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Daily Howler: The Post perp-walks two indicted Dems. Indicted Reps gets disappeared
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ONLY DEMS! The Post perp-walks two indicted Dems. Indicted Reps gets disappeared: // link // print // previous // next //

ONLY DEMS: The latest front-page misconduct by the Post is quite striking, even by that paper’s sad standards.

Quick background: In early August, one of Mitt Romney’s campaign finance co-chairmen was indicted in Maryland, charged with taking part in a $32 million fraud scheme. The story has barely been mentioned in the national press. Here was the complete report in the August 12 New York Times, for example:
NEW YORK TIMES (8/12/07):
Indicted Fund-Raiser Resigns

AMES, Iowa, Aug. 11—A top fund-raiser for Mitt Romney who was indicted this week in Maryland over a $32 million fraud scheme has resigned from the campaign, a Romney spokesman said Saturday.

A federal grand jury in Maryland unsealed a 23-count indictment of the fund-raiser, Alan B. Fabian, 43, on Thursday on charges of money laundering, mail fraud, bankruptcy fraud, perjury and obstruction of justice. Mr. Fabian, who was one of 35 co-chairmen on Mr. Romney's national finance committee, ran up $32 million in fake purchases with his consulting company, Maximus Inc., based in Northern Virginia, and pocketed the money, according to the indictment.
That was it!

Has Alan Fabian broken the law? We don’t have the slightest idea. If he did, we can’t imagine how Romney could have known about it. Perhaps for this reason, Fabian’s indictment and resignation have barely been mentioned in the mainstream press. To this day, Fabian’s connection to Romney has never been mentioned in the Washington Post. More on that matter below.

But this is where the Post’s latest bit of front-page clowning gets started.

Amazingly, Fabian was still missing-in-action when the Post published this “news report” on the front page of Monday’s paper. The report listed four fund-raisers for major candidates who are said to have, or to present, “legal issues.” But all four men raised funds for Dems—and one of the four fund-raisers has no current “legal issues” at all. Meanwhile, Fabian—indicted just last month—was AWOL from the Post’s story.

The Post has been a sick joke since the Clinton-Gore years. But this latest bit of nonsense is striking even by the Post’s standards.

The front-page report, by—who else?—John Solomon, is built around the (past) legal and financial problems of Sant Chatwal, a major fund-raiser for Hillary Clinton. In fact, Chatwal has no current “legal (or financial) issues” as he raises funds for Clinton. He resolved his 1995 U.S. bankruptcy in December 2000; meanwhile, the only criminal charge against him was brought in India, in 2001; the charge has since been dropped. (Solomon doesn’t say when.) But Solomon fleshes out his report with troubling tales of three other fund-raisers, complete with photos of all four parties. At some length, we offer Solomon’s full listing of horribles. Obvious question: If these three men deserved to be mentioned, why was Fabian disappeared?
SOLOMON (9/3/07): Ordinarily, campaigns have their legal, finance or research staffs run the names of major fundraisers—also called "bundlers" because they deliver checks to candidates in bunches—through public records such as newspaper clips, court filings and government databases to identify problems. Some controversies still slip through.

Former senator John Edwards (D-N.C.) faced such questions last week when federal prosecutors in Michigan indicted Geoffrey Fieger, the lawyer famous for defending assisted-suicide advocate Jack Kevorkian, accusing him of channeling $127,000 in illegal contributions into Edwards's 2004 presidential campaign. Edwards's aides said, and prosecutors confirmed, that the activity was concealed from Edwards and that the candidate cooperated once he learned of problems.

Similarly, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) gave to charity more than $30,000 in donations from Illinois fundraiser Antoin "Tony" Rezko and his associates after Rezko was indicted in a federal corruption case. "We do our best to go through the hundreds of thousands of people who give to make sure there aren't problems," Obama spokesman Bill Burton said. "I wouldn't say it's a perfect process, but we are as vigilant as possible."

On Friday, another major 2008 Clinton fundraiser generated fresh headlines: Norman Hsu surrendered to authorities in San Mateo, Calif., on an outstanding warrant in a 15-year-old California criminal case involving allegations of grand theft. A judge ordered him held on $2 million bail until a hearing next week. On Wednesday, Clinton's campaign gave to charity $23,000 in donations from Hsu himself, though not the $96,000 or more he had raised for the candidate.
Fieger and Rezko have been indicted; they were included by Solomon, complete with photos. Hsu is now answering a 15-year-old warrant; there is no indication that Edwards, Obama or Clinton knew about the legal matters cited by Solomon. But Fabian has been indicted too, just last month—and he was AWOL from Solomon’s story. Same old same-old! Indicted Dems get splashed on page one. Indicted Reps get disappeared.

