Media outlets are not supposed to advocate for or against candidates in news stories. That activity should be confined to the editorial pages. Charleston’s only daily newspaper launched an attack on Republican Charleston County Auditor candidate Elizabeth Moffly in its Sunday Palmetto Politics section, which is supposed to be news reporting.
The Post and Courier headlined the March 2016 death of Moffly’s son Patrick and opined that “Charleston County voters might not understand” Moffly
’s decision to run against Democrat incumbent Peter Tecklenburg as she mourned the death of her son.
The newspaper also speculated that Moffly, a former Charleston County School Board member, would have an “uphill race” against Tecklenburg, who got elected in 2012, when President Obama received more votes than GOP challenger Mitt Romney. The report failed to mention that the Republicans had 54,625 Presidential primary voters in Charleston County in the 2016 versus 40,183 Democrat primary voters. Republicans control all of the other countywide offices.
The report also failed to note that Tecklenburg failed to report revenue figures to local government entities on a regular basis, as required by law, which was a factor in the Charleston County School Districts $18 Million shortfall reported in 2015. The school district over-estimated revenue by $9.4 Million. Effective communications with the Auditor’s office would have prevented that error. Moffly was a frequent critic of the school district’s policies and budgeting practices when serving on the school board and was often attacked by Post and Courier columnists and education reporters for her watchdog role.
It is a disservice to voters to take sides in a campaign in a news report. Favoritism should be confined to opinion pieces!