ABC's Tapper Scrutinizes GOP Scandals, But How About Harry?

October 20th, 2006 10:53 AM

Who is Jake Tapper? He was the chief political correspondent for the lefty His book about the 2000 campaign, Down and Dirty: The Plot to Steal the Presidency, was so biased against Bush that even fellow liberal Jonathan Alter panned it.

Tapper now patrols the political beat for ABC. But his lopsided report on congressional scandals on this morning's GMA reveals that he has lost none of his partisan edge. While Washington University prof Steven Smith was shown stating that 20 members of Congress are currently caught up in sex or money scandals, Tapper focused on seven: six Republicans and only one Democrat.

In Tapper's Republican Hall of Shame were:

  • George Allen, for 'macaca' and other allegations of racial insensitivity.
  • Don Sherwood, whose apolgetic TV ad Tapper described as standing for the proposition: "yes I had a mistress but I did not try to strangle her."
  • DeLay, Ney, Cunningham and Conrad Burns: caught up in the Abramoff mess; and of course
  • Mark Foley.

Tapper actually played AOL's "you've got mail" while discussing the Foley scandal. Nothing like a touch of humor when it comes to allegations of child predation.

When footage of Harry Reid turned up [shown here in file photo], you naturally figured that Tapper was about to mention the Minority Leader's real estate deal with a shady Las Vegas figure, or Reid's illegal use of campaign donations to pay gratuities to employees at his condo.

But no, Tapper pictured Reid only for purposes of explaining how Democrats are using the Foley scandal to hit Republicans nationwide.

Tapper did discuss one Dem in serious ethics trouble - NJ senate candidate Rep. Bob Menendez, apparently under FBI investigation. But he failed to mention the allegations of the most blatant kind of bribery lodged against any current member of Congress - the $90,000 'cold cash' scandal concerning Dem William Jefferson of Louisiana. Unlike Republicans who have walked the plank when hit with charges, Jefferson continues to run for re-election.

To summarize: Tapper mentioned six Republicans hit with scandal, and just one Democrat. Fair & balanced coverage, GMA-style.

UPDATE: In this ABC story, Tapper does mention the William Jefferson bribery investigation, and also debunks allegations against GOP congressman Mike Ferguson. But no mention of Reid.