Washington Times Omits Key Details From AP Wire Story To Suggest That Democrats Hate Prayer

The Washington Times, a conservative news outlet, omitted important context from an Associated Press wire story to create the impression that Democrats in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives were opposed to prayer.

The Associated Press reported yesterday that Pennsylvania Rep. Stephanie Borowicz offered a prayer that chamber members complained was “inappropriately divisive” before the House swore in its first Muslim member. Borowicz thanked God for President Trump’s support of Israel and prayed, “At the name of Jesus every knee will bow and every tongue will confess, Jesus, that you are Lord.” Borowicz’s prayer, the AP reported, went against House guidance that prayers delivered by members should be open to all religious beliefs and not involve “extraneous matters.”

Washington Times’ current tagline is “Reliable Reporting. The Right Opinion.” However, seemingly contrary to that promise, the website omitted the parts of the Associated Press story that contained crucial details pertaining to complaints about Borowicz’s prayer and ran the story with the headline: “Pennsylvania lawmaker’s opening prayer outrages Democrats.” As the story appears on Washington Times’ website at the time of publication, it omits the “every knee will bow and every tongue will confess” comment that would contextualize the exclusionary nature of Borowicz’s prayer.

Instead of accurately reflecting what happened in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, the Washington Times version of the story plays on a years-old narrative the Democratic Party hates Christians and God. Religious Right figures have been making arguments for years that Christians should vote for Republicans because the Democrats would seek to destroy their faith.