In today’s Virginia notebook WaPo writer Tim Craig looks at the special legislative session in Richmond, and lets us all know who he is supporting.
After looking at all the various options, Craig writes:
With gas prices already more than $4 a gallon, House Minority Leader Ward L. Armstrong (D-Bath) has come out against Saslaw’s plan to raise the gas tax by 6 cents over six years, which would cost the average family less than $50 a year.
Now what caught my eye is the casual way Mr. Craig slips advocacy into his article…and in doing so shows why Mr. Saslaw’s bill is doomed and perhaps deserves to fail…and why one would be justified in thinking Mr. Craig has a night job as a PR expert for Senator Saslaw.
The WaPo has long been accused of allowing reporters to slip opinion and advocacy into their articles. Clearly that is what is going on here. Mr. Craig does not offer any independent information to validate his claim, only statement parroting Mr. Saslaw…it’s the parroting part that alerts you that this is advocacy.
More important is Mr. Craig acting as if this increase happens in a vacuum. Families are already having to cut away activities, and now Mr. Saslaw potentially wants them to cut away more so his gas tax can take wing and fly. He sees it as a way to solve one problem, and apparently has no concern what other problem(s) he may be creating.
I don’t know which is a more sorry sight…that of the Majority Leader of the Virginia Senate slashing without concern at the wallets of Virginian’s already stretched tight, or that of a member of the Fourth Estate deciding it was not important to maintain their objectivity.
Either way, it’s a pity.
Flack On, Mr. Craig, Flack On!