Some very persuasive evidence of a double standard at work in The Washington Post came to light today. Today's Post featured a front page headline about the Securities and Exchange Commission charging billionaire brothers Sam and Charlers Wyly with fraud.
The double standard came in when it became clear that the news a couple weeks ago about the conviction of Democratic fundraiser Hassan Nemazee had gotten almost no notice. The Post printed an Associated Press item on the third page. Nemazee had defrauded almost $300 million and was a major contributor and fundraiser to John Kerry's presidential campaign and Hilary Clinton's campaign to be 2008's Democratic nominee.
The Wylys have donated to Republicans and the Republican Party in the past, a fact The Post made very prominent both in its headline: "SEC charges billionaire Texas brothers who donate to Gop with fraud" and put in a quick reminder right in the story's first paragraph:
Sam and Charles Wyly, billionaire Texas brothers who gained prominence spending millions of dollars on conservative political causes, committed fraud by using secret overseas accounts to generate more than $550 million in profit through illegal stock trades, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Thursday.
Yesterday Hassan Nemazee was sentenced to 12 years in prison for running a Ponzi scheme some proceeds of which were funneled into Democratic campaigns. The New York financier was no stranger to liberal Democratic politics, having served as national finance chairman for Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign and New York state finance chairman for John Kerry's 2004 presidential run.
Yet in reporting the development, both the Washington Post and the New York Times downplayed the story.
The Washington Post ran a five-paragraph AP squib in its page A3 digest headlined "Former Democratic fundraiser sentenced."
The New York Times not only buried the story deep in its July 16 edition on page A22, "Nemazee Gets 12 Years for Stealing $292 million," it failed to note that Nemazee served as a finance chairman on two Democratic presidential campaigns, painting him simply as a donor:
Gabriel Malor at Ace of Spades HQ has a great "name that party" catch today. Malor noted that at least three major news outlets all failed to note the high-powered Democratic Party ties of one Hassan Nemazee, a businessman arrested this morning on a charge of bank fraud against Citigroup: