In Online Chat, WashPost Reporter Is 'Stunned' At How 'Cold Cash' Jefferson's Ignored

January 8th, 2007 12:56 PM

Washington Post political reporter Shailagh Murray professed shock at the lack of attention Congressman Bill Jefferson has drawn, even as she protested the Post has done that story. From today's Political Chat at

Alexandria, Va.: I understand Congressman Bill Jefferson was given a standing ovation from his colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus, despite the $90,000 the FBI found in Tupperware in his freezer. Why do these details of Democratic ethics problems seem left out every time media personnel recount how Speaker Pelosi will bring "ethics reform" to the House?

Shailagh Murray: I once met the friendliest bank robber. Just because you're a crook doesn't mean you're not thoughtful or interesting or fun to hang out with.
Not that I'm referring to anyone in particular.
Regarding Rep. Jefferson, I take issue with your observation. I've written or co-written numerous stories, including for the front page, on this case, and we have included it in numerous other stories, including a page one piece last week (not by moi) on how Pelosi handled this case.

Don't read too much into her first sentences, since she's quite jokey and sarcastic in these chats. She's right that the Post had a decent story on the front page last week. But when challenged to stick up for the rest of the media and their lack of attention to Democratic corruption, she took a pass:

Re: Jefferson: Let's grant that The Post has covered the Jefferson mess. Have you seen that carry to news magazines or TV news?

Shailagh Murray: Look, I have enough to do just getting my own stories reported and written! But I do think it's an interesting story and I am stunned by the relatively little coverage it has attracted.

CNN touched lightly on the Black Caucus standing-ovation story here.