AP Ignores Lobbyist's Dem Connections

The Associated Press is today repeating a mistake that CBS made in May. The AP story which just went out, Fraud Indictment Expected for Abramoff, focuses several times on GOP House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, and his relationship with lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Federal prosecutors are seeking bank fraud charges against lobbyist Jack Abramoff, a key figure in investigations involving House Majority Leader Tom DeLay
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DeLay, R-Texas, was not mentioned in any lawsuits involved in the SunCruz deal.

DeLay has asked the House Ethics Committee to review allegations that Abramoff or his clients paid some of DeLay's overseas travel expenses. DeLay has denied knowing that the expenses were paid by Abramoff, whom he once described as "one of my closest and dearest friends."

So Tom Delay is mentioned, by name, five times in a story on a lawsuit that is unrelated to him in any way. The only connection to Delay is that Abramoff paid for some travel costs of Delay's that the Democrats brought before the House Ethics Committee. Does it look as though someone's trying to imply that Delay's got ethical problems?

And Abramoff, as reported in the Washington Post back in May, did the same thing for Democratic representatives as well. The MRC issued a cyber-alert when CBS failed to acknowledge the Democratic contributions in a piece on Abramoff in May, and the AP is doing exactly the same thing in the story it issued today. Is it a story that federal prosecutors are seeking bank fraud charges against a major Washington Lobbyist? Yes, it is. (Not a particularly surprising story, but a story nonetheless.) But is it reasonable to focus on one representative from one party, while ignoring entirely anyone of the other party who might also have had a relationship with the lobbyist? No, it is not. This is not a partisan event, and the AP is implying that it is.