Yesterday fundraiser Norman Hsu was convicted of of illegally funneling tens of thousands of dollars to Democratic candidates, including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. The Wall Street Journal reported:
On Tuesday, a jury convicted Mr. Hsu of four counts of campaign-finance fraud after about 2½ hours of deliberations. Each count carries up to five years in prison.
The latest example of political corruption was met by much of the mainstream media with a collective yawn. CNN mentioned it only twice. The Situation Room featured CNN anchor T.J. Holmes briefly touching on the story:
Also, a name you might remember making some news again. He gave money to the presidential campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. And he was already found guilty for mail and wire fraud. Well, today, Norman Hsu was convicted of violating campaign finance laws. He was accused of getting donations from people, including from celebrities, who funneled money that exceeded campaign finance rules to Democratic campaigns. His sentencing is scheduled for August.
A top fund-raiser for the Democrats, Norman Hsu, today, convicted of corruption. A New York jury found Hsu guilty of breaking laws that restrict the amount of money an individual or group can donate to a political party. Hsu raised more than $800,000 for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, money that she later returned.
Of the three broadcast network evening newscasts on Friday, only the CBS Evening News squeezed in a mention of how a California judge sentenced Norman Hsu -- the fugitive donor to many Democrats including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama -- to three years in prison on a 16-year-old fraud conviction. Unlike ABC and NBC, CBS's Katie Couric didn't lead with the Iowa caucus results, but with “more signs of a looming recession.” Couric's brief item on Hsu:
In California today, Norman Hsu, the so-called fugitive financier, was sentenced to three years in prison. Hsu was convicted of fraud back in 1992 but fled before he was sentenced. While on the run for 15 years, he contributed millions to political campaigns, including $850,000 to Hillary Clinton's campaign which she has since returned.
Hsu, however, also helped Barack Obama, the big winner in Iowa, but that didn't make it into Couric's brief or prompt any interest from ABC or NBC. Back on October 16, the Los Angeles Times reported “a political action committee for Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill) received $24,500" from Hsu associates.
One would think that a Democratic fundraiser fugitive that was involved with one of the prominate Democrats running for President was sentenced to three years for Fraud it would be newsworthy. However, CNN not only buried it behind all the post-Iowa ruckus, but also neglected to mention which candidate(s) the disgraced Hsu donated and fundraised. That would be Hillary Clinton.
A former fugitive captured in Colorado has been sentenced to three years in prison — after a judge rejected his bid to throw out a 16-year-old fraud conviction.
Attorneys for disgraced political donor Norman Hsu had asked Judge Stephen Hall to dismiss his 1992 no-contest plea, saying Hsu’s right to a speedy trial was violated because authorities were not actively pursuing him during his years as a fugitive.
Hillary Clinton fundraiser Norman Hsu was indicted earlier today in a $20 million Ponzi scheme. I received a text message e-mail alert to this effect shortly after 1:30 p.m. Eastern. Given the heated lead-up to Iowa and New Hampshire, it's major news. In a 24/7 media cycle, it's inconceivable that it major news organization Web sites could not or would not give it top billing shortly after the news broke.
Yet at 3 p.m. today, a review of some major media Web sites showed no prominence given to the story. MSNBC.com didn't have a teaser headline for it until its "local news" box for WNBC, the NBC network's East Coast flagship in New York City:
Fox News, by contrast, had this tease prominently displayed on it's front page:
On Thursday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Russ Mitchell introduced a news brief in which reporter Byron Pitts speculated on a potential indictment of former NYPD Commissioner and Giuliani friend, Bernard Kerik. Mitchell began the segment by exclaiming:
Republican presidential hopeful, Rudy Giuliani, has stood by his good friend and associate, Bernard Kerik, through good times and bad. But that could change now that Kerik maybe in some big trouble.
Despite the fact that no indictment had actually been handed down yet, that did not keep Pitts from furthering the speculation: "CBS News has learned former New York City Police Commissioner, Bernard Kerik, could face indictment as early as today on criminal charges, including tax fraud and other counts."
