CNN’s Fawning ‘Historic’ Coverage of Democrats at Congressional Baseball Game Was Not Actually Historic

(AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

The Democrats and the press share many things, including phone numbers on speed dial. One of the items on this lengthy list is their affinity for identity politics. Both sides love to tout any time there is a historic first representation of a POC individual in some office or position, and especially when a Democrat can be so lauded the press will rush to cover this event.


This reality is so entrenched that it even takes place with something as trivial as the annual Congressional Baseball Game. CNN reported on one aspect of the game and the deeply historic significance of it.

Texas Rep. Jasmine Crockett broke new ground Wednesday night as the first Black woman Democrat to play in the Congressional Baseball Game’s 114-year history. “I’m playing today for all the little Black girls with big dreams – whether those dreams are on the baseball field or in the halls of Congress,” Crockett said in a statement to CNN prior to the game. “As the first Black Woman Democrat to play in the Congressional Baseball Game, I want to show those girls that if I can do it, they can do it – and probably a lot better,” she added.

Yes, it is all very moving and significant, what with racial barriers torn asunder and glass ceilings shattered into misogynistic shards, but there is a curiosity in all of this. The language both CNN and Rep. Crockett use here is a tad on the cumbersome side. Why was there this need to use “first black woman Democrat to play” in this matchup? That might be explained by the small note that says Updated in the byline.

It seems that associate writer Kaanita Iyer was rather energetic in her reporting and may not have done comprehensive research for her article. That is because in her lengthy piece on this game and in detailing the way Crockett “broke new ground”, there is this little toss-away detail nestled in the piece:


Former Rep. Mia Love, the first Black Republican woman elected to Congress, has previously participated in the game.

Well now, this seems to undercut the historic significance just a bit, does it not? Mia Love played in the Congressional game five years ago, and curiously as the first black woman to ever participate, it was not heralded as a historic event. CNN dedicated no column inches to this achievement, and even when the AP covered this landmark achievement in 2018, it was a very muted dose of reporting. The news syndicate merely noted that she was joining the game, and there was no gendered, racial, or historical significance attached to her being on the roster.

AP/Reuters Feed Library

This is rather expected, however. We often see this type of double standard when looking at the two parties. Whenever Democrats have a racial achievement, it garners headlines. When Republicans do so it is overlooked, even when they lead the charge. Just take for instance this game, where the GOP fielded a team with no fewer than four female members of Congress, while Crockett served as the lone female in their dugout (biological, or otherwise.)

When Republicans “properly” comport to these racial advances it is not praised, as it interrupts the ongoing narratives of the GOP being racist, sexist, intolerant, etc. Recall the recent 2021 elections in Virginia when Glenn Youngkin defeated Terry McAuliffe. Voters elected the first black Lieutenant Governor (Winsome Sears) and their first Hispanic Attorney General (Jason Miyares).


The press downplayed these genuinely historic advances by Republican politicians because they were too preoccupied with selling the concept that not voting for the eggshell-white McAuliffe was somehow racist – a forced narrative I will forever adore from our journalistic betters.

In truth, this report itself is quite innocuous. Even had Crockett been truly the first black female to play, the significance would not be anything that would move the needle socially. Crockett seemed to think her taking the plate in a charity hardball game would inspire POC girls in the nation, as if many of them even have a vested interest in the sport, let alone one where politicians are involved. 

What is revealed here is that even in something as trivial as the Congressional Baseball Game, CNN had to resort to their script of the racial significance of it all. And even in this insignificant story, they managed to expose their inherent bias towards the political parties in this country.


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