Local media stuck on socialism & Mar-a-Lago as Cox campaign kicks off with focus on local issues
Reporting on the reporters
On Monday, Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Cox and running mate Gordana Schifanelli officially kicked off their general election campaign in Annapolis with a grand opening and press conference in an office building just off of Defense Highway.
In the room prior to the scheduled proceedings, conversation buzzed and attendees had a collective look of earnest anticipation both for the looming kickoff and the broader election season ahead which will now immediately ramp up as summer comes to a close.
It was a seasonally cool day outside but a heat flashed into the room once the camera lights came on and the reporters huddled closely together holding out their microphones and their iPhones running recording apps on top of each other right in front of the faces of Cox and Schifanelli.
The media outlets on the scene participating in the press conference included, at least:
The Baltimore Banner
The Baltimore Sun
The Washington Post
The questioning and answering started off basically docile but took a turn for the frosty when socialism and Mar-a-Lago came up separately.
Cox was asked by The Banner how he would pick up the Democrat and Independent votes he needs to win and he described how people of all political stripes want freedom. Freedom from inflation and mandates and burdensome regulations and underperforming schools and indoctrinating curriculums and understaffing and violent criminals who increasingly seem enabled instead of punished by the state.
Like a benevolent Bane, he wants to return the power to the people.
Schifanelli jumped in, describing how Baltimore City has been ravaged by decades of Democratic leadership, at one point seemingly invoking either “communism” or “socialism” which prompted a series of follow up probing questions – What do you mean by socialism? Is Wes Moore going for socialism in your view?
She briefly elaborated on the nature of socialism before Cox came back in and summarized by saying that what his opponent wants is more government overreach, while the people of Maryland call out for their freedom.
To illustrate the kind overreach his opponent would stand for, Cox talked about how the state’s board of education has made a habit of meddling in the affairs of local boards of education, usurping away the duties of duly elected local officials — something Carroll citizens are especially sensitive to considering the state’s coercive posture as it previously overruled local decisions to keep masks optional in schools and to keep the gender identity hysterics out of the default county curriculum.
After that, The Baltimore Sun and Maryland Matters must have combined to hurl six questions in a row at Cox regarding his comments in immediate response to the FBI’s raid of Mar-a-Lago. Do you stand by your comments? Would you really use state resources in contradiction of Federal endeavors?
Cox pretty much squashed it by saying that he would enforce the rule of law and he thinks it’s important for state and Federal agencies to work together.
But had a lesser politician fallen completely into the line of questioning, you could almost picture a hammed up liberal headline from a newspaper combining elements of The Baltimore Sun and The Daily Beast — Trump acolyte Cox would incite Civil War by aligning state forces against Feds.
There was a funny moment when a masked Maryland Matters reporter went to ask a question but was simply unable to be heard in the noisy room through his tightly fitted N95. Cox kept looking at him hoping for clarity while Shifannelli bent her ear towards him, but both were left with a look on their face that said – did he say Maryland or Mar-a-Lago?
On the whole, the reporters were professional, but the entire affair still makes for an interesting case study in media bias. Every single outlet there can be traced more or less directly to the Democratic aristocracy which stands inherently in conflict with Cox’s brand of populist conservatism.
The Baltimore Sun is owned by a Duke educated New York City hedge fund guy. The Baltimore Banner was founded by a former Democrat state delegate who got rich in hotels and has leveraged those riches in service of the Clintons and the Obamas. Maryland Matters runs off funding from a big nonprofit in North Carolina that was created by a progressive think tank. WJZ is a local subsidiary of a standard issue mainstream media brand in CBS. And of course The Washington Post is a side project for Jeff Bezos.
Despite any and all efforts at reporting neutrally, the scaffolding these journalists stand on clearly has each of them pitched in a direction that is opposite of Cox.
Otherwise, prior to the press conference portion, Cox and Shifannelli shared the stage with the newly announced Campaign Manager Zach Werrell who told a quick anecdote about his reluctance to re-enter campaign managing after just completing law school at the University of Texas, but the opportunity to work with Cox in his home state was an opportunity not to be passed up.
Maryland Muckraker is a completely independent conservative blog covering local issues by me, Ethan Reese. After spending nearly a decade in corporate Baltimore in marketing technology, figured I’d have a go at writing. Since then I’ve contributed articles to FOX’s OutKick, PJ Media, and Rare Politics, as well as being named a Writing Fellow with the America’s Future Foundation.