- Why do media ignore link between voter ID case and judge’s election campaign?
- Mike Morgan is a candidate in election affected by case before him.
- Most judges would recuse themselves in such a situation.
We shouldn’t be surprised when stories in the mainstream press leave out the important information readers need to be fully educated. Omitting the information usually serves the interests of the left-wing press and the agenda they are working hard to perpetuate.
Today’s exhibit A involves the recent articles regarding Wake Superior Court Judge Mike Morgan scheduling a hearing on a three-year-old voter ID challenge barely a month before early voting begins this year. Many of the stories appearing in print and in online articles across the state were written by Anne Blythe of the News & Observer and Gary Robertson of the Associated Press.
What they both have artfully left out in their widely published articles is the very important information that Mike Morgan the Voter ID Judge is the same Mike Morgan who is a candidate for election to the North Carolina Supreme Court – an election that will be affected by the Voter ID rules.
Nor, in articles about his race for the state’s highest court, is there a clear indication he is also judging the Voter ID rules!
In the case of the N&O’s Blythe, she has written a number of stories on the NC Voter ID case and Judge Morgan – while also writing stories on the Supreme Court race and candidate Mike Morgan. She even wrote a March 21 story featuring Morgan filing for the Supreme Court race. Yet she never mentioned that Morgan was the Superior Court judge presiding over the voter ID challenge in state court. Voter ID has been one of the biggest news stories in the last three years in North Carolina, so believing Blythe’s failure to mention that Morgan is presiding over the state case is an oversight seems preposterous.
When writing an article on either the court case or the Supreme Court race, wouldn’t a reporter doing an accurate story include the fact the main character in the story, the judge, was also a candidate impacted by an important case before him? Does anyone really think an elected local judge who had been considering a run for statewide office has no interest in what laws will govern his election? Running for an office that will be impacted by a decision in the Voter ID case should be enough for any judge to recuse himself from the case, but two influential news sources make no mention of that in any articles.
Nor have journalists acknowledged political party affiliation in the articles dealing with the voter ID case before Morgan. Yet they know Morgan is a Democrat, for in articles about his candidacy for the NC Supreme Court, he is identified as a Democrat.
He’s the challenger to incumbent Justice Bob Edmunds. Although the election is technically “non-partisan,” both candidates are identified by party in these types of articles. (Edmunds is a Republican.) And rightly so: Knowing a judge’s background is useful to voters.
In any case, journalistic guidelines call for news stories to identify party affiliations when they are at all relevant – with elections being the most obvious example.
So why have experienced journalists for major news sources failed to include these relevant facts? When something this blatant occurs repeatedly, it almost has to be intentional, not oversight.
Anne Blythe and Gary Robertson did not immediately respond to our request for comment.