Not if you’re the Washington Post. Or the Associated Press. Or CNN. The Post is actually the most flagrant offender. Of the three stories that top my Google news feed this morning, all of which focus on the congressman’s death overnight in a Baltimore hospital, the Post’s Jenna Portnoy alone headlines her report “Rep. Elijah Cummings, Democratic leader and regular Trump target, dies at 68.” [Emphasis added]
This is not to suggest that the other two sources, the Associated Press and CNN, don’t politicize Cummings’s passing within the text of their reports. Here are the third and fourth paragraphs of the AP release:
As chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, Cummings led multiple investigations of the president’s governmental dealings, including probes in 2019 relating to the president’s family members serving in the White House.
Trump responded by criticizing the Democrat’s district as a “rodent-infested mess” where “no human being would want to live.” The comments came weeks after Trump drew bipartisan condemnation following his calls for Democratic congresswomen of color to get out of the U.S. “right now,” and go back to their “broken and crime-infested countries.”
And here’s CNN:
The congressman, who had represented Maryland’s 7th Congressional District since 1996, served as the chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, one of the panels involved in the impeachment inquiry of Trump.
He oversaw a range of investigations into the Trump administration, from issues relating to the impeachment inquiry to the treatment of migrants at the southern border to the use of personal email for official use by White House officials to how a citizenship question was considered for the US census.
Cummings, for those interested, died of “complications concerning longstanding health challenges,” according to a statement released by his office. The Post, the AP, and CNN get around to eulogizing the congressman eventually but not until they first get their rocks off blasting Trump.
Elijah Cummings served in Congress for 23 years. It is a sad indictment of where we are as a nation that journalists whose allegiances lie with the Democratic Party can’t mourn the man’s passing without dumping on the president.
It’s not just left-leaning journalists who are the problem. At Tuesday’s night’s Democratic debate, the evening’s most salient topics were Donald Trump and the impeachment investigation. China was mentioned only in passing. Ditto for jobs, infrastructure … the list goes on.
If you’ve wondered how deeply Trump Derangement Syndrome runs, these sobering realities provide a pretty good barometer.