Reporters Treat Ohio Governor’s Race Nonsense as News

Cleveland Plain Dealer

What was a silly Ohio Democratic Party (ODP) campaign jab on May 30 was Cleveland Plain Dealer news by June 2, because Ohio’s legacy press is embarrassingly fixated on horse-race politics.

Last week, Republican Governor John Kasich’s reelection campaign quoted at length from a New Philadelphia Times Reporter story about a visit from Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor. The campaign selected excerpts in such a way as to exclude a negative comment from the story.

ODP noticed, almost immediately posting screenshots of the Times Reporter story and the Kasich campaign announcement side by side.

ODP wrote that the Kasich campaign “gets a little sensitive about Kasich’s economic failure they just edit it out,” an accurate but unremarkable observation.

The Kasich campaign simply left out a portion of a news story that conflicted with the campaign’s narrative; the newspaper was not misquoted, and quotes were formatted in a way that made it obvious the story had not been reprinted in full.

Days later, featured a news story about ODP’s shrug-worthy criticism from political reporter Henry J. Gomez. After Gomez reached out to the Kasich campaign, they reformatted what was already an innocuous blog entry in an attempt to avoid a media firestorm.

Breaking: Candidate’s Campaign Tries to Make Candidate Look Good!

Gomez shared the story on Twitter, where it was retweeted by Youngstown Vindicator reporter David Skolnick.

Toledo Blade reporter Nolan Rosenkrans tweeted a link to the story. So did Pew States Stateline reporter Jake Grovum.

The Ohio Newspaper Association, a statewide organization whose membership includes all of Ohio’s most influential print outlets, even shared commentary on the non-story.

If it seems pointless to comment on media coverage of a pointless story about campaign spin, consider how diligently the press has ignored far worse dishonesty from Gov. Kasich.

While pushing Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, Kasich lied about billions of dollars in taxpayer money — as well as his own warning that the policy would “stick states with large and unsustainable costs” — and Ohio’s real reporters ignored the truth even when it was dropped in their laps.

But it’s statewide news that Gov. Kasich’s campaign declined to include a quote that made Kasich look bad when publishing excerpts from a news story in a campaign blog post.

When it comes to inconsequential political stories, reporters who can’t be troubled to even fake skepticism about out-of-control government spending turn into bloodhounds.