The Media: Business As Usual

The Media has always virtually ignored the issue of money in politics. I have always considered it a major issue, but, like the Israel/Palestine issue, not seeing any readily discernible solution, I don't spend much time on it. The Media does not either, other than using it to extoll how much of a maverick McCain is or covering Abramoff's crimes.

But the Washington Post pays attention now, because it can bash Dems. Clearly, the hire of John Solomon was for this purpose. Today, he joint authors another hit piece:

Democrats took over in January after a campaign that accused Republicans of fostering a "culture of corruption" in Washington and "selling access" to lawmakers. Abramoff has been convicted of fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy and is in federal prison. Now, with the tables turned, Democrats are courting Abramoff's most famous clientele -- Indian tribes.

What a bigoted piece of nonsense - Indian tribes are reduced to being "Abramoff's clients? Outrageous. And wrong.

Democrats reject any parallels to the Abramoff saga. "Abramoff was involved in a pervasive culture of corruption," said Matthew Miller, spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. "Native Americans have every right to participate in the political process just like Americans across the country do."

This should be obvious to any but the most bigoted. But to bash Dems, WaPo will stoop to anything.

But what of the issue of the fundraising? Now that Dems control Congress, WaPo has discovered that political fundraising is bad:

The tactics are hardly new. Republicans aggressively used their committee chairmen -- and the promise of access to them -- to raise money from interest groups and lobbyists during the party's 12 years of congressional control. They tracked donations closely and pressed lobbying firms to hire GOP lobbyists through the "K Street Project," promising "intimate" issue briefings with the chairmen in return for big donations.

Indeed, it is NOT new, not illegal, nor does it violate House ethics rules. So what's the point? That the system is broken? How about that? Did the Washington Post write about "the tactics" when the GOP was in control? Only when someone was charged with illegality. Here is an example:

From the April 19[, 2004] Washington Post article:
Freddie Mac will pay a record $3.8 million fine to settle civil charges that it violated federal election law by using corporate resources to raise $1.7 million at political fundraisers, most of them for Republican members of Congress and many involving House Financial Services Committee Chairman Michael G. Oxley (R-Ohio).

The agreement with the Federal Election Commission also settles allegations that the company violated election law by contributing $150,000 to the Republican Governors Association in 2002.

The settlement, which Freddie Mac agreed to without admitting or denying it broke the law, stems from an orchestrated effort by the McLean-based mortgage company to court key lawmakers through lavish dinners and other events, the settlement shows.

You see how this got into WaPo? The FEC filed charges. That's what it used to take. But with Harry Reid-obsessed, Dem hater John Solomon on the beat, a Dem bash needs no excuse.

And the usual suspect watchdog groups are always ready to supply the "they are all bad" bullshit quote:

Government-watchdog groups are chagrined but not surprised by the rush of high-level Democratic fundraising. "Coming so close on the heels of winning last year's election based on changing the so-called culture of corruption in Washington, it's unseemly, but it's completely predictable," said Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. "Democrats, like the Republicans before them, need the cash to maintain their majority status, and when you are in the majority it is much easier to collect the money."

Excuse me Ms. Sloan, where is the Dem K Project? What laws did the Dems violate? This is just the standard issue bullshit that makes these groups so utterly irrelevant.

And the ending of the Solomon article is priceless:

Democratic spokesmen sought to portray the upcoming fundraisers as commonplace. "The senior Democrats on the committees and the leadership have always been very supportive of DCCC efforts," said Jennifer Crider, spokeswoman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Sought to portray? You Solomon, buried at graf 15, wrote:

The tactics are hardly new. Republicans aggressively used their committee chairmen -- and the promise of access to them -- to raise money from interest groups and lobbyists during the party's 12 years of congressional control.

Sought to portray? What is demonstrated by this article is that WaPo has decided to go into the Dem bashing business, writing articles about perfectly legal and ethical fundraising, the type of fundraising that did not raise a WaPo eyebrow for 12 years.

Is the system broken? Of course. But don't pretend that you actually give a shit. For the 12 years of GOP rule, you didn't. Though you had a lot to say about the Lincoln bedroom.

Business as usual for the Media.

< Rocking the Oscars | Babel: The Sum is Lesser Than Its Parts >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Thanks, BTD (none / 0) (#1)
    by dutchfox on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 08:11:05 PM EST
    NPR has been doing an on-again, off-again series on campaign financing. I've not caught most of it but I did hear this segment:

    Candidates, and the Times, Leave Public Financing.


    Indian tribes and money isn't (none / 0) (#2)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Feb 25, 2007 at 09:43:47 AM EST
    new ground.

    But Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy (D-R.I.) ran second, with $128,000 in the same period. From 1999 to 2001, Kennedy chaired the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which solicited campaign donations for House candidates.

    The Indians' largess flowed to higher-ranking Democrats as well. Senate Democratic leaders Reid and Daschle each received more than $40,000 from the tribes and from lobbyists on Abramoff's team during the period. Gephardt got $32,500.

    Of the 18 largest recipients of tribe contributions directed by Abramoff's group, six, or one-third, were Democrats. These included Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.), who chaired the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee from 2001 to 2002, and Sen. Byron L. Dorgan (N.D.), a leader in Indian affairs legislation.

    The most common theme is that, with the exception (I  think) of Kennedy and Reid, all of these folks have Indian casinos in their states. Reid of course, is from Nevada, so he needs to be kept neutral in any turf wars....

    So quit complaining. You're gonna need every wampam you can lay your hands on in '08.

    jim, as usual, completely misses (none / 0) (#3)
    by cpinva on Sun Feb 25, 2007 at 01:22:18 PM EST
    the point. it must be nice to have a mind totally uncluttered by facts. here, i'll explain it to you, s l o w l y:

    it wasn't that monies are being raised, but that the WP "suddenly" noticed, right after the dems took control of congress.

    of course, they did no such thing. they've been doing this very same type of "slash n burn" reportage on dems since clinton first took office, in '92. they, and their evil twin sister, the nyt's, spent the 90's and 2000's regaling us with (false/irrelevant) stories of the clintons, gore and kerry. they are why bush is in office today.

    to their credit, they are consistent; they've already started up on sens. clinton & obama, the presumptive dem frontrunners for 2008.

    in fairness, they did report on the "K Street Project" when it first came to light. of course, they also nicely pointed out that none of it was illegal. and really, who's going to shed a tear for a suddenly unemployed lobbyist?

    anyway BTD, you're several years late, and many dollars short. bob somerby, over at:

    has been covering this very issue for years now, you might want to go take a peek.

    cpoinva (none / 0) (#5)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Feb 25, 2007 at 07:33:11 PM EST
    Uh, maybe you need to check the date on the link..

    hmmmmmmmmmmmmm (none / 0) (#4)
    by cpinva on Sun Feb 25, 2007 at 01:22:48 PM EST
    the link didn't seem to work:


    cpinva (none / 0) (#6)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Feb 25, 2007 at 07:34:22 PM EST
    Works for me big guy.

    Need for someone to disptach the Nerd Patrol??


    it worked the second time, when (none / 0) (#7)
    by cpinva on Sun Feb 25, 2007 at 10:26:38 PM EST
    i didn't use TL's hyperlink command. go figure.