Just last week, The Washington Post reported that Vernon Jackson, a business associate of Louisiana Rep. William Jefferson, pled guilty of bribery during the years 2001 to 2005, the second person to plead guilty to charges of bribing the eight-term Democrat. Coverage on ABC, CBS, and NBC morning or evening news shows? Zip.
Tell that to Duke Cunningham.
The Washington Post also reported the tale of Alan Mollohan, a congressman from West Virginia who happened to be the ranking Democrat on the House Ethics Committee. After the Post reported a complaint filed by the conservative National Legal and Policy Center -- showing Mollohan suddenly became a real-estate multi-millionaire at the same time his financial helpers were getting federal grants he secured -- he temporarily resigned his committee post to fight the charges. Even editorials in the Post and the New York Times insisted he should step down. ABC, CBS, and NBC coverage? Nothing.
Tell that to Tom DeLay.
Having a leadership position in the Democratic Party and calling for ethical crusades, even impeachment of Republicans, doesn't get your ethical scrapes any news coverage. Rep. John Conyers, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, whose website boasts for the need to investigate and build an impeachment case against President Bush, has faced the allegations of former staffers that he violated House ethics rules by ordering members of his staff to perform non-official duties such as tutoring and baby-sitting his children.
CNN might deserve credit for reporting this story in April -- but the story was surprisingly incomplete: The reporter, Drew Griffin, never mentioned Conyers' party affiliation or his powerful position on the Judiciary Committee. ABC, CBS, and NBC coverage? Nothing.
Democrats in the media may whisper to each other that these ethical charges against their fellow Democrats mean nothing. But the fact that Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi are throwing out this "culture of corruption" talking point day after day ought to require the media to stop protecting the Democrats here as if they're aping the Capitol Police in the middle of the night. Report the news -- all of it. Not just the half that pleases your fellow Democrats.
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