For nearly a year, the allegations of scandalous activity in former Rep. Eric Massa’s office were kept quiet — by the congressman, by male aides who accuse him of sexually harassing them and by other congressional staff.
But with two aides coming forward last week to announce that they had filed harassment claims against the New York Democrat, charges and countercharges are exploding into full public view, ensuring that the Massa saga will not simply go away.
Instead, it will raise old questions about whether Congress is able to effectively police its own members and staff, and the degree to which staff members are responsible for — or even capable of — reining in lawmakers who are accused of abusing their power.
Of course, while I've no doubt that more sordid details of the scandal will drip out into the public consciousness between now and Election Day, I'm not anticipating that the mainstream media, at least the broadcast networks, are that interested in making hay of this matter, which doubtless may reflect poorly on the Democratic Party's management of the House of Representatives.
After all, as we have noted previously, there's a marked difference in how the initial coverage of Massa allegations differ from the media's drumbeat of the Mark Foley scandal. As NewsBusters editor-at-large Brent Baker noted in a March 5 blog post: