Burris Lied Under Oath; WaPo Buries Lying in Euphemisms

Appointed Sen. Roland Burris lied under oath to capture his seat in the Senate, but The Washington Post can't quite say that. On Sunday's front page, the paper promoted a story on A-3 with the headline "Burris Revises Story on Senate Seat." On the home page of washingtonpost.com, a tiny headline said only "Burris Reveals Requests From Blagojevich's Circle." Inside, the headline was "Burris Discloses Fundraising Requests: Senator Reveals Contacts With Blagojevich's Brother, Other Associates of Ex-Governor".Even reporter Peter Slevin couldn't muster the will to report directly:

Sen. Roland W. Burris (D-Ill.), appointed to fill President Obama's former seat in the U.S. Senate, has informed Illinois lawmakers that he did not tell them the complete story about his contacts with close associates of former governor Rod Blagojevich (D) before he got the job. In a sworn affidavit made public Saturday, Burris said that the governor's brother asked him in a series of conversations to raise campaign funds for Blagojevich, who was later charged with trying to profit from his executive actions and removed from office.

The sixth paragraph finally acknowledges the broken oath:

"He was sworn to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, and it's obvious that didn't occur," state Rep. Jack D. Franks (D) said. "I'm disappointed, and I do feel betrayed."

Burris claimed he was now aiming to be "transparent" and further claimed "he had done nothing wrong in seeking the job." It's too bad The Washington Post felt the partisan need to be so remarkably indirect in describing what happened.

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