Sex Scandals

By Kyle Drennen | April 22, 2015 | 11:31 AM EDT

After NBC finally covered the sex scandal plaguing the Drug Enforcement Administration with a mere 18-second news brief on Tuesday's Nightly News, Wednesday's Today offered a full two-minute report on agency chief Michele Leonhart stepping down in the wake of the controversy, but used oddly positive language to describe her troubled tenure.

By Curtis Houck | April 21, 2015 | 9:38 PM EDT

After nearly a month-long blackout, NBC finally acknowledged on Tuesday night the sex parties scandal that’s enveloped the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) following the announcement that DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart will retire next month. While NBC Nightly News ended the network’s 26-day-long silence, it only devoted 18 seconds to Leonhart’s decision to step aside and only glossed over mentioned the reasoning for her departure. 

By Curtis Houck | April 14, 2015 | 9:06 PM EDT

On Tuesday night, ABC and NBC made no mention of a congressional hearing that took place earlier in the day addressing a scandal unveiled in a Department of Justice (DOJ) report that said Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents in Colombia had participated in sex parties over a multi-year period funded by American taxpayers and the very drug cartels they were fighting.

By Jeffrey Meyer | January 14, 2015 | 11:34 AM EST

On Tuesday, Joseph Morrissey, Democrat turned Independent, was elected to the Virginia legislature despite currently serving a jail sentence connected to his relationship with a 17-year-old girl who worked in his law office. In the Washington Post’s coverage of the scandal-plagued politician on Wednesday, reporters Laura Vozzella and Jenna Portnoy insisted that Morrissey’s current prison status won’t be a headache for Democrats but rather is “an embarrassment in the state capitol, which is still absorbing the news that a popular former governor, Robert F. McDonnell (R-VA), appears headed to federal prison.” 

By Tim Graham | December 16, 2014 | 8:17 AM EST

When December was new, we reported that The Washington Post was incensed enough to put obscure congressional press aide Elizabeth Lauten on the front page for disparaging the Obama daughters on her personal Facebook page, while the story of a former Democratic congressional aide pleading guilty to two counts of sexual assault ended up in a 281-word article tucked away on the far-right edge of page A-5.

The Post repeated this obvious double standard on Sunday, when it buried a Democratic state legislator on page C-7: “Republicans and Democrats are calling on Del. Joseph D. Morrissey (D-Henrico) to resign from the Virginia House of Delegates after his conviction Friday on a charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.”

By Curtis Houck | December 6, 2014 | 1:40 AM EST

When the now-retracted article by the Rolling Stone magazine was published on November 19 about a brutal gang rape of a first-year student at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house at the University of Virginia, the major broadcast networks rushed to the story and devoted multiple segments to both the article and reaction on the school’s campus. In doing so, they failed (unlike other outlets) to point out its flaws that brought an apology from the liberal magazine on Friday afternoon after it came to realize that many of the key facts in the story were in serious doubt.

By Tim Graham | November 3, 2014 | 4:08 PM EST

Former Newsweek and New York Times Magazine writer Matt Bai has a new book out making the wild claim that the 1987 adultery scandal around Sen. Gary Hart marked "the week politics went tabloid" and ruined everything in national politics by pushing the media into focusing incessantly on the "character issue."

In a review Sunday in The New York Times Book Review, Reuters media columnist Jack Shafer pointed out the press was so cozy with Hart that Nixon-ruining Bob Woodward offered to let Hart quietly bunk at his house during marital troubles:

By Matthew Balan | October 21, 2014 | 5:05 PM EDT

John Avlon, who has modeled himself as a "no labels" moderate, acted as a liberal on Tuesday's New Day on CNN, as he gave his take on Monica Lewinsky's recent "cyberbullying" speech. Avlon praised the "so thoughtful and funny speech, and contended that "it reminds us 16 years after that constitutional crisis – that celebrity-driven scandal – the human collateral damage in that political witch hunt."

By Curtis Houck | October 20, 2014 | 9:39 PM EDT

On Monday night, ABC and NBC offered segments on Monica Lewinsky’s first public comments in years that came during a conference in Philadelphia for millennials by Forbes and explained how she was the first victim of cyberbullying during her affair with then-President Bill Clinton in the late 1990s. 

During the segment that aired on NBC Nightly News, NBC’s Andrea Mitchell declared that the “timing” of Lewinsky speaking out now (in hopes of becoming an advocate against cyberbullying) “couldn’t be worse for Bill and Hillary Clinton.

By Curtis Houck | October 10, 2014 | 5:20 PM EDT

Appearing on Friday’s edition of MSNBC’s The Daily Rundown, the reporter with The Washington Post who broke the story that White House officials knew that advance team member Jonanthan Dach had a prostitute stay in his hotel room during the 2012 Colombian prostitution scandal joined the program and took to blasting the White House’s numerous claims that no such cover-up exists.

Reporter Carol Leonnig spoke with MSNBC’s Craig Melvin and slammed the Obama administration right from the moment she began speaking for their “red herring” of “the mistaken identity” and that it was “demonstrably false” for them “to say that the only evidence, which is what the White House is saying, that the only evidence involving this guy was that a woman had signed herself into this room.”

By Curtis Houck | October 9, 2014 | 10:04 PM EDT

According to a report in The Washington Post, senior White House officials knew that an individual with the White House advance team had a prostitute spend the night with him as part of the 2012 Colombian prostitution scandal despite the White House previously denying any involvement during the official investigation. 

After failing to cover the story on their morning newscasts, ABC and NBC continued that blackout into their Thursday evening newscasts as well. The CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley ignored the story as well, despite the network having aired a full report on Thursday’s CBS This Morning.

By Ken Shepherd | October 9, 2014 | 9:39 PM EDT

Self-proclaimed "victims' rights advocate" and MSNBC contributor Michelle Bernard wasted no time on Thursday's edition of Hardball defending former White House volunteer Jonathan Dach -- now employed at the State Department in the Office on Global Women's Issues -- from charges that he patronized a prostitute while on official business as an Obama advance man in Cartagena, Colombia.