When I heard freshman Rep. Parker Griffith, Ala., was becoming a Republican, my first thought was “how will the media treat this differently from when Republicans become Democrats.” As a case study, I decided to check on the Washington Post's political blog, “The Fix” with Chris Cillizza.
When Specter switched, following the bare bones of the story, Cillizza's lead was Specter's critique of his former party:
He added: “Since my election in 1980, as part of the Reagan Big Tent, the Republican Party has moved far to the right. Last year, more than 200,000 Republicans in Pennsylvania changed their registration to become Democrats. I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans.”
With Griffith, Cillizza goes from the basic bare bones to Democrats' attacks on Griffith:
“Democrats of every stripe and philosophy sweated and bled for this man,” said Alabama Democratic Party Chairman Joe Turnham of Griffith. “He narrowly became a Congressman through the hard work, votes and financial contributions of thousands of Democrats. Today, they feel betrayed.” DCCC Chairman Chris Van Hollen (Md.) took it a step further, citing Griffith's “duty and responsibility” to return all contributions made to him by Democratic Members of Congress.
And only further down does Cillizza go to Pete Sessions's Democrats-are-so-extreme schtick.