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Tilting at Windmills

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March 11, 2010

WHERE'S OUR ENSIGN FRENZY?.... Matt Yglesias highlights an important double standard: "sex scandals aren't interesting when they involve Republicans."

Interestingly John Ensign, like David Vitter but unlike Elliot Spitzer or Eric Massa, hasn't yet been driven from public life.

I continue to find the trend fascinating. Sen. John Ensign (R) of Nevada is caught in a truly humiliating sex scandal -- and remember, the media generally loves political sex scandals -- involving a shameless hypocrite, who ran on a "family-values" platform, committing adultery with one of his own aides, who happens to be married to another aide. The scandal involves the immediate affair, plus alleged ethics violations, hush money, and official corruption.

And yet, no media frenzy. No reporters staked out in front of Ensign's home. No op-eds speculating about the need for Ensign to resign in disgrace.

I know how tiresome it is to hear "imagine if a Democrat had done this," but in this case, it doesn't take much imagination. Spitzer got caught in a sex scandal, and he was forced to resign. Massa's controversy appears to relate to sexual harassment, and he was forced to resign. John Edwards hasn't served in public office in any capacity for six years, and yet every imaginable detail of his sex scandal continues to get an enormous amount of attention.

Then consider the folks on the other side of the aisle. Ensign's sex scandal, which appears to include possible criminal misconduct, hasn't interfered with him remaining a Republican senator in good standing. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), another right-wing, "family-values" hypocrite, got caught with a prostitute. Not only did he stay in office, but he's seeking re-election -- and polls show him winning. Gov. Mark Sanford's (R-S.C.) sex scandal got plenty of coverage, but note that he's still the governor. Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons (R) found himself in a sex scandal, but like Vitter, he not only stayed in his job, but he's running for another term, too. Former Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) was caught up in an especially humiliating controversy, but he didn't resign before the end of his term, either.

This is, by most measures, backwards. For decades, Republican candidates at every level have emphasized the GOP's moral superiority on "family values." If you want to protect the "sanctity" of marriage, the argument went, it's incumbent on you to vote Republican. There's a culture war underway, Americans have been told, and Democrats just aren't as reliable on these issues as the GOP.

Republicans, in other words, have demanded higher moral standards of all of us, while failing to meet these standards themselves -- and failing to ostracize the guilty from their ranks.

It's quite a racket, which the media encourages by playing along.

Steve Benen 12:35 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (54)

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Comments

What can we do about it? Really?

We can't make the media return to their historical objective ways. Any attempt would be labeled as a free speech assault.

We can't 'unconsolidate' the media, such that the old days when there was real competition locally for radio and for print, with the associated objective, hard-nosed reporting of yore.

Seems we're simply saddled with the situation we now have, which is a megaphone for the masses via 'traditional' media (in name only, not in act), and a minority of reality news found here and there on the internet and in a few old-style news organizations (e.g., McClatchy).

Face it, conspiracy theory or not, some groups saw the potential for message control decades ago and took steps to relax FCC restrictions, bought up all the radio and TV markets, and consolidated them into a few like-minded entities.

Posted by: terraformer on March 11, 2010 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

This isn't a double standard. It is yet another example of superior politicking by the GOP. They refuse to step down and wait. The story dies.

When will the Dems learn the GOP repeat a single message tactic?

I suppose never - and they will always complain that they aren't listened to.

The Dems aren't discriminated against. They don't understand messaging and the media. Though, in this case (a failure to conceal corruption) I'm glad.

Posted by: Jackifus on March 11, 2010 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

In the case of Sanford, the reason he's still Governor is pretty simple; neither Republicans nor Democrats in SC think it's worth running him off. The alternative would be Governor Andre ["Don't feed poor people; they'll breed"] Bauer. With Sanford effectively neutered [so to speak] and with a gubernatorial election this year, aspirants from both parties have a level playing field.

Posted by: David in Nashville on March 11, 2010 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

IOKIYAR. The only way a Republican is in trouble is if he is caught with a dead girl or a live boy.

Actually their is more prudish media in New York than in Nevada and anyway what happens in Vegas (or the Big Easy) stays in Vegas (or the Big Easy, for that matter.)

Posted by: Ron Byers on March 11, 2010 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

"We can't 'unconsolidate' the media, such that the old days when there was real competition locally for radio and for print, with the associated objective, hard-nosed reporting of yore."

Why? Seems that'd be easy to do by a congressional majority with balls.

Oh. Right.

