When New Jersey Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg announced on Thursday, February 14, 2013, that he would not seek a sixth term in the Senate, reporters were undoubtedly and immediately interested in the news. With only 100 people serving in the U.S. Senate, it is understandably an important and breaking development. While the news of a retiring senator typically prompts an examination of their political record while serving in office, it also starts the speculation as to who might be running for the seat next. When a senator retires or decides not to seek re-election, the open seat offers others an opportunity to run for public office without challenging a powerful incumbent. For political types, it is the time to act. It’s a big deal; open seats don’t come along very often.

For the Washington Post and the New York Times, however, it’s a panic signal that the Democrats may lose a seat in the Senate. So it’s also the time to act quickly.

How else can you explain the fact that both the Post and Times failed to mention which Republicans might be interested in the new open seat created by Frank Lautenberg’s (D) announcement in their initial story of Friday, February 15? Both papers’ reporters, Ed O’Keefe for the Post and Kate Zernike for the Times, speculated as to which Democrats might be interested in the open seat but never mentioned any Republicans.
The Wall Street Journal, however, mentioned a few possible candidates from both political parties.

Now, come on, there is no legitimate excuse for this blatant political move by the Times and Post. The only explanation for the failure to promote the possibility or even the mention of a Republican for the Lautenberg seat is that both O’Keefe and Zernike (and their editors) got caught assuming the open seat will be picked up by another Democrat. I mean, if you already assume Republicans are clowns – why would any of them deserve even a mention in the immediate news story promoting the next senator from New Jersey?

How much you want to bet “journalists” Kate Zernike and Ed O’Keefe are Democrats?