NC Political Media Mostly Silent On Unhinged NC09 Democratic Primary Candidate ⋆ American Lens

NC Political Media Mostly Silent On Unhinged NC09 Democratic Primary Candidate

Christian Cano and Tim Kaine - NC Political Media - Bias
Christian Cano and 2016 Democratic Vice Presidential Nominee Tim Kaine. Image via Cano’s Crowdpac page.

Remember how the NC political media breathlessly reported on the wild antics of Republican Tim D’Annunzio, who ran against former WSOC-TV sports anchor Harold Johnson in the GOP primary for NC’s 8th Congressional district back in 2010?

They had a field day with D’Annunzio, who didn’t do himself any favors with how he conducted himself in public and in interviews. He earned the negative press – and got it.

There are many other examples of controversial comments being made by Republicans in North Carolina – and in almost all cases, you can count on the political media here to provide extensive coverage through a combination of social media and print/broadcast reporting.

With that in mind, it’s interesting to see how that same NC political media has been mostly silent on the Democratic primary race for NC’s 9th Congressional district. The two candidates, Christian Cano and Dan McCready, are vying for the chance to take on Representative Robert Pittenger (R) in 2018.

Cano landed himself in hot water recently over unhinged attacks he made on social media against McCready.

WSOC-TV’s Joe Bruno has been the only reporter in the state who I’ve seen covering this story and he has posted several screen caps of Cano’s attacks, McCready’s response to them, and the NC Democratic Party’s condemnation:

McCready’s response:

The state Democratic Party’s response:

McCready, by the way, is a post-9/11 war veteran.

Cano, who says he’s gay, also tweeted this to Bruno:

He’s also talked about “gay extremists” to people who have questioned his seemingly “anti-gay” agenda:

Now, while it’s true that standing up against the extremism of groups like the Human Rights Campaign doesn’t automatically make one “anti-gay”, Cano’s comments are the type that would typically have political journalists in North Carolina practically camping out at his doorstep if he happened to be a Republican.

But they’re not. In fact, the N&O‘s Colin Campbell, who makes it his mission to monitor and call out controversial remarks North Carolina Republicans make on social media, could only muster up one tweet about this story – and it was a retweet of Bruno’s report:

For anyone thinking that Cano is just one of those fringe candidates who wouldn’t get that many votes anyway, you’re wrong. Cano was Pittenger’s opponent in the general election in 2016 and got 139,041 votes to Pittenger’s 193,452. So he’s a legitimate contender. And he’s saying a lot of things on Twitter that would earn him a grilling from our state’s political reporters if he happened to be a Republican.

Perhaps the fact that he says he’s a gay Democrat has helped earn him a free pass with political journos. But it shouldn’t. Some of Cano’s remarks about the “radical gay agenda” would have gotten him blamed by WRAL’s Laura Leslie for the Pulse Nightclub murders in Orlando if he was a straight Republican. The fact that he’s a gay Democrat doesn’t make some of his wild-eyed comments sound any less unhinged, and doesn’t make them any less newsworthy.

The NC political media should show some consistency in their reporting on controversial candidates who operate without a filter – even if it is one who otherwise portrays the side of the aisle they most frequently stand on in an unflattering light.

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Sister Toldjah

Senior Contributor

Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a 13 year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on mainstream media bias and the culture wars.

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