Texas Governor Rick Perry, who, in the oddest of coincidences (that's sarcasm), just so happens to be considered one of the Republican Party's stronger potential contenders for the 2016 presidential nomination, was indicted in Austin today by a Travis County grand jury. The charges are "abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant" in connection with a veto "threat" he carried out — thus making "promise" a better word to describe his original stated intentions.
"Threatening" a veto and then carrying through on that "threat" is obviously a pretty routine occurrence in governmental jurisdictions through the country, from the President on down. As to initial press coverage, Paul J. Weber and Will Weissert at the Associated Press predictably misstated the results of another politically motivated prosecution of a major GOP elected official, namely former Congressman Tom "The Hammer" Delay, and focused on how expensive it might be to defend Perry by quoting an hourly legal representation rate which may or may not be accurate. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):
Back in 2010, when ex-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay was convicted on money laundering charges related to campaign fundraising, all three network morning and evening news shows made sure to tell their viewers. But last night and this morning, after an appeals court overturned that verdict and completely acquitted DeLay of those charges, none of the broadcast networks bothered to even mentioned the former Republican leader’s exoneration.
On their November 24, 2010 evening newscasts, all three networks made gave time to the late-breaking news, accompanied by photos of DeLay with various captions: “Guilty Verdict” on ABC; “Convicted” on CBS; “Guilty” on NBC. The next morning (Thanksgiving Day), all three networks revisited the story again, and ABC carved out even more time for a full report on World News that night.
Chris Matthews on Friday actually used material presented in a Hollywood movie to accuse former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of being convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff's dupe.
As DeLay presented his side of the case days after being sentenced to three years in prison for illegally influencing Texas politics, the "Hardball" host said, "You were tied up with people [like] Mike Scanlon and [Jack] Abramoff especially. I saw the movie...You looked like these guys were manipulating you as a member of Congress" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Former Texas Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, on Thursday's Today show, was cornered by NBC's Matt Lauer on his anti-gun control stance, as Lauer pressed: "In the wake of...that shooting out in Tucson, Arizona, do you today feel the same way about gun control that you did when you were an elected official?" DeLay was invited on to discuss being sentenced in his campaign finance case but Lauer felt the need to shoe-horn in a question about the Gabrielle Giffords shooting as he attempted to guilt DeLay into rethinking his support for overturning the assault weapons ban back in 2004.
First up, Lauer's colleague, Norah O'Donnell, foreshadowed the anti-gun bias turn in the interview, in her set up piece as she reported: " In Congress, DeLay was known for his ruthless ability to make his fellow Republicans tow the line, blocking renewal of the assault weapons ban in 2004, in the news again today because of Saturday's Arizona shooting."
Lauer then advanced that line to DeLay in the subsequent interview segment as seen in the following January 13 Today show exchange:
The Big Three networks all briefly covered the conviction of former House Minority Leader Tom DeLay for campaign money laundering on Wednesday night. But none of them allowed DeLay air time to defend himself. "This is an abuse of power," he said outside the courtroom. "It's a miscarriage of justice, and I still maintain that I am innocent. The criminalization of politics undermines our very system, and I am very disappointed in the outcome."
CBS Evening News substitute anchor Harry Smith seemed to revel in the verdict:
He was once the most powerful Republican in Washington. Tonight, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay is a convicted felon. A jury in Austin convicted him today of money laundering charges. Prosecutors said he illegally funneled corporate donations to legislative campaigns in Texas. DeLay, who is 63, could get anywhere from five to 99 years in prison. His lawyer called the verdict a miscarriage of justice and vowed to appeal.
On Saturday’s Fox News Watch on FNC, substitute host Eric Shawn picked up on a NewsBusters item which recounted that, after the Justice Department dropped charges against former House Republican Leader Tom DeLay, the New York Times buried the news on page A-18 while the Washington Post, by contrast, made room for the story on its front page. Shawn: "The Justice Department has dropped its corruption investigation of the former Congressman after six years. DeLay was probed primarily for his involvement with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. It hit the front pages of the Washington Post on Wednesday. Guess what, the New York Times, page A-18."
After the FNC host asked if there was a media double standard at play, regular panel member Jim Pinkerton of the New America Foundation cited Tim Graham of the Media Research Center – parent organization of NewsBusters – by name. Pinkerton: "Oh, absolutely. As Tim Graham at the Media Research Center was the first to point out, you know, look, this was huge news at the time when they thought he'd be convicted of all sorts of stuff. When he's exonerated, notice no story."