While the "Early Show" had no hesitation in reporting a possible Giuliani scandal, the morning news program failed to mention the Hillary Clinton fund raising scandal involving fugitive Norman Hsu even once. That was true even when "Early Show" co-host, Harry Smith, had reported the story on the August 31 and September 6 CBS "Evening News" broadcasts, while filling in for anchor Katie Couric.
When the Wall Street Journal in late August broke the fugitive Norman Hsu illegal fundraising scandal, it took ABC's World News three days to get around to reporting it -- and despite developments as the fugitive has moved through the court system, ABC hasn't mentioned him since. But after the Washington Post on Sunday disclosed the criminal past of an adviser to Fred Thompson's campaign, ABC pounced immediately with a full story Monday night. CBS also got into the action with a brief item. NBC, which waited two days to touch Hsu, got to Thompson with even less delay, citing the matter in a larger Nightly News story Sunday about Thompson's appearance on Meet the Press where Tim Russert asked him about the Post story. (In the EST and CST zones, only NBC had a newscast on Sunday night.)
On Monday, Thompson adviser Philip Martin gave the media a hook with his resignation from the campaign, but when the Clinton campaign announced on September 11 that it was returning $850,000 in suspect donations and when the Justice Dept. on September 20 filed a criminal complaint, ABC's World News was silent. Anchor Charles Gibson announced Monday night: “In the presidential race, another candidate has been embarrassed by the conduct of a major fund-raiser. This time it's Republican Fred Thompson.” ABC's Brian Ross explained how “the resignation comes just one day after ABC News,” apparently a reference to a Sunday posting on “The Blotter” blog, “and the Washington Post reported that not only was Martin a convicted drug trafficker, but that he had left a long trail of unpaid taxes in his business dealings.” Ross highlighted how “Thompson has been traveling in style during this campaign on a Cessna Citation Five private jet” owned by Martin.
MSNBC's Keith "Chicken & Waffles" Olbermann attacked conservative blogger Michelle Malkin for "ethnic profiling" of Chinese restaurant dishwashers in New York City who donated to the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. Of course, running off of the liberal Media Matters script, Olbermann failed to note that Malkin's problem is not with the donors' ethnicity per se, but that it's highly suspicious when low-wage earners pony up a few thousand to give a political candidate. Especially when that candidate, Hillary Clinton, like her husband, has had a spotty history at best when it comes to suspicious or untoward campaign contributions.
After all, these aren't $50-checks or anything, it's big money, reported the not-so-right-wing Los Angeles Times on October 19:
Joe Scarborough: MSNBC's kind of Republican. The sort who not only tells a Democrat he's "very badly" needed in Washington. Who not merely expresses the desire to write him a campaign check. But who even volunteers [tongue-in-cheek, one would hope] to do illegal check-bundling for him a la Norman Hsu.
After recently putting in an embarrassingly sycophantish performance when interviewing Hillary Clinton, Scarborough was back ingratiating himself with another Dem today. Interviewing former Nebraska senator Bob Kerrey on "Morning Joe," talk inevitably turned to the possibility of Kerrey seeking a Senate seat again. Scarborough waxed wildly enthusiastic.
CBS and NBC on Thursday night aired brief updates on how the Justice Department filed a criminal complaint against Norman Hsu, the captured fugitive Democratic/Hillary Clinton campaign donor, for bilking $60 million from investors -- but ABC was once again absent on the story. ABC's World News hasn't uttered Hsu's name since its one and only story the Friday night of Labor Day weekend while Thursday's mention was the fifth for NBC and fourth for CBS. (Coverage details below.) On the NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams read this very short item: “Norman Hsu, that Democratic fundraiser indicted today by federal prosecutors -- accusations of a massive Ponzi scheme. Hsu funneled a lot of money to Senator Clinton's campaign.”
Over on the September 20 CBS Evening News, Katie Couric relayed a bit more expansively:
Mimicking NBC's Matt Lauer on "Today" with Tom DeLay a few weeks ago, the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz chose Monday to address a number of political scandals in America, all of them of course dealing with Republicans.
Yet, there was a brewing campaign finance scandal conspicuously absent from Kurtz's list. Need a hint what it might be?
Maybe Glenn Reynolds' comical quip will help: "Hsoot, it's on the tip of my tongue..."
Yep. Nowhere was Norman Hsu to be found. Instead, here's what concerned Kurtz (emphasis added):
Since the Norman Hsu campaign finance scandal first broke weeks ago, conservatives have wondered when liberal media members will get concerned about how this might impact the presidential aspirations of Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY).
If Sunday's "The Chris Matthews Show" is a barometer, the news is not good for Hillary supporters.
As The Anchoress accurately reported Saturday, NBC's Andrea Mitchell made a statement concerning the Clintons that was absolutely shocking:
Two weeks after NBC Nightly News was the first broadcast evening newscast to air a story on Norman Hsu, the fugitive donor to Hillary Clinton's campaign, on Thursday the show uniquely ran a full story on Hsu's court appearance following his capture and new accusations about the extent of his fraud. Noting that Hsu is now being held on a $5 million bond, anchor Brian Williams asserted “he is at the center of a series of alleged money scams that are becoming a serious embarrassment now for the Democratic front-runner.”
Over video of a frail Hsu at a court appearance in Grand Junction, Colorado, Andrea Mitchell cited his “remarkable fall” from “once hobnobbing with the Clintons and other top Democrats, then on the run, escaping a sentencing hearing on an overnight train” from California heading east. Mitchell highlighted “new accusations” of “$73 million in alleged Ponzi schemes in California and New York,” then asked: “So how did Clinton not know Hsu had been a fugitive for 15 years?” After a soundbite of Senator Clinton claiming “obviously we were all surprised by this news,” Mitchell noted “the campaign is scrambling to control the damage. It has returned more than $850,000, a record amount, from 260 donors solicited by Hsu, an average of $3,300 each. Experts say that alone should have been a red flag.”
A few days ago I wrote about how blogger Flip Pidot of Suitably Flip found that while the Hillary Clinton campaign vowed to give the Norman Hsu campaign contributions to charity, his name still appeared in a list of "HillRaisers," top-dollar fundraisers and bundlers for the Hillary Clinton 2008 presidential race.
Now reporter and blogger Robert Stacy McCain has an interview on the Washington Times Web site with Pidot. Below are some questions pertaining to Hsu and Pidot's research and blogging about the Clinton contributor:
Q: You actually went to the New York address listed on Norman Hsu's [Federal Election Commission] forms. ... Did you see anything?
Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, as the New York Times revealed Tuesday, may be concerned about how much evening news program coverage fugitive donor/fundraiser Norman Hsu attracts, but they had nothing to worry about Tuesday night. ABC didn't utter a word about the campaign's decision to refund the largest amount ever, $850,000 solicited by Hsu, yet anchor Charles Gibson found time to note how the New England Patriots broke an NFL rule by videotaping New York Jets coaches giving signals, while CBS's Katie Couric gave Hsu barely 20 seconds -- about half the time she devoted to the death of “Alex the Parrot” -- and NBC allocated 25 seconds, but only after a three-minute piece framed around how Rudy Giuliani's 9/11 image “stirs angry resentment.”
I have been following the strange (and mostly unreported) case of fugitive criminal and major Democratic Party fundraiser Norman Hsu since September 5. Paul Mirengoff of the Power Line blog has a post today wherein he notes that the mainstream media, led by the Wall Street Jornal, are finally taking the time to look into Hsu's attempted flight from justice. However, as Mirengoff pointedly notes,
I think the pertinent questions are: Where did the money come from?
On September 7th we noticed that the scandal in the Democrat Party over illegal campaign donations was barely getting any coverage in the print media and the internet. Well, apparently, TV news isn't doing any better still. It's so obvious, even the juggernaut of the left, The New York Times, has taken note of how few network news reports have aired on the Hsu scandal... though not making a big deal of it, naturally. The news media is doing their level best to deep six the story to benefit Hillary, it seems. If the Hsu fits, anyway. (Do I have to explain that his name is pronounced "Shoe" in Chinese for that joke to work? I sure hope not.)
Also in a shocking move, in the Times' story revealing Hillary Clinton's decision to return an additional amount of Hsu's contributions, some strong words were used to describe the fugitive -- strong for the Times, anyway.
