What Politico’s Shira Toeplitz DIDN’T Write About Louisiana’s Senate Race

Long time readers of Lincoln Parish News Online (LPNO) know of our time-tested theorem of how more information often can be gleaned by things that ARE NOT revealed, rather than by what IS revealed. Who WASN’T at the meeting; what WASN’T said in the interview; who DIDN’T run for office; what the news article DIDN’T say – and so forth.

We have as the tagline of our newsblog: “What isn’t in the newspapers is often more newsworthy that what is.”

That theorem was again proved yesterday when Shira Toeplitz of Politico.com posted her hit piece on Sen. David Vitter.

What WASN’T in Toeplitz’s Article

This past Tuesday afternoon we received a call from Ms. Toeplitz wanting to interview us about the Louisiana Senate Race. Sure, we said. We’re in the news and opinion business and would be happy to oblige.

Her first question involved the so-called birther movement and the fact that Vitter mentioned the issue at a recent campaign event. We told Toplitz that we didn’t have any particular problem with Vitter’s comments and that many people felt that there was a “there” there on whether or not the President was a natural-born citizen.

She asked were we supporters of Vitter. We said, sure he had one of the most conservative voting records in the Senate and that he very much reflected our view on smaller government and less taxes.

Next, our conversation touched on the primary challenge of Vitter by former State Supreme Court Justice Chet Traylor. We told her that in our opinion Traylor was not known outside the relatively sparsely populated area of Northeast Louisiana and that he had little chance of success.

We noted that Traylor’s campaign manager is Lev Dawson, a close political ally of notorious State Sen. Francis Thompson. And that’s a lot of political baggage to tote, we said.

We also mentioned that if Traylor tried to make an issue of Vitter’s alleged marital problems of a decade ago, then Traylor would open himself up to the same charges.

Toeplitz told us she had an on-the-record interview with State Rep. Noble Ellington earlier, where Ellington went into detail about that very issue.

Toeplitz chose not to write about that in her article.

Toeplitz also failed to include in her article any mention of her interview with Bibb Franklin of Rayville, a long-time conservative activist. Franklin told Toeplitz much the same thing we did – in his opinion, Traylor wouldn’t get much support and that Vitter had his base pretty much sewed up.

We called Toeplitz and Poltico’s Executive Editor Jim VandeHei to see if they wanted to comment on this news story. Neither had returned our phone call by post time.

Who Gets to Say What is News

Used to, when big-city newspaper or the TV networks did a story and told only part of the story, we conservatives just had to sit and stew. We had no way to correct the record.

That’s all changed with this new interweb thingy.

Appropriate here is this quote from New York Times columnist David Carr from a couple of years ago:

“I was taught when I was a young reporter that it’s news when we say it is. I think that’s still true — it’s news when ‘we’ say it is. It’s just who ‘we’ is has changed.”



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