When former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay announced that the Justice Department was dropping its six-year investigation of his relationship with convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff, The Washington Post put the news on the front page Tuesday. The New York Times decided that this story was best put on page A-18.
The front page of the Times covered flooding in Pakistan, Team Obama's tough evaluation of offshore drilling permits, and a chilling Rod Nordland story on new public executions by the Taliban in northern Afghanistan. But the front page also offered "Walking in New York? Beware Men Turning Left" and "Exclusive Golf Course Is Also Organic, So a Weed or Two Get In."
At least the Times covered the DeLay story. To date, the newspaper "of record" has not mentioned Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's exclamation last Tuesday that "I don't know how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be a Republican."
The Justice Department has dropped its case against former House Majority Leader, Tom Delay, and Newsweek's Eleanor Clift is in mourning. She just can't accept the fact that there was no substance to the charges against DeLay and ascribes the dropping of the case to the Obama Justice Department trying to score points with Republicans in the interest of bipartisanship. Clift also manages to smear the late former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens in her angst over the dropped charges:
The Justice Department’s decision to let former House majority leader Tom DeLay off the hook and end the six-year-long investigation that drove him out of Washington at the peak of his power should win the Obama administration some points with Republicans, if not Democrats. This is the second high-profile Republican that Attorney General Eric Holder has vindicated, the other being the late senator Ted Stevens, whose corruption case Holder declined last year to prosecute.
On August 5, 2010, The Washington Post published a short editorial by Eugene Robinson with the title "Charlie Rangel's no crook." But on October 9, 2009, the same Eugene Robinson penned a column titled "Charlie Rangel's Cloud: An Ethics Case Could Drag Democrats Down." The closer we get to elections, Robinson seems to get progressively less impressed with the case against Rangel. This is his new Rangel-name-is-cleared line:
Charlie Rangel's no crook. He’s right to insist on the opportunity to clear his name, because the charges against him range from the technical all the way to the trivial.
All right, there’s one exception: On his federal tax returns, Rangel failed to declare rental income from a vacation property he owns in the Dominican Republic -- a mortifying embarrassment for the one-time chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, which writes the tax code. But certain facts about this transgression rarely get mentioned. For one thing, Rangel’s so-called “villa” can’t be very palatial, since it cost only $82,750 when he bought it in 1987. For another, Rangel has already filed amended tax returns and paid everything he owed, plus penalties and interest.
On Friday, Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday merged her review of Iron Man 2 with a leftist documentary on convicted conservative lobbyist Jack Abramoff. This strange mix led to Hornaday recklessly suggesting that Abramoff and former Rep. Tom DeLay may rehabilitate their careers when they should have been "killed off." Is that a metaphor? Not if you're holding a sign at a Tea Party rally. Here's how Hornaday concluded:
Abramoff is due to be released from prison later this year. With his trial for breaking Texas campaign finance laws still pending, DeLay went dancing on TV, presumably until he's either convicted or free to make his political comeback. [Former DeLay aide Michael] Scanlon has pleaded guilty but has yet to be sentenced, evidently in order to testify against anyone who might still be indicted. As every decent comic book villain knows, if the good guys don't succeed in completely killing you off, you can be counted on to show up again in the sequel.
Hornaday made a series of strange Iron Man/Abramoff analogies before the kill-them-off ending:
Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said Sunday that Americans saw the Constitution burned by Democrats as the current Party in power rammed through healthcare reform legislation the citizens clearly said they didn't want.
Speaking to Fox News's Geraldo Rivera after the historic vote, the man formerly known as "The Hammer" said, "Not only did they not listen to the American people, they shredded and trashed the Constitution and then stood there on the floor of the House and lied to the American people."
Despite what fawning and gushing liberal media members have and will continue reporting concerning what happened in our nation's capital Sunday, DeLay spoke the really inconvenient truth that might haunt this country for generations, "You saw the Constitution burned by the Democrats in the House of Representatives tonight" (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, h/t PoliJam):
Washington Post TV critic Lisa DeMoraes showed great affection for ABC late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel for bringing a partisan slap or two to the customary interview for contestants voted off Dancing with the Stars. Kimmel snidely asked former House majority leader Tom DeLay about being indicted:
He was brought out onstage in a wheelbarrow, wearing orthopedic booties.
"Do you think this will inspire other indicted politicians to dance?" Kimmel asked him.
"It keeps you out of jail -- that's for sure," responded DeLay, a smile frozen on his face....
"But if, God forbid, you wind up in jail, it's not going to be a good thing for the inmates to see on reruns," Kimmel continued.
