AP's Double Standard on Creepy Politician Sex Scandals
Displayed prominently on the home page for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer Web site at 12:30 Tuesday afternoon was this tease for a story about a local politician in hot water for crude remarks to a colleague:
GOP lawmaker punished
Minority House Republicans have severely disciplined a Vancouver lawmaker for inappropriate remarks to a female staffer.
The link takes readers to AP writer Curt Woodward's story, "House GOP member punished for remark to woman aide," in which we learn in the lead paragraph that "Minority House Republicans" in the Washington state House of Representatives, "already reeling from a sex scandal that prompted one member to quit, have severely disciplined a Vancouver lawmaker for inappropriate remarks to a female staffer."
Woodward's lede takes two isolated scandals and gins up a trend to cast a pall over local Republicans in Washington, a strongly Democratic state. Woodward did not give the alleged victim's side of the story, but did note Dunn told a local paper "it was along the lines of 'I bought you a drink because I want to take you home.'"
So a Washington state legislator makes an inappropriate pass at a staffer, and it's headline news for one of the state's major newspapers, and worthy of trumpeting his party affiliation to the Associated Press.
So why isn't that the case when a state legislator shows teenagers an inappropriate photograph of a naked woman, as NewsBusters contributor Richard Newcomb noticed in mid-October of the AP's treatment of Ohio Democratic state representative Matt Barrett?
Here's how the AP reported that incident:
NORWALK, Ohio (AP) -- The Ohio State Highway Patrol confirms they are looking into an incident which occurred in Norwalk Tuesday. State Representative Matt Barrett was giving a lecture to the Senior Government Class at Norwalk High when he inserted a data memory stick into a computer and the projected image of a nude woman appeared on the screen.
The patrol says the memory stick, along with at least one school computer used Tuesday were confiscated and are being examined.
Investigators interviewed Barrett as well as others in the classroom at the time of the lecture to determine if the image of the woman came from the memory stick or the school computer.
The school's technology director looked at the memory stick and determined that it had a directory of nude images.
Barrett tells Channel 3 News that he reported the incident to the school principal as well as the Superintendent. Norwalk Police were called to the scene as well and eventually the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
Barrett says the stick was a gift and he has no idea where the images came from but hopefully the Norwalk Police or OSP will have some answers for him within a few days as to what caused the glitch and where the image originated.