Here's the opening of the coverage at the New York Times's Caucus Blog (also subject to possible updates):
For nearly a year, the allegations of scandalous activity in former Rep. Eric Massa’s office were kept quiet — by the congressman, by male aides who accuse him of sexually harassing them and by other congressional staff.
But with two aides coming forward last week to announce that they had filed harassment claims against the New York Democrat, charges and countercharges are exploding into full public view, ensuring that the Massa saga will not simply go away.
Instead, it will raise old questions about whether Congress is able to effectively police its own members and staff, and the degree to which staff members are responsible for — or even capable of — reining in lawmakers who are accused of abusing their power.
Of course, while I've no doubt that more sordid details of the scandal will drip out into the public consciousness between now and Election Day, I'm not anticipating that the mainstream media, at least the broadcast networks, are that interested in making hay of this matter, which doubtless may reflect poorly on the Democratic Party's management of the House of Representatives.
After all, as we have noted previously, there's a marked difference in how the initial coverage of Massa allegations differ from the media's drumbeat of the Mark Foley scandal. As NewsBusters editor-at-large Brent Baker noted in a March 5 blog post:
With a disparity of five-to-one, the same network morning and evening news programs that displayed an eager interest in Republican Mark Foley's E-mail scandal minimized the groping and tickling of Democrat Eric Massa. In 2010, these shows offered a scant 30 stories to Democrat Eric Massa and details of how he engaged in naked shower fights. Over a 12 day period in 2006, 152 segments were devoted to Foley.
Additionally, this number of 30 is a generous one. From March 5 through March 16, the networks conducted only 13 full reports on Massa and eight anchor briefs. The remaining nine examples were mere mentions where Massa's name was simply highlighted. NBC's Nightly News showed the least interest in the Democratic Congressman. Anchor Brian Williams featured Massa in a quick 25 second anchor brief on March 5 and, briefly, the next day, during a Mike Viqueira piece on health care.
Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos on Friday moderated a group of mostly liberal voices to sympathize with Democratic Congressman Patrick Kennedy and, at times, former Representative Eric Massa. Speaking of the politician who spent the week talking about naked showers arguments and tickle fights, Stephanopoulos fretted, "Too much time on Eric Massa?"
The former Democratic operative turned journalist's liberal guests included DailyBeast.com editor Tina Brown and former Playboy CEO Christie Hefner. (Republican strategist Kevin Madden was the lone conservative.)
Speaking of Massa's now infamous Glenn Beck interview, Hefner tried to highlight the positive: "...I actually thought the most thoughtful thing that Massa said on the Glenn Beck show, was in response to the question of, what would you fix? And he started talking about campaign finance reform."
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, on Friday's Today show, remarked how similar the Eric Massa case was to the Mark Foley sex scandal in 2006, and back then Scarborough went with Matt Lauer's premise that Hastert should be "Thrown under the bus" - a point some Republicans and conservatives agreed with then. However when NBC's Meredith Vieira questioned if Pelosi needed to testify, let alone resign, over the Massa mess Scarborough demurred: "I don't think so." So much for holding a Democratic Speaker to the same standards.
The following is what Scarborough told Lauer on the October 4, 2006 Today show:
MATT LAUER: So in other words, are you saying that the Republicans, to turn those numbers around, are going to have to--for lack of a better expression--throw somebody under the bus other than Mark Foley?
JOE SCARBOROUGH: They're going to have, they're going to have to throw Denny Hastert under the bus. But I-
LAUER: You think he should resign?
Despite what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow in an interview last night – "I know you`re nonpartisan" – Maddow very predictably helped Pelosi dismiss any responsibility for the Speaker in the Eric Massa ethics investigation. [Audio available here.]
Maddow didn’t act like a skeptical Tim Russert, asking if Pelosi sounds exactly the opposite of her remarks in 2006, assuming Speaker Dennis Hastert cravenly overlooked the allegations of Mark Foley's sexual misconduct. Instead, she embraced Pelosi’s line that Republican focus on Massa was "trying to distract from the endgame on health reform." Maddow declared her nostrils had found it:
You can almost smell how excited Republicans were to try to make this an anti-Democratic leadership issue today. They were very excited about that prospect for some number of minutes this afternoon. And for some of those minutes, I was actually inside the U.S. Capitol and I swear you could smell it in there.
How much of a pickle is Pelosi potentially in? Enough that Dem loyalist Charles Blow had to resort to some truly twisted reasoning to explain away her delay in responding to allegations against Eric Massa.
Of all things, the New York Times columnist tried to excuse Pelosi's failure to act by blaming . . . "our crazy misogynistic culture." Huh?
Blow offered his odd opinion on today's Morning Joe . . .
Appearing as a guest on Thursday’s Joy Behar Show on CNN Headline News, filmmaker Michael Moore continued his recent attacks on Democrats for not delivering more effectively on a left-wing agenda, called out gay Republicans for "hypocrisy," and seemed to suggest that President Bush fooled many Americans because "we have created a society of ignorant and illiterate people."