Exulting in the "awesome train wreck" that was former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's (Texas) first appearance on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars," (DWTS) Newsweek's Holly Bailey spewed vials of venom in her September 22 post at the magazine's The Gaggle blog.
Her invective seems more befitting the pen keyboard of a leftist blogger than an ostensibly balanced journalist:
In today's "When Are You Going to Realize the Democrats Control Congress?" moment, CNN's Jack Cafferty attacked Tom DeLay Tuesday in a segment that had absolutely nothing to do with the former House Majority Leader.
In fact, his piece during the 4PM installment of the "Situation Room" dealt with whether it was more important for a president to be liked or feared outside the country.
Unfortunately, Cafferty -- whose hatred for Republicans seems to always bubble over regardless of the topic -- felt it was necessary to first bring up DeLay's recent appearance on "Dancing With The Stars" (video embedded below the fold with transcript):
At the end of Monday's World News, ABC played a new Tom DeLay-focused promo for Dancing with the Stars, featuring a twirling and swirling former House Majority Leader. The new season will premiere on Monday, September 21.
The announcer, over brief video of DeLay doing a solo dance act that is better seen (watch the accompanying video of the promo) than described:
For the first time ever, the Republican hammer moves to the left. Tom DeLay is Dancing with the Stars. Live, three-night premiere, next Monday, 8, 7 Central, on ABC.
On Friday’s edition of "Democracy Now" on (taxpayer-funded) radical Pacifica Radio, leftist writer Max Blumenthal promoted his new book "Republican Gomorrah," complete with the bizarre theory that the Grand Old Party is a movement based on sadomasochism, that James Dobson’s book "Dare to Discipline" was essential: "By creating a belt-wielding army of milllions, Dobson created the next generation of Republican shock troops, who are more radical than before."
Under this theory, Dobson found in Newt Gingrich and Tom DeLay men who were viciously abused boys who were ready for his message: "Dobson has been able to get close to and work with in the Republican Congress and in American culture who have been viciously abused as children. And he understood that by advocating violence against children, deliberate violence, he was creating this sensibility, which would produce a radical generation of political followers."
Blumenthal was interviewed by Pacifica co-host Juan Gonzalez, a columnist for the New York Daily News.
Time’s Belinda Luscombe has the skinny on how hard it was for ABC’s "Dancing with the Stars" to land former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay: "When [casting director Deena] Katz reached out to former Texas Congressman Tom DeLay via his book agent, she didn't soften up the ground in advance. ‘It was a Hail Mary pass,’ she admits. Twenty minutes later, DeLay was in."
They’ve tried to hard to cast a politician. "I’ve made no secret of the fact that Bill Clinton would be my ultimate get," said executive producer Conrad Green. "I think we got as far as 'Hello, this is Dancing wi--'" Luscombe added:
Absent Clinton, DWTS's ideal political candidate is an elected official with a national profile, who has the time and stamina for five hours of rehearsal six days a week. Most incumbents are too busy, most retired politicians are too frail, and most losing candidates are too forgotten. That pretty much narrows it down to someone whose political career was cut short after a big scandal and -- since the show's core audience is older women -- preferably one that didn't involve infidelity. (Put the tux back in storage, John Edwards.)
Attempting to explain last night's off-camera "Oh God!" exclamation before Bobby Jindal's response to Barack Obama, Chris Matthews, at the top of Wednesday's "Hardball," claimed he was taken aback by "The odd, antebellum look of the scene. Some people heard my reaction at the time," which contrasted with his view of Obama's address: "He wowed us! That's the running headline from last night's presidential address to the Congress. Barack Obama gave a great speech." This naked display of bias was so transparent that it caused guest panelist, former Republican Majority Leader, Tom DeLay to point out the obvious: "Listening to your introduction somebody is gonna accuse you of being biased."
The following is Matthews' entire opening monologue and then DeLay's reaction as it was aired on the February 25, edition of "Hardball":
On Tuesday’s CBS Early Show, correspondent Bill Plante reported on Health and Human Services Secretary nominee, Tom Daschle, failing to pay taxes and working as a health care lobbyist: "Daschle's problem shines a light on something that usually stays in the shadows around here, and that is how connections work in Washington. When is a lobbyist not a lobbyist, and how does a power player, like the former Senate majority leader, not know that he owes back taxes?"
