By Tom Quiner
Republican Congressman Chris Lee was caught sending shirtless photos of himself to someone who was not his wife.
The mainstream media (MSN) was all over the story. Mr. Lee resigned.
Republican Senator Larry Craig was arrested for lewd conduct in an airport restroom. The media gave the story extensive coverage. Senator Craig was pressured to “retire” at the end of his term the following year after facing ethics charges.
Republican Congressman Mark Foley was caught sending suggestive messages to an underage male page. The media covered the story extensively with 152 stories the first twelve days. Mr. Foley resigned.
Democrat Congressman Barney Frank consorted with a male prostitute who subsequently brought his clients back to Mr. Frank’s apartment.
The media went easy on him, as exemplified by this sympathetic reporting in Time Magazine:
“Frank can debate and speak extemporaneously better than almost anyone else in the House, and he tackles some of its more complex problems like immigration and housing.”
Mr. Frank not only did not resign, nor was he pressured to do so by his party, he is still in office today some twenty years later.
Democratic Congressman Gary Studds had a homosexual affair with an underage male subordinate. He was not forced to resign and was subsequently re-elected to office five more times. The House voted to censure Mr. Studds, who showed his contempt for his colleagues by turning his back on them during the vote.
Former Democratic Senator and presidential candidate, John Edwards, engaged in an illicit affair with a campaign worker, with whom he fathered a love child. The MSM chose not to cover the story until National Enquirer exposed the sordid details. The National Review Online’s reporter, Bryon York explains why:
“If news organizations had thrown a lot of resources at the story in an attempt to confirm (or disprove) the Enquirer’s allegations, it’s likely some of them would have come up with something in the two and a half weeks since the Enquirer reported the story on July 22. Instead, there has been nothing.
Is that the result of a group sentiment among journalists? Or have they been under explicit orders not to mention the story? We’ve heard about one such directive, at the Los Angeles Times website. But there are probably others out there. In today’s news environment, executives have to take more explicit steps than in the past if they want to rein in stories. Journalists have multiple platforms; they might mention a story in a newspaper article, a web piece, in a blog, on video, on television, or on radio. For news executives to make sure the Edwards story does not appear on any of an organization’s several platforms, they have to make sure that tight controls are in place. The Edwards story is not invisible by accident.”
The reporters who wouldn’t go after the Edwards story were the same ones who did pursue a story (without merit) that Senator John McCain was having an affair with a beautiful lobbyist.
That leads us to the current scandal featuring Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner. It took some digging by a conservative website to uncover Mr. Weiner’s indiscretions. Will Mr. Weiner be forced out?
History shows us that Democrats don’t get too worked up about this sort of thing, so he may be able to weather the storm. We know the MSM won’t go after him like they would a Republican.
If he were a Republican, he’d already be out the door.