Posted by: Tlaloc on March 11, 2010 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

IOKIYAR nuff said.

Posted by: beyond left on March 11, 2010 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

Reasons for the disparity:

1) the right-wing echo chamber
1a) the right's superior ability to throw tantrums
2) the right's indifference to hypocrisy

Posted by: Dan on March 11, 2010 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

As embarrassing as Eric Massa's scandal was, Republicans were almost willing to overlook it in pursuit of larger quarry. This is either extraordinary bravado or the confident mastery of dominant messengers.

It's also important to remember that social conservatives still side with Republican malefactors, although probably not the gay ones. The partisan battles are being portrayed in ways that encourage total Us vs Them thinking. This is why the right-wing noise machine is so successful. Their partisans are keenly engaged in a battle that encourages apocalyptic thinking. I suspect liberals are not that interested in End Days hysteria. Those of who post here are alarmed but there's not much firebreathing on our side as a whole.

Posted by: walt on March 11, 2010 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

Tlaloc

We can't unconsolidate media because the consolidated media has bought and paid for their congress critters fair and square. Anyway, competition is not a value America embraces these days.

Don't forget, if it's Sunday it's an interview with President McCain.

Posted by: Ron Byers on March 11, 2010 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

Massa & Patterson aren't getting the coverage I thought they would either. Seems like the public is bored with them.

As as far staying in office, well that is up to the voters and blaming R's for Spitzer's stepping down isn't really fair. I am pretty sure he could run competitively for governor again. He stepped down to because he was ashamed, not because he had to. Shame, as we all know, isn't in the republican repertoire.

The hypocrisy is part of the Christian/republican faith. Without it they would be disgusted with their treatment of the weak and poor. How many anti-gay predominate republicans have been gay.

Posted by: ScottW on March 11, 2010 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

I think Jackifus is right -- Republicans refuse to step aside, and given that there are few ways of actually removing them, they end up staying.

Of course, a very prominent Democrat did this back in the 1990's -- he was impeached, but he stayed.

Posted by: Eagle on March 11, 2010 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

Hello, Glenn Beck!

Here's your corruption for you! When do we get the hour-long show that could "change the course of this nation?"

....Yeah. That's what I thought.

Posted by: June on March 11, 2010 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

One must always remember that "it's okay if you're a Republican" because the vast majority of the media represents the boot-licking Republican lackey.

And as we all know, craven cowards always kowtow to craven bullies. After all, where would these "Jocular Judases" ever get their 30 pieces from?

Posted by: S. Waybright on March 11, 2010 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

Somehow, Republican hypocrisy about sex actually improves their chances of surviving a scandal. It's as though... hypocrisy is a family value, of a kind. "Well, of course he's a liar about sex-- everyone lies about sex."

Posted by: MattF on March 11, 2010 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

golly and gee willikers, unka stevie, ya' think we gots us an irredeemably corrupt system wherein a korporate media maintains allowable bounds of -you know- 'civil' discourse, enforces the acceptable 'two-sides' of the issue (that nanosecond, next!), and effectively denigrates, dismisses, and derides any/all unruly nekkid apes who dare to speak to the contrary...
hee hee hee
you mean you are *seriously* maintaining hope against hope that -for *some* unknown reason- the mainstream media is acting in their fiduciary capacity to the populace instead of their KORPORATE OWNERS ? ? ?
(why would they do that ?)
ho ho ho
GIVEN THAT:
what is the solution ?
(easy to prescribe, impossible to implement)
why is that ?
(unspoken conventions, let's-pwetend premises, bad assumptions preclude talking about how subjects are precluded from being talked about; entrenched korporate interests OWN the process and the processors, WHY are they going to allow changes to The System (tm) which usurp THEIR power and profitability ? ? ? WHY ?)
what will happen ?
(nothing until The Collapse (tm)...
sheeple are too cowed to bleat)
bah bah bah
i'm turning up my ipod
(to drown out the screams of countless children Empire (tm) has slaughtered),
eating my cheezy doodles
(to (not)fill the void of despair),
and drinking my sugar water
(to jolt my brain and dissolve my guts)...
ak ak ak
art guerrilla
aka ann archy
eof

Posted by: art guerrilla on March 11, 2010 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

But, you are all over Dennis Kucinich for standing on principle in the Healthcare/Health Insurance Guarantee "scandal." Why doesn't Daily Kos use the opprotunity when on the MSM to blast, by name and affiliation, the corruption of the MSM? I heard his rant this morning on Democracy Now! and Dennis' response. Too bad that doesn't get some attention. As someone said earlier today on another PA thread, it is the media that continues to float the R's lies, and no one is taking them to task, directly.

Posted by: st john on March 11, 2010 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

Jackifus is right. A lot of the blame here has to go to Democratic politicians and message-makers.

The Republicans don't let themselves be bullied by the media. If the media try, the Republicans shoulder-check them into the wall, say "f--- you," and maybe slap 'em a few times. Democrats, by contrast, work themselves into a lather and apologize, or run away, or both of the above.

And the media have learned, which is why they keep trying with Democrats -- including this president, by the way -- and why they ended up being owned by the Bush White House.

Dems need to grow a pair.

Posted by: bleh on March 11, 2010 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

Burn down the worthless, miserable, amoral POS Village.

Burn it to the fu_cking ground.

How?

Simple.

QUIT SUPPORTING THESE WORTHLESS MEDIA BASTARDS -- NOW!!!

Posted by: J. Paul Ghetto on March 11, 2010 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

The unstated is obvious -- people EXPECT Republicans to be lying hypocrites. It's the nature of the beast. Why rail against the obvious?

Posted by: buddy66 on March 11, 2010 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

The problem is that while every other bone in their bodies work, the democrats backbones don't. And everyone knows they're wusses.

Posted by: ghillie on March 11, 2010 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

Steve. Steve. Have you noticed lately just who/what OWNS our traditional mass-media?

http://constitutionalrepublic.net/Documents/Media%20Ownership%20chart.pdf

Does anyone here think that those who work for our traditional mass-media don't understand what's acceptable and what isn't?

Democrats get in trouble? Smear them forever. Republicans get in trouble? Ignore, or excuse.

If you look at the chart at the above link carefully you will see that every single corporation that owns mass media has an executive suite that is extremely right-wing, and has been for decades.

This all seems pretty elementary to me. Memos need not go out. Anyone who works in an organization knows exactly what the organization will accept and what it won't, without any of it being written down.

Posted by: LL on March 11, 2010 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

Part of this is of course that the MSM -- and it's really just the legacy of the Clenis -- latches on to "another Democrat horndog" narrative more readily than it does Republican hypocrisy. The other angle, however, is that Republican voters, especially the family values crowd, don't view this so much as "hypocrisy" as a "moral failing" that old fashion Christian contrition can heal. In other words, Republican politicians committing adultery, sexually harassing people, visiting gay bars on the down-low, getting caught with prostitutes, etc., is just an opportunity to illustrate the power of Christ's forgiveness in the life of a public servant. These things don't count as corruption or hypocrisy that calls into question your fitness for public office -- it's an opportunity to witness.

Reminds me of the old joke: "When I was a kid, I used to pray and ask Jesus each night for a shiny new bike. Then I realized that it doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and then asked for forgiveness."

Posted by: jonas on March 11, 2010 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

We Dems hold our own to a higher standard. When one of us is bad, we'll try to kick the offender out of the 'tribe.'

The Cons on the other hand are all corrupt, and so when one of them gets caught in a compromising position, they band together because the hammer could fall on anyone of them next.

Posted by: JWK on March 11, 2010 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

If anyone doubts the correctness of much of Jonas' theory, I offer as Exhibit A in Jonas' case Brit Hume suggesting Tiger would be much farther along in his public. rehabilitation if he dumped that Buddist nonsense and followed Christ.

Although there clearly is something to the "Dems cower" theory: Spitzer could have survived easily had he dug in.

Along with that, however, is that we tend to turn on even our own when they don't adhere to our standards. Republicans don't, largely because they, um, have no standards.

Posted by: zeitgeist on March 11, 2010 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

Fer cryin' out loud, IT'S ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS OKAY IF YOU'RE A REPUBLICAN!!!

The media didn't care about Newt Gingrich bangin' an aide while he was leading the charge against Bill Clinton's blowjobs, either. The ONLY time Republicans EVER get chased from office is when there's money involved, and even then they fight to the finish. See Gingrich and DeLay for examples.

Sheesh.

Posted by: Lifelong Dem on March 11, 2010 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK
Republicans, in other words, have demanded higher moral standards of all of us, while failing to meet these standards themselves -- and failing to ostracize the guilty from their ranks.

Well, yeah-- they're believers in hierarchy, so of course bad behavior from the powerful & privileged barely even raises eyebrows. It's the lower orders that have to be reined in with punitive policies, and if they're degraded enough to be forced to seek private charity from churches, etc. that narrow their options, so much the better. Liberals are held to higher standards because we ostensibly don't believe that status is a license to ignore societal mores. You've gotta admit that there's really nothing more "traditional" than personal liberty being cast as a privilege instead of a right.

