A Washington Post Labeling Double Standard in Sex Scandal Stories

The Washington Post carried the usual double standard on political ethics – highlight the party affiliation of the Republican, bury the party affiliation of the Democrat – all in one edition of the paper on Saturday. In the Metro section (page B-5), the headline proclaimed: "GOP’s McKee Resigns After Home Is Searched" (for child pornography). On the front page of Style (page C-1), a story on Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s adultery and lying was headlined, "In Detroit, Not Exactly LOL LOL! His Steamy Text Messages Turn Up the Heat on Motown’s Young Mayor."

The first line in the McKee article by Philip Rucker was: "Robert A. McKee, a long-serving Republican delegate from Western Maryland, announced his resignation yesterday after authorities, who say they are conducting a child pornography investigation, seized two computers, videotapes, and printed material from his Hagerstown home." If the evidence is found, that is dreadful and hypocritical. McKee also resigned from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washington County.

But the Detroit story by Neely Tucker hinted at the mayor’s party affiliation in paragraph 39, which began "The son of Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kirkpatrick (D-Mich.), he was first elected six years ago at age 31, bringing youthful energy and enthusiasm to a city that needed both."

That is the only hint in the entire piece, a single D. 

The Post avoided any party label when reporter Kari Lydersen wrote up the breaking Kirkpatrick lying-and-adultery story on January 26.

That's hardly the way the Post handled the last political with a text-messaging problem: Congressman Mark Foley, whose creepy Internet instant messages were wielded like a sledgehammer by the liberal media to defeat Republicans in the last weeks before the 2006 midterm elections.

The story touted on the front page on September 30, 2006 began: "Six-term Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) resigned yesterday amid reports that he had sent sexually explicit Internet messages to at least one underage male former page."

On the front page on October 4, 2006, the article began: "In 1995, male House pages were warned to steer clear of a freshman Republican from Florida, who was already learning the names of the teenagers, dashing off notes, letters and e-mails to them, and asking them to join him for ice cream, according to a former page."

This is no way should be used to make excuses for dreadful Republican behavior with minors. But it shows that the Post, like many other liberal media outlets, earn the liberal-bias charge by showing the partisanship on their scandal stories.

(Hat tip to Dan Gainor)

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis