Wu-hoo! Welcome to another freaky ethics fiasco brought to you by the D.C. den of dysfunctional Democrats. This one comes clothed in a Tigger costume, wrapped in blinders and bathed in the fetid Beltway odor of eau de Pass le Buck.
Liberal David Wu is a seven-term Democratic congressman from Oregon who announced Tuesday that he'll resign amid a festering sex scandal involving the teenage daughter of a longtime campaign donor. He won't, however, be vacating public office until "the resolution of the debt-ceiling crisis." Translation: Call off the U-Haul trucks. Wu's staying awhile.
[UPDATED: See end of blog for new information.] ABC, as of Tuesday morning, has skipped any coverage of embattled Democratic Congressman David Wu, accused of what The Oregonian called "an unwanted sexual encounter with the 18-year-old daughter of a childhood friend."
On Tuesday, Wu announced he would be resigning. Will ABC finally cover this story? CBS and NBC have both noted the story in news briefs, but ignored other Wu scandals.
ABC last mentioned Wu back on February 22, when Good Morning America co-host George Stephanopoulos interviewed the politician for other bizarre, but unrelated, antics. At that time, Wu was dealing with the fallout of wearing a Tiger costume and staff members who wanted him to seek psychiatric treatment.
On Sunday, the CBS Evening News and NBC’s Meet the Press both briefly noted an unfolding sex scandal involving Oregon Democratic Representative David Wu, who is being accused of making unwanted sexual advances toward the teenage daughter of a political donor.
CBS substitute anchor Norah O’Donnell directly labeled Wu as a Democrat, While NBC’s David Gregory indirectly hinted at Wu’s Democratic ties by noting that the Congressman had met with "leader of the Democrats, Pelosi."
Both broadcasts noted the scandal toward the end of the program.
Below are the transcripts of portions of the CBS Evening News and NBC’s Meet the Press where the Wu story were covered:
Oregon residents and news followers nationwide can be forgiven for shaking their heads over the Associated Press's latest item on the misadventures of Congressman David Wu. All of a sudden he's apparently not a Democrat -- well, at least he's not identified as such by the wire service's Jonathan J. Cooper.
Wu has gained a degree of infamy over his erratic behavior (to be described shortly for those unfamiliar with the story) leading up to his reelection in 2010.
What's odd about Cooper's failure to tag Wu as a Democrat in his latest report is that he and the AP have done so in several previous dispatches:
A sitting congressman admitted earlier this week to seeking psychiatric treatment after news broke that he had sent bizarre photos of himself in a tiger costume to staff members and taken prescription pain killers given to him by an unnamed campaign donor.
Seven of Oregon Democrat David Wu's staff members reportedly quit after the 2010 campaign due to his bizarre behavior. The second largest newspaper in Wu's state has called for him to resign.
But apparently some of the largest news outlets in the country, including two of the three news networks and two of the three cable news channels, don't think a mentally unstable congressman and all of his bizarre activities merit even an on-air mention. Nearly a week after the story broke, ABC is the only network to give the story on-air coverage, and Fox is the only cable channel to mention it on-air.
When a sitting U.S. congressman's behavior is so erratic and inexplicable that his own staffers want him to get psychiatric care and some of them quit in horror upon his reelection, it's a legitimate news story for national media coverage regardless of the political party of the person involved.
Of course, if the congressman were a Republican, it's difficult to imagine his political affiliation would go unmentioned in any media account.
But the federal legislator in question is Oregon Rep. David Wu, a Democrat.
In a February 23 Swampland blog post for Time.com, Amy Sullivan omitted Wu's political affiliation even as she detailed the troubling behavior he's exhibited over the past few months: