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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Exception Proves the Rule -- Republicans Are the Party of Corruption

Louisiana Congressman William Jefferson doesn't seem to be a big fan of nuance. Videotaped accepting a $100,000 cash bribe, he was later found to have squirreled away $90,000 of it in his freezer. Nice touch.

One would hate for the fact that the Congressman happens to be a Democrat to interrupt the storyline that Republicans have a monopoly on corruption, though. Which is why we can thank NPR's Marketplace's show Morning Report yesterday for introducing a story on the Jefferson bribe scandal as follows: "The dark cloud of corruption that hangs over some powerful Republicans is swallowing up at least one Democrat as well" and ending the piece as follows: "Now, back to those Republicans."

So the dark cloud of corruption is swallowing up this Democrat because this Democrat is somehow linked to some other corruption scandal? Well, no. Jefferson seems to have been an independent contractor, accepting bribes from companies with business interests in Africa. So, this corruption scandal actually has nothing to do with any other scandal, on either side of the aisle? Well, yes. But Marketplace might as well try to continue the drumbeat that Republicans have cornered the market on corruption. Because we all know they have.


Blogger Jonah B. Gelbach said...

as i've been saying to my lovely wife, i think the dems should toss jefferson out of their caucus. from what's been made public, he's a disgrace, pure and simple.

but the poor-me-ism of your post is a bit too much. the difference between jefferson (and, while we're at it, mollohan) and the long list of gop folks --- members, staff, and exec branch employees --- really is one of individually corrupt people versus a corrupt system of "governing".

as a party in congress, and to a great extent the WH as well, the gop appears to have become everything against which its denizens railed in the 1980s and 1990s: corrupt representatives of special interests who will do just about anything to either hang on to power or enrich themselves.

i'm sure we'll never agree on this point, but i think it's worth making it nonetheless.

5/23/2006 11:02 AM  
Blogger Jonah B. Gelbach said...

and by the way, the nyt put the mollohan on the front page. it's true that they failed to put his party affiliation in a bamby-satisfying place (though, of course, it *was* pre-jump!), but it was on the front page for god's sake. and jefferson has been all over the news, including NYT A1, for months. it's hardly the case that the media have covered these stories as if

Republicans have a monopoly on corruption

sure you can come up with one example, and no doubt more examples, of awkward story-tying (tho i haven't read the whole npr transcript and would reserve judgment until i do if i do). but there's plenty in the other direction.

i'll look forward to that bamby post acknowledging, however grudgingly, that someone in the MSM did something that doesn't somehow prove liberal media bias. until then i guess it's on me to keep pointing them out to you. even when you don't reply. :-).


ps i'm looking forward to that dinner on sunday!

5/23/2006 11:08 AM  
Blogger Aaron Szabo said...

Woohoo to Jonah who gave me an A+ in the class ... u be da SHIT!!! where are the poker blogs???

5/25/2006 1:38 PM  
Blogger Jonah B. Gelbach said...

lol....congrats, aaron. i guess it doesn't violate Buckley if *you* say what your grade was!

poker blog....interesting idea....if only i got to *play* enough to have a blog about that!


5/25/2006 6:59 PM  
Anonymous Nate said...

Oh lord... http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060609/ap_on_go_co/raid_on_congress

...What? He was caught. On tape.

6/08/2006 11:55 PM  

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