Christine O’Donnell beats up on the press

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
Font Size:

WILMINGTON, Del.—If it’s Sunday, it’s beat the press with Christine O’Donnell.

When the Republican Senate candidate addressed several hundred supporters here at the riverfront Tea Party Express rally Sunday afternoon, O’Donnell made one thing clear: she has two opponents. One, of course, is her Democratic rival Chris Coons. The other, she repeatedly said, are members of the liberal media.

“When they can’t attack you on substance, they try to call you names,” she said. “They try to make up stories.”

O’Donnell stirred the crowd up by bringing up this weekend’s story about reporters in Alaska who were accidentally caught on voicemail discussing stories that could hurt the campaign of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller. In that instance, she said, the Democratic Party and the press joined together to “conspire against him.”

She encouraged supporters not to support “dirty tricks,” “slander,” and “mudslinging” and tried linking it to her Democratic opponent.

“A vote for the Democrats is a vote for that type of politics,” she said.

O’Donnell also blasted members of the media for stories they wrote after her recent debate with Coons. She was criticized then for saying the separation of church and state was not included in the First Amendment.

Many stories afterwards claimed O’Donnell was unaware of the provision in the First Amendment barring the establishment of a religion. O’Donnell later clarified that she meant the words “separation of church and state” were not in the First Amendment.

O’Donnell went on to say the episode proves how it’s reporters — and not her — who are ignorant of what’s in the constitution.

O’Donnell also announced during her remarks that her campaign plans to air several 30-minute televised specials in New Castle County until Tuesday.

“If you only know Christine O’Donnell from the distortions of the mainstream media, you need to watch this television special for an unfiltered look at who she is and where she stands on the issues that matter to Delaware’s voters,” her campaign later said in a statement.

Her crowd was sympathetic to her message. One attendee held a sign that read, “Separation of media and state.” Another, referencing a recent story on Gawker.com about an anonymous man’s sexual experience with O’Donnell said: “Hey Chris Coons, Gawker tactics don’t work on us Delaware women folk. Call off your goons.”

The Tea Partiers were fired up over the media Sunday afternoon well before O’Donnell even took the stage. One speaker mentioned statistics of the fall in subscriptions at the New York Times. The crowd erupted in applause.