Host Behar started the interview by asking Moore his views on former Democratic Congressman Eric Massa, who recently resigned amid charges that he sexually harassed male aides. Moore used the opportunity to bash gay Republicans as he praised the film Outrage which seeks to expose Republicans rumored to be gay. Moore:
Behar Calls for Limbaugh’s Firing Over 'Massa' Play on Words; Dabbles in 9/11 Trutherism with Jesse Ventura
Has Joy Behar run out of things to talk about? Is the HLN host and "The View" co-host allowing producers to select her topics?
On HLN's March 10 "The Joy Behar Show," Behar suggested it might be time for conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh to go after making certain remarks involving embattled New York Gov. David Paterson and former Rep. Eric Massa, D-N.Y.
"This whole Massa controversy gave him an excuse to make a racial slur against New York Governor David Paterson," Behar said. "Not that Rush needs an excuse to make a racial slur."
The comments that offended Behar involved Limbaugh saying Paterson was going to be a "Massa," a double entendre Behar asserted was racist.
Compliments sometimes come from strange places, but you'll take them where you can get them, no?
It seems that Fox News' March 10 "Glenn Beck" program, in which host Glenn Beck interviewed former Rep. Eric Massa, D-N.Y., captured the attention of both the left and the right. And it may have even put to rest some of the misconceptions about Beck, which are mostly generated by outfits that operate with just out-of-context sound bites.
"Let me tell you something," "Morning Joe" co-host Joe Scarborough said on his March 11 program. "[Beck] was not on his heels. He just - he played straight-man and Donny Deutsch, he was - he did it very, very well.
Liberal publisher Arianna Huffington on Tuesday expressed sympathy for Fox News host Glenn Beck.
Appearing on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" to talk about Beck's bizarre interview with Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y.) earlier in the day, Huffington said, "And, to his credit, Glenn Beck...apologized to his audience for wasting an hour of their time."
She surprisingly continued, "I never thought anything would make me feel sympathetic towards Glenn Beck, but having to interview Eric Massa for an entire hour make -- made me really feel for him" (video embedded below the fold with transcript and commentary):
In a clear sign liberal media elites are growing weary of the White House, comedian David Letterman went after President Obama's Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel Tuesday evening.
During the "Top Ten" segment of the "Late Show," Letterman counted down the signs that Emanuel is nuts.
Before beginning the list, Letterman explained with shocking detail that this was precipitated by Rep. Eric Massa's (D-N.Y.) assertion that Emanuel once cornered him in the Congressional shower room wearing nothing but an evil grimace.
Maybe most surprising, Letterman managed to lampoon the COS without once referencing to Sarah Palin (video embedded below the fold with transcribed list, h/t Story Balloon):
When Rep. Eric Massa resigned Monday and conservative talk radio blazed over a radio interview Massa gave harshly attacking House Democratic leaders and White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, the Washington Post suggested Massa’s remarks weren’t really newsworthy on their own. Their headline was "Conservatives point to claim by Massa."
The Post website went even further, with the snotty headline "An unlikely hero for the right." (Update: they may have borrowed from Politico, which also ran a headline "Eric Massa as a conservative media hero.")
If the parties were reversed, and a resigning member lit into the Republican majority leader and the Republicans’ top White House aide, the headline wouldn’t be "Liberals point to claim by Republican." Because the Washington Post are those liberals.
And in political Washington tonight, Democrats on Capitol Hill capping a bad week have to be saying thank heaven this is Friday. The latest: Democratic Congressman Eric Massa, from upstate New York, announced he's quitting his seat under a cloud of harassment allegations. What does this mean for the Democratic Party and the future? Here's Jon Karl.Karl showed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's promise of the “most ethical Congress in history” and that she would “drain the swamp” as he highlighted Rangel and the announcement Massa, accused of “sexually harassing two male aides,” will resign. Karl recalled:
Democrats rode into power by targeting Republican corruption, and there was lots of it: The Mark Foley sex scandal involving under-age pages and lobbying scandals that landed two Republican Congressmen in jail.
I've been leery of Luke Russert ever since the NBC reporter said, during the presidential campaign, that students at the U. of Virginia are "leaning a little bit towards Obama" because "the smartest kids in the state go there."
On this evening's Ed Show, the son of the late MTP moderator gave additional reason to think that he leans "a little bit towards Obama" himself. Speaking of the Dem congressman currently under ethics investigation in connection with an allegation that he sexually harassed a male staffer, Russert said that Eric Massa would change his vote and support ObamaCare "if he really was sincerely caring about health care."For good measure, Schultz vouched for Massa's character, based largely on the liberal congressman's opposition to . . . Dick Cheney.
A New Year's wish for Congressman Eric Massa, Democrat of New York -- please don't let any microphone or television camera pass unaccosted.
Appearing on MSNBC's "The Ed Show" Dec. 30, an angry Massa vilified former vice president Dick Cheney for criticizing Obama's lawyerly approach to fighting al Qaeda and for espousing his belief the Republican Party "owns the high ground" on national security (video below the fold) --
SCHULTZ: ... former naval commander Eric Massa of New York, he joins me tonight. And you have to understand here, folks, the one thing the Republicans hate? They hate a Democrat who served successfully in the United States military. This is one of the reasons why this gentleman is going to be targeted by Republicans in 2010. Congressman, great to have you with us tonight. What's your response ...