There are really only a few research organizations who track political bias in news coverage, and have done so for years. In the wake of the aforementioned Mr. Cruz’s epic speech before Congress on Tuesday, however, media analysis ran rampant among news organizations eager to compare Mr. Cruz with Wendy Davis, the Texas state lawmaker who staged an 11-hour pro-choice filibuster before her own state legislature in June.
It was almost too easy. The comparison between the two Lone Star lawmakers fixated the press for a time, producing more than 2,500 mentions in news accounts according to Google News. The mainstream press either vilified, mocked or dismissed Mr. Cruz, accusing him of grandstanding, staging a “faux-i-buster” or simply promoting his own political future.
Following her filibuster, Ms. Davis was framed in a sympathetic role of legitimate heroine in cute pink tennis shoes.
The oddest comparison may have come from USA Today, which examined the bathroom challenges faced by both speakers, uncomfortably noting that Ms. Davis “reportedly wore a urinary catheter” during her speech. Yes well. Too much information.
And from syndicated columnist Jonah Goldberg comes this thought: “Ted Cruz, the GOP’s Obama. Both have impeccable educational credentials; both made political hay of their ethnicity; both are similar in their approach to politics.”
Meanwhile, such unlikely sources as Politico and The Atlantic delicately admitted - with conditions and explainers - that there was liberal bias favoring Ms. Davis in the extensive coverage.
“You can forgive conservatives for being upset with the mainstream media’s coverage of the Cruz affair. When a Democrat like Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis filibusters against abortion restrictions, she is elevated to hero status, her tennis shoes become totems,” wrote Dylan Byers, media analyst for Politico.
“When Cruz grandstands against Obamacare, he is a laughingstock in the eyes of many journalists on Twitter, an “embarrassment” in the eyes of The New York Times editorial board.”