That, plus what everyone above said about the media. The right reflexively establishes easily-understood-- if horribly unjust-- order to social organization, and the media, like all pack animals, respond well to that discipline.

Posted by: latts on March 11, 2010 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

It's part of the out-sourcing of morality -- that is, making other people be super-moral so you can be less moral. Punish homosexuality so heterosexuals can get divorced -- balancing out the morality books, see? Punish Democrats who screw around so Republicans can get away with it.

Posted by: Robert the Red on March 11, 2010 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

Here's the deal...

Everybody knows Democrats are all deviated preverts,* and as such a grave threat to the republic. So when evidence of their preversions come to light, it's essential that it be acted on immediately. Democratic preversions are the rule, not the exception.

Everybody knows Republicans are virtuous and godly, so when one of them engages in a preversion, it simply means they strayed from the Path of Righteousness (probably lured that way by a preverted Democrat.) We simply need to point the correct path to them, and all will be well. Republican preversions are the exception, not the rule.
________

* One more aspect of "Dr. Strangelove" that used to be a lot funnier...

Posted by: Roddy McCorley on March 11, 2010 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

I continue to find the trend fascinating.

Why? It's n different than their misrepresentations of policy issues. The supposed sloppiness and incompetence and carelessness of the media overwhelmingly favors Republicans.

The media have chosen sides, and it's not our side. Nothing to really think about there, we just have to deal with it.

I've written thousands of words here, there, and everywhere trying to convince liberals that we should regard the media as opponents, the way the Republicans are, and give them credit for knowing what they're doing.

But every goddamn liberal (DeLong, Benen, even Somerby) insists on threating this as a bizarre and unexplainable form of incompetence. There's no mystery, and this stuff kills us. The ambient media are rightwing, and that kills us with a large part of the electorate.

Posted by: John Emerson on March 11, 2010 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK


Did the media really drive Massa from office? As he said on Beck, he voluntarily resigned. I believe he did so before the sexual harrassment allegations were even in the news, and if anything, he was driven from office by the Democratic leadership, not the media.

Posted by: Dave in NYC on March 11, 2010 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with John Emerson: The media (Corporate-owned, in most cases)do/does not report facts or question the lies of the right. That a blatant lie can be told and allowed to stand, or be given equal weight to a counter-assertion, is evidence that the media will not be made to be accountable. Are there even any mechanisms in place to challenge their obvious bias? The FCC? As I said elsewhere today, when a "liberal" such as Markos of Daily Kos has a platform on the MSM, who does he go after? One of the most principled and progressive members of Congress, Dennis Kucinich (whose name he mispronounces), not the lying network whose power he uses to trash the left. Most here have joined the Kucinich attack. Bless you in your "pragmatism."

Posted by: st john on March 11, 2010 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

This is hilarious coming from the progressive blogosphere that just took its marching orders from Obama to character assassinate the most liberal Congressperson. You guys go after Kucinich, ACORN, etc., and now you whine about disparate treatment?

Ha. You're reaping what you sow you cowards. You can't constantly retreat in the name of "pragmatism" and not expect to pay the consequences. You can't preemptively execute your toughest fighters then whine when the battle is lost.

You constantly surrender to the Republicans then whine when they refuse to accept the terms of your surrender and demand even more. Pathetic.

Posted by: Not Spoonfed on March 11, 2010 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

lol at the repubs wanting to continue the investigation of Massa

didn't they say we couldn't investigate Vitter for calling prostitutes from the House floor because he was no longer a member of the House

IOKIYAR

Posted by: lgerard on March 11, 2010 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK


Not to mention, Spitzer was more famous than Vitter, Massa, Ensign, etc.

Posted by: Dave in NYC on March 11, 2010 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

The Democrats are responsible for much of the disparate treatment. They do it to themselves.

Just look at the different way Obama treated Blogovich and Sen. Stevens. One was accused of bribery and one was actually convicted of bribery. Guess which one Obama heaped scorn on and which one Obma forgave? Yep. Obama preemptively shoots his own allies for his enemies while he rushes to the defense of his suppossed enemies to save them.

Obama did the same thing with Rev. Wright. Van Jones. ACORN. Massa. Kucinich. Grijalva. Dean. Etc. He rushes in to save Lieberman. Blanche. Sen. Stevens. Shit, Obama has personally done more to advance the Republican agenda in 2009 and 2010 than probably any other person.

