Thursday, July 27, 2006

Reports on Voting Rights Act today misleading

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) , W's "go to guy" on race relations...but that's beside the point of this post.

"Bush signs Voting Rights act extension." Unmentioned in this AP report is the fact that congressional Republicans tried unsuccessfully to scale back the provisions of the Voting Rights Act as they applied to some of the southern states. Instead, the AP makes it sound like the GOP were fully behind it:
The Republican controlled Congress, eager to improve its standing with minorities ahead of the November elections, pushed the bill through even though key provisions were not set to expire until next year.
See what I mean? Isn't that misleading? Here's part of the Washington Post report on the law's renewal that's got a little more context:
The Senate voted 98 to 0 to renew the law last week after contentious debate earlier in the House, where GOP leaders had to scramble -- and rely on heavy Democratic support -- to defeat proposed amendments that they said would dilute the bill and prove politically embarrassing.
That's a little better. Although there's no mention that the force behind the proposed amendments emanated from Bush's Republicans.

The AP includes more context in its later report today but it still doesn't identify Republicans as the party who sought to dilute the Act:
The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 98-0 and the House 390-33. The overwhelming majorities belied the difficulties getting to that point.

Some Southern lawmakers rebelled against renewing a law that requires their states to continue to win Justice Department approval before changing any voting rules -- punishment, they said, for racist practices that were overcome long ago.
Nor does Reuters:
The Senate passed the renewal unanimously after the House approved it by 390-33. Some lawmakers had opposed portions of the bill that renewed scrutiny on states with a legacy of voting-rights violations and required bilingual ballots in some cases.
Am I missing something, or isn't this a key fact being left out of this reporting by the major news organizations?

UPI manages to get close to the truth:
The measure passed the U.S. Senate on a 98-0 vote last week, after the House of Representatives voted 390-33 to reauthorize the 1965 law. Most of the opposition came from Republicans from southern states.
In fact, all 33 of the "No" votes came from Republicans.