CHARLESTON – West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is blasting the Charleston Gazette-Mail for a social media comment he called “false, biased and offensive.”
On Jan. 29, Morrisey’s Twitter account for his U.S. Senate bid tweeted a quote by Martin Luther King Jr.
“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice,” it said.
Shortly after it was posted, Gazette-Mail managing editor Greg Moore responded to the tweet.
“If @MorriseyWV had been around at the time, he would have been trying to put MLK in jail and keep him there,” Moore wrote in the tweet, which since has been deleted.
“This is a stunning example of the bias and hatred in the liberal media, and it has no place in journalism,” Morrisey said about Moore’s comment. “It is also a childish, ad hominem attack that isn’t based in policy or real-world evidence.”
Moore did later apologize for the tweet with a response.
“You know, I shouldn’t have tweeted this,” Moore wrote. “I broke the rule, ‘Don’t tweet angry.’ And I was pretty angry. Bad day.”
Charleston Newspapers, the Gazette-Mail’s parent company, had announced earlier in the day it was filing for bankruptcy and that Wheeling Newspapers currently has the highest bid to buy the company.
“The Charleston Gazette-Mail is wildly out-of-touch with the vast majority of West Virginia citizens,” Morrisey said. “If the editors and reporters at the Gazette-Mail would spend half the amount of time talking to hardworking West Virginians as they do foaming at the mouth in their ivory tower, they might discover there are good people who don’t subscribe to their San Francisco manifesto.”
Morrisey also said the Gazette-Mail and “other liberal media outlets” go after “true conservatives who fight for conservative values.”
“I’m proudly pro-life and pro-gun, and will do everything in my power to tear down the administrative state which restricts our freedoms,” he said. “Sadly, the Gazette-Mail has gone after me for years because I won’t back down from my conservative values.”
He also tweeted more about it after Moore’s Twitter comment.
“Not surprising that the liberal Gazette launches yet another outrageous and highly offensive attack against me,” Morrisey tweeted. “They hate that I stand up for the unborn, 2nd Amendment rights, coal, and am an unabashed conservative. Plus, I’ve never backed down from a fight against them!”
“This is an example of the bias and hatred I have been dealing with for 6 years,” Morrisey said in another tweet. “This is an outrageous & highly offensive accusation. You have no business being a managing editor of a newspaper. Such bias and hatred have no place in journalism.”
“The managing editor of the @wvgazettemail just deleted this outrageous and very offensive tweet,” Morrisey tweeted Jan. 30. “Fortunately, we’ve saved it. THIS is a prime example of what this paper been doing for years: the drive by, made up smears. Friends, this is the managing editor of a paper.”
It isn’t the first time Morrisey has butted heads with the Gazette-Mail.
He long has said the Gazette is hypercritical of him because of his conservativism, and he actively fought the merger of the Charleston Gazette and Charleston Daily Mail in 2015.
When the papers merged, Morrisey filed a petition seeking an investigative subpoena looking into possible state Antitrust Act violations and to enjoin the Daily Gazette Company from continuing the merger of the papers. Putnam Circuit Judge Phillip Stowers ruled the paper did not have to turn over the information, saying probable cause was needed.
Also in 2015, Morrisey fought a Charleston Gazette Freedom of Information Act request regarding documents regarding Morrisey’s involvement in a lawsuit against Cardinal Health, for which his previous law firm had been a lobbyist. Kanawha Circuit Judge Charles King ruled in favor of Morrisey.