Stephanie Ruhle is usually a down the middle journalist. What she did to Ossoff is this interview is shameful and hurts her credibility as an unbiased host. In this razor-thin election between Jon Ossoff )D-GA) and Karen Handel (R-GA) it could make a difference for those watching just before the vote.
Stephanie Ruhle promoting GOP talking points
Journalists must stick to journalism. Stephanie Ruhle came across as one pushing GOP talking points when she interviewed Jon Ossoff. Ruhle should know better. America is a society where women generally put their careers on the backburner or make all the sacrifices for their male partner. Ossoff may be sacrificing a victory by his steadfast support of his fiance. Why didn't Stephanie Ruhle as a professional woman see that?
The following exchange is bewildering.
Stephanie Ruhle: Jon, I know you said it earlier, every vote counts. It is all about voter turnout. And I asked you the other day, but it's extraordinary, one of the main points that Karen Handel and even President Trump has pushed against you is something that's very easy to solve: where you live. And if you get elected you're going to be spending the majority of your time in Washington. And while people respect across the board your desire to support your fiancee, she is in medical school, she walks to work across the street at 4 a.m., you're going to be getting a job that has you on a plane living in another part of the country most days of the week. With every vote counting, with every point counting, why not move, sir?
Jon Ossoff Well, Steph, voters just aren't asking me this question. Voters are asking me what I'm going to do to improve our local economy, voters are asking me what I'm going to do to ensure they have access to health care. Voters are asking me what I'm going to do to bring greater accountability to Washington. Folks here in Georgia’s 6th district care about how their representation is going to impact their daily lives. And frankly, if this is the best argument my opponents have against me, I'm feeling pretty good about the outcome tonight. I grew up in this community, as you mentioned I live a couple of miles down the road to support my fiancee while she finishes medical school. I’m running to serve my hometown in Congress and I want to make them proud.
Stephanie Ruhle: But, Jon, since the special election where you were at 48.1, things have only moved to 48.8 with 50 million bucks under your belt. So voters care about a lot. If you look back on this and things are that tight, wouldn't you say to yourself, just get an apartment in the district, this race counts so much?
Jon Ossoff: Well, if voters were raising that as a serious concern, Steph, maybe I would. But voters care about how policy and how representation is going to impact their daily lives. They know I grew up in this community, they know I grew up in the 6th district, they know why I'm a couple miles south of the line. It's just not a major issue in the race. I'm focused on delivering representation that will serve our local economy, that will serve the daily needs of the people I hope to represent. And I'm offering a fresh voice to bring that kind of service to the 6th district.
MediaMatters noted from a Washington Post piece that,
There’s no legal reason he should have to live in the district he hopes to represent; the Constitution mandates only that members of the House live in the state they are going to represent. That said, it’s generally considered politically advantageous to actually be a resident of the area you hope to represent.
If elected, Ossoff wouldn’t be the only member of Congress living in Georgia’s 5th District. There’s also Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), who represents the district. But a review of vote registration records by The Washington Post suggests that Ossoff would be the third member of Congress to make his home in the 5th. According to voter data provided to The Post by the political data firm L2, Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.) is also registered to vote in the district, instead of the 13th District that he represents.
In fact, The Post identified 20 members of Congress who are registered to vote outside of the districts they serve. In some cases, it’s clearly a function of redistricting. Four members of the House from southern Florida, for example, live outside of the districts they represent, but that’s likely because the Florida Supreme Court redrew the district boundaries at the end of 2015.
In total, we identified the records for 395 members of Congress, matching names and birthdates to voter files.
The broader point, though, is a simple one: Should Ossoff win the run-off in the 6th District in June, he will hardly be the only member of Congress to live outside of his district.
Stephanie Ruhle has been tough and objective over the last few months. I hope this is just a slip. I hope she is not falling, like many other good journalists, into a realm seeking false balances and false equivalences.