CBS and NBC, but not ABC, squeezed in brief updates Friday night about how Norman Hsu, the fugitive Hillary Clinton/Democratic candidate high dollar donor, failed to appear in a California court on Wednesday for a bail hearing and was captured Thursday night in Colorado. Both the CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News, which aired full stories late last week on Hsu but not since, allocated about 20 seconds to the developments with Hsu. CBS anchor Harry Smith announced: “Back in custody tonight: Norman Hsu, the political fundraiser who donated hundreds of thousands to Democratic candidates while still a fugitive.” NBC anchor Brian Williams reported how “the Democratic party fundraiser who skipped bail on fraud charges this week and disappeared....was found when he got sick on an Amtrak train in Colorado.”
Hillary Clinton fundraiser and recently-captured fugitive from justice Norman Hsu is STILL listed as a major "HillRaiser" on Hillary Clinton's campaign Web site, reports blogger Flip Pidot:
While Clinton has pledged to turn over some of this money (only Hsu's direct contributions, representing roughly 13% of her total haul from Hsu's network) and has professed bewilderment at the man's colorful legal history and recent behavior, she hasn't yet taken the one very easy (and admittedly fairly meaningless, but nonetheless advisable) step of removing Hsu from her list of vaunted HillRaisers.
At least she hadn't as of 2:50 pm on September 6th. What gives? If Hsu turns himself in (again) and heads off to prison, is that sufficient contrition for Clinton to welcome him back into the fold? Is this failure to fully sever Mr. Hsu from the campaign deliberate or just careless (and mildly comical)?
Fugitive Democratic Party donor Norman Hsu was arrested today in Colorado, according to the Associated Press. However, while discussing the fact that many of the politicians to whom Hsu gave money are returning it or giving it to charity, the AP seems strangely reluctant to discuss the mysterious sources of Hsu's contributions. The story talks about several Democrats who are returning Hsu's gifts, and states,
The growing flap over Hsu's contributions prompted Democratic presidential candidate Chris Dodd to release a statement Thursday vowing "to refuse to accept or possess campaign contributions raised, solicited, or delivered by fugitives from justice."
"Growing flap". That's nice. But it would be even nicer if one of the so-called professional media organizations would devote some time to digging into the actual source of Hsu's large contributions.
Many of us here, of course, take it for granted that the news media focuses far more on any scandals or troubles that occur with Republicans while at the same time they try their level best to ignore those that are perpetrated by Democrats. Sometimes that claim is open to interpretation, sometimes it seems too obvious to doubt, but that the media favors the Dems seems beyond doubt. The MRC recently had a much talked about media bias report that went a long way toward proving with statistics that our contention is true (Rise and Shine on Democrats), at least as far as morning TV shows go.
But, it's always helpful to get as many statistics as possible to buttress our case. I have here another small indication of how the GOP is treated unequally with the Democrat Party revealing Media Bias in the form of a Nexis* search of two ongoing, but not equally treated, scandals in the news. Our search parameters covered the last 90 days from September 6th back.
Democratic fundraiser Norman Hsu, whose many large contributions to Democratic coffers, including Hillary Clinton came from an apparently non-existent source, has jumped bail yet again. As reported by the Associated Press,
Hsu, a Hong Kong native, was also supposed to turn over his passport Wednesday. Hsu's prominent Silicon Valley criminal defense attorney Jim Brosnahan said Hsu failed to give the passport to the legal team on Monday. "Mr. Hsu is not here and we do not know where Mr. Hsu is," Brosnahan said outside court. Brosnahan said that "there was some contact" with Hsu a few hours before the scheduled 9 a.m. court appearance, but he declined to say how and who talked to Hsu. Hsu pleaded no contest in 1991 to a felony count of grand theft, admitting he'd defrauded investors of $1 million after falsely claiming to have contracts to purchase and sell Latex gloves. He was facing up to three years in prison when he skipped town before his 1992 sentencing date.
NBC's "Today" show devoted its entire 7:30am half-hour of its Wednesday morning program to Bill and Hillary Clinton as it invited on the former president to tout his wife's candidacy and his new book. During almost 13 minutes of one-on-one interview time with Clinton, Matt Lauer brought up the issue of too much money in politics but never asked about Bill's or Hillary's fundraising scandals, asked about Republican Larry Craig's sex scandal, but didn't mention Bill's own personal indiscretions and even let Clinton rant about the GOP's "Swift boat tactics" against Hillary.
