Name That Party: Mainstream Media Ignoring Wife-Beating Scandal in OH-06

Posted: Oct 14, 2010 4:26 PM
Newly uncovered court documents reveal Rep. Charlie Wilson, an Ohio Democrat, repeatedly abused his ex-wife during the couple's 27-year marriage.  Breitbart's Big Government broke the story yesterday, and Jillian referenced it in her DCCC vetting piece on the homepage.  According to the documents, Wilson once grabbed his former wife by the neck and slammed her into a refrigerator.  Yet in the world of the MSM, the revelation didn't happen and the story doesn't exist. 

If you conduct a Google News search for the terms "Charlie Wilson abuse ex-wife"--or several variants thereof--exactly two stories pop up.  One is the original Big Government report, and the other is a commentary by the Washington Examiner's David Freddoso.   Expand your search to a Google web scan, and you'll detect a pattern in the resulting links: Virtually every single one leads to a conservative blog.  Do so-called mainstream news sources not find a sitting Congressman's spousal abuse to be newsworthy?

Just for kicks, I conducted Google Web searches for the following terms:

George Allen Macaca

Jack Ryan Sex Club

Mark Foley Page

The double-standard is breathtaking.  If a Democratic Congressman beats his wife, but the legacy media doesn't care, did the abuse really happen at all? 

Throughout my Western reporting trip (I'm currently in San Jose, CA), campaign operatives have been privately complaining to me about local media's derelict and lazy coverage of their races.  One gripe I've heard several times is that today's scaled-back and ideological newsrooms only report on new polls and new ads, rather than major issues and events.  Therefore, if Republicans want Ohio voters to hear about Charlie Wilson's violent past, the best (and perhaps only) way to get this story traction is to cut a TV ad recapping its details and putting it on the air.  Wilson's opponent is Bill Johnson.  The race is rated a tossup

: I see the ever-sharp Jim Geraghty noticed this exact same issue earlier, beating me to several of the points made above.  Jim lays into the MSM:

We don’t have a news business. We have a narrative-reinforcement business, and they do a strikingly effective job of collectively averting their eyes from information that hurts their preferred cause. For Pete’s sake, this is wife-beating we’re talking about, and it is admitted in a public record. How is this not news? How is this not something that the voters in Ohio’s 6th congressional district ought to know about before they cast their vote?