Posted by: Not Spoonfed on March 11, 2010 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

As as far staying in office, well that is up to the voters and blaming R's for Spitzer's stepping down isn't really fair. I am pretty sure he could run competitively for governor again. He stepped down to because he was ashamed, not because he had to. Shame, as we all know, isn't in the republican repertoire.

Didn't the possibility of an idictment if he stayed in office have something to do with it? Don't forget that Spiro Agnew left the vice presidency as part of a plea bargain.

Posted by: drkrick on March 11, 2010 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

I don't disagree with the basic premise of a double standard or the idea that Republicans are a little more shameless than Democrats. But probably the larger issue is how much local media pressure is brought to bear on these miscreants. Spitzer had to face the NY media, which is large, ornery and 24-7. Edwards, as the former VP nominee, had the national press corps at his heels. Media scrutiny is considerably less intense in Nevada, Louisiana, South Carolina or Idaho. Sanford's and Craig's careers are over, even if they were not immediately forced out. We'll see what voters do (or don't do) to Vitter and Ensign.

Posted by: Scott on March 11, 2010 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), another right-wing, "family-values" hypocrite, got caught with a prostitute.

Let's get a little more specific - he wasn't caught with a garden-variety prostitute doing garden-variety sex stuff. He was caught with a prostitute who specifically catered to men who wanted to dress in diapers, befoul themselves, and then have "mommy" change them.

If Spitzer had been caught doing the same, the wingnuts and their bought-and-paid-for press whores would have burned down Albany.

Posted by: dave on March 11, 2010 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

not that complicated if you understand how the religious right thinks. its not hypocrisy. in the eyes of religious conservatives we are all sinners, and adultery is par for the course. the key is guys like vitter and ensign just say that they failed god and that admit they are sinners and will put their faith in god to help them be a better person. then all is forgiven, at least as far as the religious right is concerned.

this is a double standards/media issue, but its also jsut a reflection of how different the religious right (and by reflection, the politicians they support) is from the rest of america.

Posted by: jcbhan on March 11, 2010 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

The GOP is the party of corporations. The media is now entirely owned by large corporations and reflects their interests. Successful Democratic politicians need to find their own methods for reaching the public and going over the heads of the media. They also need to stop listening to media consultants who are the big league equivilant of concern trolls. The most damaging thing they have done is to scare them away from embracing any sort of populist message at a time in history when a dose of populism is the most powerful tool that could possibly be employed to combat corporatism.

Posted by: SW on March 11, 2010 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

Who is this Steve Benen guy?

He's very good.

Posted by: Some other guy on March 11, 2010 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

I agree, to a large extent, that it is Democrats who do let this happen. Look at the two scenarios and how each side reacts.

When a Democrat is caught in a sex scandal, the Right Wing Wurlitzer gets into gear and. They go to the fainting couch, scream bloody murder, and demand blood, every one of them. Dems, in turn, don't stand up to support the politician--mainly because it's hard to support hypocrisy, harassment, etc. Thus, it's easier to just toss the Dem overboard.

When Republicans do it, Dems generally don't care as much for such personal proclivities. Dems care about policy, and leave bedroom issues to private citizens. Furthermore, Dems just aren't good at the fake hissy fit. Dems don't go KA-RAZY on the (usually male) politician. The Right, not caring for ethical consistency, closes ranks and doesn't demand accountability, or claims that the person has "changed" or found God or whatever. The few remaining on the Left demanding blood are then easily marginalized, and nothing happens.

Posted by: Bribes on March 11, 2010 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

All a Republicanite need do is play the 'come to Jesus' card and all is forgiven. The flock, it seems, is most pliable. Baaaaaah!

Posted by: numi on March 11, 2010 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

The basic difference is that Republicans know that they are hypocrites?

Just a guess.

Posted by: Whispers on March 11, 2010 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

The Republicans continue to feed the beast while Democrats expect the press to keep the story alive.

It's the same failed messaging strategy Democrats have had on eveyr issue for 30 years.

Posted by: Argle Bargle on March 11, 2010 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

What about the double standard when it comes to exposing the malfeasance of government subcontractors?

