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John Drescher of the N&O called foul on Governor McCrory’s public-records stonewalling. But will the media referees let McCrory manufacture a counterpunch against Roy Cooper?

It’s called “false equivalence.” It’s a favorite media-manipulation trick.

Let’s say your candidate has a big, fat negative. Like you haven’t fulfilled a public-records request dating back to last July. Instead of coming clean, you try to tar your opponent with the same brush. So, about a month ago, the Republican Party asked Cooper’s office for 14 years of public records. Nothing specific, mind you, just everything. Now, a month later, the GOP pot is calling the Cooper kettle black because he hasn’t turned over 14 years of everything.

Drescher appropriately called out McCrory and the Republicans: “If 14 years of records should be supplied in 36 days, Gov. Pat McCrory ought to be able to meet our much smaller requests in a few days.”

But what will happen as this story, and the campaign, march on?

Will the media equate McCrory’s lack of response with Cooper’s? That is, will they use the typical “objective” journalism shorthand: “While McCrory’s office has not responded to media requests, McCrory said Cooper has failed to respond to the state Republican Party’s request.”? And leave it there? Or will they explain the difference?

Stay tuned.


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