The media is giving the Democratic Party a pass on a series of rumors, gaffes, and crimes committed by Democratic members of Congress. The “mainstream” media is always under fire by right-wing conservatives and libertarians for unfair and biased coverage. This time it may be true. Three Democratic Party members have made the type of mistakes that should be in heavy rotation on MSNBC and other liberal outlets. The fact that they represent Obama’s base and/or are involved in high-priority issues makes the hypocrisy even more damning.
It is not that the stories haven’t been told or reported, it is that they haven’t been told with the typical hyperbole and conspiratorial tone that you see when the liberal media reports on right-wingers. Campaign fraud, ethics violations and bizarre rape comments would be enough to get the liberal media frothing at the mouth to attack and smear the Republican Party and the conservative movement. However they don’t seem to be acting in a fair and balanced manner when it happens in their own backyard.
1. Former Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-Ill.)
Jackson is the son of legendary civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson. He is a former Chicago congressman who just pled guilty to using campaign funds for personal purchases. In other words, embezzlement. His wife Shelia pled guilty to tax fraud. Jackson defrauded his campaign of $750,000 and used the money to finance vacation trips, furs, memorabilia, and jewelry. Some of the more extravagant purchases included a $43,000 gold Rolex watch, $10,000 in children’s furniture, $5,000 in clothes, $8,000 for hats worn by the late Michael Jackson, and $5,000 for a football autographed by U.S. presidents. Jackson will be sentenced on June 28 and prosecutors have recommended a prison term ranging from 46 to 57 months.
2. Senator Robert Menendez (D-N.J.)
Menendez is a member of the “Gang of Eight,” a bipartisan group of senators working on immigration reform. The effort has gotten a lot of media attention not only because of the goal but also because it has the opportunity to inspire a new era of bipartisan government. Menendez, who was just named Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is also facing ethics charges. Critics have charged Menendez with influencing American authorities to secure port security contracts in the Dominican Republic for his political benefactor and friend Dr. Salomon Melgan. Menendez used Melgen’s private jet to make two expensive round trip flights to the Dominican Republic. When it was discovered that Menendez had not paid for the flights his aides called it an “oversight,” and sent Melgan a check for almost $60,000. During his trips to the Dominican Republic, Menendez is alleged to have sought the services of under-aged prostitutes, a charge he denies.
3. Representative Joe Salazar (D-Colo.)
Salazar made the type of inappropriate comment about rape that the liberal media used to skewer and torpedo the election hopes of Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock. Salazar was arguing in favor of banning concealed firearms on Colorado college campuses when he said,
“It’s why we have call boxes. It’s why we have safe zones. That’s why we have the whistles, because you just don’t know who you’re going to be shooting at. And you don’t know if you feel like you’re going to be raped, or if you feel like someone’s been following you around or if you feel like you’re in trouble when you may actually not be, that you pop out that gun and you pop … pop a round at somebody.”
Salazar was roundly criticized for suggesting that women could not be trusted to determine if they were being stalked or in danger or would be to emotionally distraught to properly handle a firearm. Salazar was more concerned about the remote possibility of an accidental shooting than the real threat of rape on college campuses. Salazar issued an apology and a clarification, but this was another case, just like Akin and Mourdock of a man putting his foot in his mouth when discussing rape.