Led by a number of conservative bloggers (including, full disclosure, me), some of Tennessee's news media outlets have begun to report on the connections of convicted felon and big-time Democratic fund-raiser Norman Hsu to the Tennessee Democratic Party and the failed Senate campaign of former U.S. Rep. Harold Ford Jr., who now heads the Democratic Leadership Council.
After a few days of reports by blogger Terry Frank, myself and other Tennessee conservative bloggers, and discussion on the popular Steve Gill radio show, following publication of a long list of Hsu's money recipients, the story has begun to appear in the mainstream Tennessee media, including the Nashville City Paper, the Knoxville News-Sentinel, and NashvillePost.com, so far, not in The Tennessean, which serves the capital city of Nashville, or the Memphis Commercial-Appeal.
If it turned out that any of the major Republican presidential candidates had not only taken contributions from the recently surrendered fugitive Norman Hsu, but also had received donations from a felon during a prior campaign, do you think it would be reported?
Probably on front pages and newscasts for days, correct?
Well, although ABC's Brian Ross did mention during Friday's "World News with Charles Gibson" that Hillary Clinton's "kickoff senate fund-raiser in 2000 was organized by a convicted felon," not one news agency has mentioned since Wednesday's Hsu revelations the name of this individual, all the particulars, or that there is still a lawsuit pending against the Clintons concerning the matter.
For those interested, the New Media Journal did a seven-part series about Peter F. Paul last March with information about Hillary's largest benefactor which the media have almost completely ignored for seven years (emphasis added throughout, videos describing the details also available here, here, and here):
Norman Hsu's appearance in a San Mateo County, California courtroom Friday to answer for a 1991 grand larceny charge, prompted full stories Friday night on the ABC and CBS evening newscasts catching up with the case of the fugitive donor to many Democratic candidates, including Hillary Clinton. On Thursday night, the NBC Nightly News became the first broadcast network program to report on Hsu, in a story from Lisa Myers detailed in this NB item, and on Friday night anchor Brian Williams offered a brief update about Hsu's court appearance.
On Friday's CBS Evening News, Sandra Hughes pointed out how “a large group of Hsu's bundling checks came from this little green house in Daly City, California that Hsu once listed as a home address. The Paw family, which lives here, has given $45,000 to Hillary Clinton since 2005.” Hughes also noted how Clinton has returned $23,000 in direct donations from Hsu, but on ABC's World News, Brian Ross reported that “in the last year Hsu has helped to raise more than a million dollars for Senator Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign” and he highlighted how Hsu “was scheduled to be one of the hosts of a major Clinton fundraiser in California next month.” Ross also saw a pattern, as he recalled a fact which has received little broadcast network air time -- that Clinton's “kickoff Senate fundraiser in 2000 was organized by a convicted felon.”
NBC on Thursday night became the first broadcast network to air a story on the Clinton presidential campaign scandal over donations from Norman Hsu, a fugitive from a grand theft charge who is also suspected of illegally funneling excess donations through another family. While ABC's World News and the CBS Evening News, as well as the NBC Nightly News, found time for a third straight night of coverage of Larry Craig's travails, only NBC caught up with FNC and CNN and highlighted the fundraising irregularities involving Democrats. Lisa Myers noted how Hsu has “given a quarter of a million dollars to a who's who of Democratic candidates in the last three years. But Hsu is also a fugitive, wanted in California in connection with a 1991 fraud case. The Clinton campaign initially defended Hsu, listed on her campaign honor roll as a man of integrity. Today the Senator said she's giving his $23,000 in donations to charity.”
Over video of a small, lime-colored house in Dale City, California, Myers also relayed how “questions also have been raised about big donations Hsu raised for Senator Clinton from others, some seemingly of modest means. This house in California is one of Clinton's biggest sources of campaign cash. Campaign records indicate that six members of a family listed at this address have given Clinton $45,000 since 2005 and a total of $200,000 to Democratic candidates.” Myers concluded by recalling an earlier scandal much of the media were reluctant at the time to pursue: “It resurrects images of campaign finance scandals during her husband's presidency, of Johnny Chung handing over a $50,000 check in the First Lady's office and donors sleeping in the Lincoln bedroom.”