It comes as no surprise to most people keeping up with current events that the news media displays a bias for Democrats and against Republicans. However, the latest media behavior regarding New York Governor Spitzer's dalliance with $5,000 hookers and comments by "pundits" (if you can call Alan Jerkowitz a pundit), needs some comment.
First of all, Spitzer's transgressions are more than just thinking with the wrong head. According to the New York Times:
"...in the Hauppauge offices of the Internal Revenue Service, investigators conducting a routine examination of suspicious financial transactions reported to them by banks found several unusual movements of cash involving the governor of New York... ... this was not typical: transactions by a governor who appeared to be trying to conceal the source, destination or purpose of the movement of thousands of dollars in cash, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The money ended up in the bank accounts of what appeared to be shell companies, corporations that essentially had no real business. The transactions, officials said, suggested possible financial crimes -- maybe bribery, political corruption, or something inappropriate involving campaign finance. Prostitution, they said, was the furthest thing from the minds of the investigators."
News reports say Spitzer was involved "with a prostitution ring" (that's the first time I read that a "John" was involved with a prostitution ring), However the truth is that his purchase of "services" was just the tip of the iceberg, Spitzer is not a good man, as the Times reports.
Republicans have been the target of numerous reports of "scandals", most of which made headlines ad nauseam until the Republican target was either driven out of office or at least the butt of Washington and David Letterman jokes.
Even the Washington Post, no voice for the vast right wing conspiracy, was driven to acknowledge the disproportionate treatment given to such matters:
"Sex scandals involving politicians are as old as Thomas Jefferson, but the outcome seems to depend on which party you represent. In recent years, for the most part, Democrats have been able to survive their sordid escapades while Republicans have paid with their political lives."
A modest Google search reveals examples too numerous to mention but here are a few:
Speaker Newt Gingrich and Republican whip Tom Delay were too effective to suit the Democrats and their brethren in the press so they had to go; Democrats can't have the opposition being more effective then they.
Bob Livingston was to replace Newt but he got into trouble over a dalliance much milder than Spitzer's (he had an extramarital affair, without charge). Nonetheless Livingston was likely to be an effective successor to Newt so he had to go too.
That's the usual outcome for Republican. If you don't believe me, just ask Bob Packwood, Thomas Evans, Jack Ryan, Dan Crane, for example; they fell on the basis of salacious accusations which don't compare to the likes of Bill Clinton, Barney Frank and Ted Kennedy, all of whom kept their office and have been hailed by their supporters rather than condemned. Bill Clinton stained the oval office, Barney Frank permitted a homosexual prostitution business in his home conducted by his sweetheart and Ted Kennedy was responsible for the death of a young woman working for him after a drinking party.
Compare the cases of Republican Senator Bob Packwood and Democrat Representative Jim Bates; both were accused of sexual harassment by female staff workers; Packwood resigned under Republican, Democrat and media pressure while Bates actions were excused by his Democrat colleagues and the press and he won reelection.
And then there is a Republican Representative Tom Evans rejected by voters following a newspaper "exposé" of his association with a lobbyist who was the subject of a Playboy magazine pictorial; whereas Democrat Senator Charles Robb had an affair with a "Miss Virginia" to no political detriment. (Robb claimed that Ms. Virginia had only given him a back rub in a hotel room.)
Media interest in Republican, but not Democrat scandals, was highlighted by publication of Joseph Minton Amann and Tom Breuer's book "The Brotherhood of the Disappearing Pants: A Field Guide to Conservative Sex Scandals". For some reason only conservative sex scandals are of interest. When asked "why", Amann said, "Liberal scandals aren't as fun. And, honestly, it doesn't look like there are as many"; of course he didn't look very hard for the other side's indiscretions. The authors' political impartiality is seen from a previous book they published - "Fox News, Fair and balanced my ass".
Clearly Democrats seem to get away with more. Apparently everyone expects Democrats to be slugs. Republicans are considered more respectable so they are held to a higher standard of conduct. The news media delights in "exposing" immorality of Republicans but it's no big deal to point out just another Democrat's walk on the dark side since so many do.
For the record, and so Democrats don't get a pass on this issue, here is an item referenced in the Drudge Report that puts into balance what the news media won't:
"Top 10 Democrat Sex Scandals in Congress (plus 1 from the White House)"
"Information compiled from the Washington Post, "Congressional Sex Scandals in History," and other sources."
"11. William Jefferson Clinton, (D-Ark) President 1992-2000 - Multiple accusations of rape and other sexual assault. Served two terms as president. With the full aid and consent of the Senate, he was allowed to stay in office after being impeached by the House. Remember, many of the current RINO senators were in office for this and decided to not decide!
10. Sen. Daniel Inouye. The 82-year-old Hawaii Democrat was accused in the 1990s by numerous women of sexual harassment. Democrats cast doubt on the allegations and the Senate Ethics Committee dropped its investigation.
9. Former Rep. Gus Savage. The Illinois Democrat was accused of fondling a Peace Corps volunteer in 1989 while on a trip to Africa. The House Ethics Committee decided against disciplinary action in 1990.
8. Rep. Barney Frank. The outspoken Massachusetts Democrat hired a male prostitute who ran a prostitution service from Frank's residence in the 1980s. Only two Democrats in the House of Representatives voted to censure him in 1990.
7. Former Sen. Brock Adams. The late Washington Democrat was forced to stop campaigning after numerous accusations of drugging, assault and rape, the first surfacing in 1988.
6. Former Rep. Fred Richmond. This New York Democrat was arrested in 1978 for soliciting sex from a 16-year-old. He remained in Congress and won re-election-before eventually resigning in 1982 after pleading guilty to tax evasion and drug possession.
5. Former Rep. John Young. The late Texas Democrat increased the salary of a staffer after she gave in to his sexual advances. The congressman won re-election in 1976 but lost two years later.
4. Former Rep. Wayne Hays. The late Ohio Democrat hired an unqualified secretary reportedly for sexual acts. Although he resigned from Congress, the Democratic House leadership stalled in removing him from the Administration Committee in 1976.
3. Former Rep. Gerry Studds. He was censured for sexual relationship with underage male page in 1983. Massachusetts voters returned him to office for six more terms.
2. Former Rep. Mel Reynolds. The Illinois Democrat was convicted of 12 counts of sexual assault with a 16-year-old. President Bill Clinton pardoned him before leaving office.
1. Sen. Teddy Kennedy. The liberal Massachusetts senator testified in defense of nephew accused of rape, invoking his family history to win over the jury in 1991."
If you want to see a longer list of largely unreported Democrat follies, e-mail me and I will send it to you.