Indeed, the Post’s foolishness in the Fabian matter goes beyond Solomon’s trickeration. To this very day, the Post has never even reported Fabian’s connection to Romney. When the Post reported Fabian’s indictment on August 14, it described him only as a “leading fundraiser” for former Maryland lieutenant governor Michael Steele. To this very day, the Romney connection goes unreported, even as the Post perp-walks Democratic fund-raisers across page one.

Have Fieger or Rezko committed crimes? We don’t have the slightest idea. Solomon doesn’t claim that Edwards or Obama knew about any illegal conduct; nor does he claim that the Clinton campaign could have known about Hsu’s 15-year-old warrant. But so what? Fieger and Rezko are pimped on page one of the Post—and Fabian’s indictment goes unremarked. But then, it’s just as we told you last week: In the culture of the modern press corps, only Dems can have character problems! Post readers gazed on the troubling Dems. The indicted Rep got disappeared.

Several points about this latest front-page Washington Post “news report:”

The real focus: We won’t bore you, but it’s fairly clear that this article was really written about Chatwal; Fieger and Rezko were simply thrown in so the Post could feign a broader focus. (The headlines which ran on this report had little to do with its actual content.) Presumably, Solomon researched the Chatwal matter, but didn’t find enough substance to justify an actual story. (Remember: Chatwal has no current “legal issues”—none.) So the Post pretended to be writing a larger report. In the process, the indicted Republican fund-raiser got disappeared. The two indicted Democratic fund-raisers got perp-walked, photos and all.

As with Gore, so with Edwards: Last week, we showed you this same pattern in the coverage of fund-raising misconduct from the 1996 White House campaign. Bob Dole’s finance vice chairman pled guilty to illegal contributions—and the matter was barely mentioned. A minor Democratic fund-raiser was found guilty of the same conduct in connection with a speech by Al Gore—and the matter was pimped, pushed, embellished and lied about for the next four years. The Dem got perp-walked (and lied about) by the press—and the Rep got himself disappeared.

Post pattern: To this day, the Post hasn’t mentioned the connection between Fabian and Romney. But then, the paper extended the same sort of courtesy to Rudy Giuliani when the chairman of his South Carolina campaign was indicted on cocaine charges. Here’s how the Post “reported” that story. This report was an in-kind contribution to Giuliani, from its comical headline on down:
One Giuliani Backer Is a Bust

When South Carolina's treasurer, Thomas Ravenel, endorsed former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani for president in April, he heaped praise on Giuliani for reducing crime, saying that "the mayor rescued New York City from the cesspool that it was."

So Giuliani must have grimaced yesterday when a grand jury in South Carolina indicted Ravenel on charges of conspiracy to distribute cocaine.

In a statement, a Giuliani aide said "our campaign has no information about the accusations pending against Mr. Ravenel. Mr. Ravenel has stepped down from his volunteer responsibilities with the campaign." Ravenel, 44, son of former congressman Arthur Ravenel Jr., is a millionaire real estate developer.

Michael D. Shear
What a joke! Even in the Washington Times, readers were told the simple truth; Ravenel was South Carolina chairman of Giuliani’s White House campaign. But at the Post, Shear forgot to mention that fact; at the Post, Ravenel was just a “Giuliani backer,” some who had “endorsed” Giuliani and therefore had “volunteer responsibilities.” To this day, the Washington Post has never reported Ravenel’s real connection to Giuliani—and it has never reported Fabian’s connection to Romney at all. The Post perp-walks Big Dems on page one—and disappears Big Reps.

As always, the sounds of silence: As always, the Washington Post is a joke, on page one—and as always, the liberal world is silent. We’re sure that Media Matters will discuss the Solomon report; indeed, for that site’s report on the earlier coverage of Fabian, just click here. But in the more than 30 hours since the report first appeared on the Post’s web site, no liberal site has challenged the way it drags Obama, Edwards and Clinton down while giving Romney a pass. (By contrast, many conservative sites have pimped the story, sometimes helping readers see it as an example of liberal bias!) Remember the two key rules of your world: 1) Characters problem are only for Dems. And 2): You can say any damn thing you want about Dems. Go ahead—treat our candidates like a joke. Our liberal web will permit it.

At the Post, Fabian wasn’t connected to Romney—and Ravenel was just a Giuliani “backer!” Meanwhile, Dems are perp-walked across page one—and liberals, sated by Larry Craig, seem to be fat and happy.

But then, this is how George Bush reached the White House. Alas! Something in the liberal mind seems to keep us from grasping presspolitics.