The language we use to cover news events says a great deal about our editorial judgment. And the Associated Press’ handling of the long-shot recount efforts in Georgia and New Mexico says its judgment needs serious reconsideration.
In the Peach State, Democratic House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams is hoping against hope that her recount efforts will upend the results of the state’s gubernatorial election, taking away Republican Georgia Gov.-elect Brian Kemp’s victory. On Friday, the AP covered Abrams’ campaign to overturn the election results with a headline that reads: “ Abrams prepares push for new Georgia Gov. vote.”
In New Mexico, Republican state Rep. Yvette Herrell is hoping against hope that her efforts to impound ballots will upend the results of the race in the state’s 2nd Congressional District, taking away Democrat Xochitl Torres Small’s narrow victory. Here’s how the AP characterized Herrell’s attempts to overturn the results of the House race: “ Republican Refusing to Concede US House Race, Questions Vote.” …
… It may seem like a small thing, but the difference between these stories is the difference between healthy skepticism and no skepticism at all. That the AP’s tone changes entirely when the story is about a Democrat is probably just a coincidence. Probably.