ACORN, which was a minor government subcontractor focused on getting housing and voting rights to poor people, got massive negative coverage of Breitbart's video entrapment scheme--which, incidentally, we still don't know what actually happened in these offices, because he never released un-edited video. ACORN was a very minor government contractor handling piddly sums of money, on issues which were not being covered 24/7 in the news, and no one but front-line workers were involved (and on the front line workers, it's not too clear how involved in any bad activity they were, what percentage of them--if any--responded inappropriately when they were presented with a bizarre situation, who sicc'd the cops on these guys, or if anything bad ever happened when this organization was operating normally and not in an entrapment situation.)

Blackwater, on the other hand, all on their own shot and killed a whole pile of innocent Iraqi civilians. And then their CEO, all on his own, decided to take a million dollars and try to bribe his way out of an investigation. They were a HUGE government contractor with billions in taxpayer money, working on one of our nation's most expensive and important initiatives (the Iraq War).

Explain to me how ACORN got saturation coverage and Blackwater got nothing in comparison? Explain that journalistic standard to me.

Posted by: jackalope on March 11, 2010 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

But of course, there's an obvious double standard employed by the mainstream media when it comes to public pratfalls and personal misbehavior of Democrats and Republicans!

I mean, how else to explain the pathetic saga of California State Sen. Roy Ashburn (R-Kern County), the rabidly homophobic family values crusader who inadvertantly outed himself the other night when he got arrested for DUI after leaving Sacramento's biggest gay nightclub with someone who's been described delicately by local reporters as "an unidentified male passenger"?

Now, you'd think that the ostentatious political hypocrisy on full peacock-plumed display here - especially since it involves one of Prop. 8's most vociferous proponents - would be big news.

But while it was a story in Sacramento, San Francisco, and Ashburn's hometown of Bakersfield, thus far it has had little or no legs any place else. While the Ashburn scandal is now over a week old, only yesterday did it finally get covered by the Los Angeles Times.

Posted by: Out & About in the Castro on March 11, 2010 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK


jackalope:
Explain to me how ACORN got saturation coverage and Blackwater got nothing in comparison? Explain that journalistic standard to me.


Easy:

ACORN is "Blue state"

Blackwater is a christian warriors "Red state"

Short answers to long questions(looks bored, buffs nails).


-

Posted by: Deanathome on March 11, 2010 at 7:34 PM | PERMALINK

"which the media encourages by playing along"

I love the lack of agency there. "The media"... hey, it's a force of nature, who can account for its actions? It's an act of God!

Who OWNS THE FUCKING MEDIA YOU ASSHOLES?

Christ I get sick of this sort of shit. This country is a wholly owned subsidiary of Corporate USA and folks pretend not to know why "the media" acts the way it does.

Fuck me runnin...

Posted by: Drunk Pundit on March 12, 2010 at 12:13 AM | PERMALINK

ummm seems to me that mr. spitzer was caught up in something more than just a sex scandal. if memory serves, the term money laundering was bandied about at the time. only sanford comes close among the republicans, and as noted above, both dems and reps saw it in their best interest not to toss him aside and give the governor's mansion to a complete idiot. that case, discretion was the better course.

Posted by: mudwall jackson on March 12, 2010 at 4:35 AM | PERMALINK

A long time ago, I thought seriously of a campaign to egg on the media.

But there were certain logistical problems.

Mostly because I mean it literally.

Still, wouldn't it be nice to watch, say, a Jake Tapper or some other hack get splattered with eggs every time he poked his weasel's face into the street?

A blogger can dream, can't he?

Posted by: Hart Williams on March 12, 2010 at 8:47 AM | PERMALINK

The difference is that Republicans understand politics and Democrats don't. Who cares if some elected official is a hypocrite, a liar, a scumbag? What counts is how they are going to vote and how they are going to govern. The Republicans understand that people participate in politics in order to see their personal beliefs made into laws. If a politician is going to vote the way you want them to, then who cares what their personal life is like? It's completely irrelevant.

Most scandals involve personal and civil matters, not criminal matters. We have no right whatsoever to know anything about, or judge any part of, a politician's personal life. The only thing that matters is whether they are going to do what we want them to. Democrats do great harm to themselves and to the country when they fail to rally around Democratic elected officials who are involved in sex scandals. This kind of puritanism only helps the other side.

Posted by: Mark on March 12, 2010 at 8:48 AM | PERMALINK

"As as far staying in office, well that is up to the voters and blaming R's for Spitzer's stepping down isn't really fair. I am pretty sure he could run competitively for governor again. He stepped down to because he was ashamed, not because he had to." They went looking for Spitzer, and would have charged him with a crime, if he hadn't stepped down. His stepping down is the quid pro quo for not being prosecuted.

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