The Associated Press finally acknowledged the existence of Tuesday's competitive CA-36 special congressional election on Sunday afternoon. The winner will replace Democrat Jane Harman, who left Congress in February to head up the Woodrow Wilson Center.
But as anyone who has followed the wire service's biases would expect, Political Writer Michael R. Blood's nearly 1000-word write-up ("GOP looks for upset in race for Calif. House seat") totally ignored a serious controversy and related attempted thuggery involving Democrat Janice Hahn, whose opponent is Republican Craig Huey. It's fair to ask whether the AP's Blood withheld the incriminating information against Hahn in hopes of avoiding further harm to an already vulnerable liberal in what was originally supposed to be a cakewalk race. Details follow the jump.
As seen below, in April 2008, a Fox 11 Los Angeles TV expose revealed that money targeted for gang-intervention programs "somehow" went, in the station's words, "to the gangsters themselves." The TV station relayed an arrested gangster's claim that "Hahn helped him get out of jail." Not long afterward, this particular gangster was sentenced to life in prison. Watch the video for full context and much, much more (warning: there is some R-rated language in this video and the one which follows):
One might conceivably argue that a three year-old matter is old news, except for one thing: When Hahn learned that Fox 11 planned to air an update to that 2008 report, she had her attorneys send a cease and desist letter in an attempt to prevent the station from doing its follow-up story. That action by Hahn's people makes the entire matter election-related news by any reasonable journalistic standard.
Gang Intervention Money Controversy Not Over Yet
The FOX 11 News investigation that's at the center of a heated political battle in the South Bay.
Next week in a special election, voters will choose between Janice Hahn and Craig Huey for the 36th Congressional District.
Huey supporters have been going door to door with copies of an investigation reported by our Chris Blatchford three years ago about Janice Hahn.
Last week, Hahn's attorneys sent us a cease and desist demand to stop us from doing a followup story, but we've decided it's important to set the record straight.
... Despite our repeated requests, we've received no comment from Janice Hahn herself for this story.
According to the station, one gang member "sucked up more than a million dollar in city gang intervention funds, and is now in prison for selling illegal machine guns."
The bottom line per Fox 11: "Hahn was a driving force behind programs that got money to gang intervention workers."
The attempted intimidation by Janice Hahn is straight from the Democratic Party playbook for dealing with inconvenient truths (see John Kerry vs. the Swiftboat Vets, for starters). It is of course reasonable to believe that many voters would be turned off by such tactics -- if they only knew. That's where Michael Blood comes in. Why shouldn't we believe that he ignored the controversy because he doesn't want the district's voters to be aware of Hahn's horrors?
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.
UPDATE, 2 AM ET: In the paper's Friday coverage of the debate between Hahn and Huey last week, Los Angeles Times reporter Jean Merl wrote:
Also Thursday, fallout from a since-discredited Fox TV news report again roiled the campaign. An "update" of the controversy — stemming from allegations Hahn and the city of L.A. gave money to active gang members — featured a gang member saying Hahn had intervened on his behalf when he was arrested, plus a statement from a city attorney who asked not to be identified.
From what I can determine, the liberal meme is that the report has been "discredited" because two police officers who claim they were fired because of their displeasure over the gang-intervention program lost their termination case against the city. That's irrelevant to whether the facts in Fox 11's stories are correct. From here, the "discredited" meme has the same stench as the damn-the-facts liberal belief that the Swiftboat Vets' claims about presidential candidate John Kerry were somehow "discredited." The overwhelming bulk of those claims stand, as, it would appear, do Fox 11's, unless someone goes to the trouble of refuting the key facts in those stories.