Two Media-Declared “Historical Election Day Firsts” That Weren’t

Media analysis.

There’s nothing the national mainstream political media love more on Election Day than for Republicans to suffer “bigly” at the polls and that’s exactly what happened Tuesday in the state of Virginia and beyond.

While politicos and pundits alike began speculating as to what this all meant for 2018, national mainstream media journos rushed to social media to declare “historical firsts” for election day. Here are just a few of many examples:

New York Times Deputy Washington editor Jonathan Weisman:

The Washington Post‘s Dave Weigel:

Fact check on “first transgender legislator in a state house”? False:

Was Tuesday’s winner, Democrat Vi Lyles, the “first African-American” to serve as mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina? No.

Harvey Gantt was Charlotte’s first black mayor, serving two terms from 1983-1987.

Anthony Foxx served as mayor of Charlotte from 2009 to 2013 before stepping down to work as Transportation Secretary in the Obama administration.

Patrick Cannon was Charlotte’s mayor for about 4 months – December 2013 to March 2014, before being arrested and pleading guilty on corruption charges.

Mayor-Elect Lyles is the first African-American woman to win a Charlotte mayoral race.

Subsequent reports on these “firsts” from some of the guilty news outlets corrected their earlier errors but their social media posts with the incorrect information remain up. Why? Perhaps showing off those thousands of retweets and likes they got on posts where the misinformation was first reported is more important than getting it right across the board?

While it’s to be expected that the Democratic Party’s biggest cheerleaders were ready to pop open the champagne bottles early as election results came in, their first priority should have been to verifying the information they were reporting.

Yes, there were several “firsts” Tuesday night, but the mainstream media getting a number of facts wrong sadly wasn’t one of them.