slights Trump Stump Speech For Hawley in Springfield

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There are more than 20 news stories on the Kansas City Star’s Saturday home page, but none of them involves President Donald Trump’s dramatic appearance in Springfield to stump for Senate candidate Josh Hawley.

Stories that apparently struck Star editors as more newsworthy include one about a Kansas house candidate giving a false address, another about Billy Joel’s upcoming appearance at the K, and a third about crop losses in North Carolina. The Chicago Tribune, by contrast, ran a lengthy and reasonably fair article provided by the Washington Post.

On Friday evening, before a packed house in the 11,000 seat JQH Arena on the Missouri State campus, both Hawley, the Missouri attorney general, and Trump addressed the issue of the day, the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for the U.S. Supreme Court. Well, not exactly packed: the Post reporters felt compelled to note that there were “some empty seats in the upper rows.”

For his part, Hawley praised Trump for honoring his promise to nominate “pro-Constitution judges” to the Supreme Court – “judges who love the Constitution, judges who love our country, judges like Brett Kavanaugh.” Trump called Kavanaugh a “fantastic man,” one who was “born to be on” the high court.

This Trump appearance was particularly newsworthy as Senate Democrats and the media had been hoping Trump would say something rash about Christine Blasey Ford, the woman accusing Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct when both were in high school. Trump did not take the bait.

“We have to fight for him, and not worry about the other side – and by the way, not worry about the other side and by the way, women are for that more than anybody would understand,” said Trump at the rally. 

Trump said little about Hawley’s opponent, incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill, although he did say she “loves the swamp.” With the Ford story not playing out as favorably as the Democrats hoped–millions of American women, after all, have or had teenage sons–McCaskill chose to cut her losses.

Late Wednesday, McCaskill announced she would be voting “no” on Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. She claimed that the “troubling” accusation aimed at  Kavanaugh did not influence her decision. The Post reporters describe her, a bit disingenuously, as one of the few Democrats who had been “on the fence about Kavanaugh.”

As to the reason why she is voting “no,” McCaskill raised an objection that could offend no voter save for those who took the Constitution seriously, none of whom were likely to vote for her in any case. Said McCaskill, “[Kavanaugh] has revealed his bias against limits on campaign donations which places him completely out of the mainstream of this nation.”

All in all, much national news was made in Springfield, but today, readers dependent on the Star would not know a Trump rally had even taken place.



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