Thursday's morning shows on ABC, CBS, and NBC stayed true to Democratic partisan form. No one covered the Associated Press investigative report on Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid's inaccurate disclosure forms as he turned a $400,000 Las Vegas land deal into a $1.1 million bonanza. But there were five items on the Mark Foley scandal, almost at the end of its second week: an anchor brief on ABC, two anchor briefs on NBC, an anchor brief on CBS and a full story from CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson.
MRC's Mike Rule transcribed the story, which aired eleven minutes into the first hour:
Rene Syler: "A key player in the Mark Foley Congressional Page Scandal appears before the House Ethics Committee today. CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson is live with more on that. Hi Sharyl."
Sharyl Attkisson: "Good morning, Rene. Kirk Fordham, the one time Chief of Staff for former Congressman Mark Foley, will tell what he knows behind closed doors today later on Capitol Hill. Fordham's already publicly said he notified Republican leaders years ago about Foley's inappropriate conduct with young House Pages. That's at odds with top Republicans who insist they only recently learned about overtly sexual internet exchanges between Foley and male former pages. On Wednesday, the House Ethics subcommittee looking into the whole matter heard from the Republican page supervisor, and then the page supervisor for Democrat members. Workers also wheeled in a locked storage cabinet. The scandal continues to chase House Speaker Dennis Hastert and other Republicans on the campaign trail. Democrats have suggested there's been a cover-up. Wednesday President Bush gave Hastert words of support."
George W. Bush, President of the United States: "I appreciated Speaker Hastert's strong declaration of his desire to get to the bottom of it, and I, you know, we want to make sure we understand what Republicans knew and what Democrats knew in order to find the facts. And I hope that happens sooner rather than later."
Sharyl Attkisson: "While Congress investigates that, the FBI is moving forward with its criminal inquiry. On Wednesday, agents interviewed former page Jordan Edmond, now 21. CBS News has learned that Edmond told the FBI he had limited contact with Foley as a page in '01 and'02, but after that Edmond left the page program and Foley began e-mailing him. They met in person twice, including for dinner in San Diego in 2002. They went to Foley's hotel room but Edmond told agents he left after about 20 minutes and nothing untoward happened. CBS News has also learned that Representative Rodney Alexander will testify to House investigators next Wednesday. He's the one who told Republican leaders about what people are calling an overly friendly Foley e-mail to a page in fall of 2005."
This is especially egregious coming from CBS. While “Speaker Pelosi” is marching around saying she will “drain the swamp” of the corrupt Republican Congress, CBS only finds it newsworthy when the real-estate deals are Republican. The night before Katie Couric brought her perky glam to the CBS set, CBS reporter Armen Keteyian filed an investigative piece on how some fairly unknown Republican congressmen from California (Ken Calvert, Gary Miller) were making little real-estate deals around highway earmarks Congress was funding. (Jeff Flake wore the anti-earmark white hat in the story.) If you can cover these gentlemen, you better cover Harry Reid. Unless you just don't care how partisan you look.