The report featured Melanie Sloan of Citizens for Responsibilities and Ethics, who defended Daschle: "What Tom Daschle does is the more sophisticated kind of lobbying we have in Washington, where he's a consultant. And he talks to people about the strategy for getting a piece of legislation passed...Maybe the truth of the matter is, you need some of those Washington insiders in order to make your new government work. But then let's say that."
However, in a 2005 column by Ari Berman in the liberal magazine, The Nation, Sloan was quoted reacting to an ethics scandal surrounding Republican House majority Leader Tom Delay: "The fact that Tom DeLay is under criminal indictment and Senate majority leader Bill Frist is under criminal investigation is a historic first...This demonstrates the culture of corruption among the Congressional leadership that has become a cancer on our country." Berman’s column was posted on the CBS News website.
ST. PAUL, Minn. - On Thursday, NewsBusters had a quick chat with former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay about the media's coverage of Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin.
After praising Palin for being the "answer for what we've been begging for for over two years," he then spoke both frankly and optimistically about how the press have been attacking the Alaska governor since John McCain first introduced her as his running mate (video embedded right):
If there's one person in the NBC news stable who combines solid analytical skills with a commitment to fairness, it could be political director Chuck Todd. Evidence thereof comes from no less a certified conservative source than Tom DeLay. Appearing on this evening's Hardball just after Todd had offered his breakdown of the electoral map, DeLay allowed that he "can't dispute" any of Todd's analysis, prompting Chris Matthews to exclaim "that's a development for us here: objective truth for you!"
So what was that Todd analysis that DeLay didn't dispute? There was much to it, but for present purposes let's focus on this: Todd can't see how Obama wins without Pennsylvania, and that having former governor Tom Ridge on the McCain ticket would help deliver the Keystone State. The catch is that Ridge is pro-choice, which in turn poses the question of whether pro-life Republicans would revolt if McCain chose him for the veep slot.
Don't you love it when you find out that leading political figures in America think just like you?
Before you answer, consider a recent comment made by former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay about the New York Times "economic" columnist Paul Krugman.
Due to language that might offend some, the actual quote comes after the break.
However, let's just say that as reported by the Washington Examiner's Yeas and Nay's blog Tuesday, DeLay is about as fond of Krugman as most Americans with an above body temperature intelligence quotient (fair and final profanity warning):
Marshall University psychology professor W. Joseph Wyatt should probably stick to psychology as oposed to attempting media analysis. However, he has decided to write an op-ed in the Huntington, West Viriginia Herald Dispatch claiming that media bias is a myth. Professor Wyatt begins by claiming that,
However, a 2002 Gallup poll showed that slightly more than a third of journalists describe themselves as Democrats, meaning that the vast majority are something else, and unlikely to be liberal.
It was not exactly a plum assignment for a Republican to go on network television to discuss the alleged foot-tapping ways of the soon-to-be former GOP senator from Idaho. But Republicans also could easily see the delight in the eyes of the liberal media when word of Sen. Larry Craig’s Minneapolis airport arrest broke. The press went right back to last year’s smash-mouth Foleygate talking points about how this wasn’t just about the moral turpitude of one member of Congress, but it was about the impending end of the Republican Party, and potential doom for American conservatism.
On Tuesday, NBC’s "Today" show had opened with Matt Lauer asking: "Can the right wing withstand yet another scandal involving one of its own?" (Try imagining Matt Lauer, or any other network journalist out there, asking if "the left wing" could withstand yet another scandal after the breaking news of any one of the endless scandals revolving around Bill and Hillary Clinton.) Ann Curry chimed in, wondering "how does this specter of hypocrisy affect the Party?"
This could be something of a first: a major MSM player admits there's a case to be made that the media is incredibly biased against Republicans.
As I noted here, when Tom DeLay accused the media of bias on this morning's "Today," Matt Lauer stonewalled: "I'm not going to let it, you know, end with that assumption, congressman, because I clearly don't agree with it."
But appearing on this afternoon's Harball, DeLay successfully wangled an admission from host Chris Matthews.
TOM DELAY: If [Craig] has been found guilty of what he's been accused of, then yeah. But I do know that the Republicans will do something about it. I do know that if he were a Democrat they would rally around him and they would not do something about it. I do know that the national media is incredibly biased against Republicans that find themselves [in trouble] --
CHRIS MATTHEWS: That's a charge which I've heard before and I can understand why you make it. You make it a lot. Sometimes you have a case to make. Sometimes.
It's rare to see a leading MSM light directly confronted over the liberal media's bias. But it happened in spades this morning as Tom DeLay (R-Texas) called out Matt Lauer on the MSM's double-standard in handling Republican, versus Democrat, scandals.