Guilt By Association Used by Old Media Only to Hurt Republicans

Last week two political operatives were arrested in separate incidents, one Democrat and one Republican. It certainly isn’t news that political operatives sometimes break the law, but how the different incidents were reported is typical of how the Old Media establishment uses guilt by association to tar Republicans but rarely does the same thing to take swipes at Democrats.

The similarity in the two stories is that both of the accused are former staffers of high profile politicians. The Democrat was an Obama campaign staffer while the Republican was a staffer of the Republican Governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker. Neither currently works for those high profile pols, but only the Republican was linked to his former boss. The Democrat’s link to Obama was mostly ignored by the media.

Story One: Some Guy Arrested

We’ll begin with the tale of Iowa Democrat operative Zachary Edwards who tried to steal the identity of a rival Republican in order to use that identity to get the Republican in trouble.

Edwards tried to use the identity of Iowa Secretary of State, Republican Matt Schulz (and/or Schultz’s brother) to illegally obtain some sort of state benefits so that he could then claim that the Republicans were illegally obtaining state benefits. This Edwards fellow hoped he could smear the GOP Sec. of State as engaging in some sort of unethical behavior. (The Iowa Republican blog has more on the fight between Schultz and Iowa Democrats)

Now, as it happens Edwards is not only a member of a politically connected Democrat consulting firm, Link Strategies — a company with long-standing ties to powerful Iowa Democrat Senator Tom Harkin — but Edwards was also a member of Obama’s Iowa team in 2007/08. Edwards’ bio has since been scrubbed from the Link Strategies page but read in part, “In September 2007, Zach joined the Obama New Media department as co-director of the Nevada New Media team and then moved on to direct New Media operations in five other primary states (New Mexico, Texas, North Carolina, and South Dakota).”

For a screen shot of Edwards memory-holed bio from the Link Strategy site, see the Iowa Grounds blog.

So, how was Edwards’ arrest reported? For one thing, it was hard to find Edwards’ Democrat affiliation and his past role as a top Obama campaign staffer in stories of this incident.

It is interesting to note that the story of the criminal action by this former Obama staffer is not easy to find. Few Old Media outlets bothered to cover it.

Story Two: Those Darn Criminal Republicans

Our second story is that of the arrest of Mr. Tim Russell of Wisconsin. Russell was a former aide to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and is accused of stealing funds intended for wounded veterans and families of U.S. soldiers who died in Iraq and Afghanistan — an odious crime, indeed.

Russell had been a Walker campaign staffer and county aide up until the Governor took the top seat in the state but has since not been working for him. Along with two others, Russell was arrested for a scheme to defraud the state of $42,000 that was earmarked for veterans.

So, how did the Old Media handle this tale of criminality? Unsurprisingly, Russell’s ties to Walker and his party affiliation were either in the headline or the very first paragraph, if not both. And there were dozens of stories posted on this incident, too.

  • The New York Times slammed Walker with guilt by association in its headline and first paragraph.
  • Reuters did the same thing as the NYT.
  • The Associated Press follows suit by mentioning Walker in the headline and the first paragraph.
  • Green Bay’s NBC affiliate also features Walker in the headline, etc.
  • In a companion story, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel also prominently features the perp’s party affiliation.
  • Politico pulls the same stunt as the others.

There are more stories than these few, of course. In fact, there are far more stories about this former Walker aide than there are about the Obama operative. Politico, for instance, never reported on the Democrat criminal. Apparently the news of the criminal actions of a former staffer for a mere governor is far bigger news than that of a former staffer of the President of the United States.

In any case, this is a perfect illustration of how the Old Media goes for the jugular when reporting on criminal Republicans compared to how they (don’t) go after Democrats in similar instances.

It’s just apiece with the Old Media’s bias against Republicans. All the news that’s fit to warp.

Whatever happened to . . .
Rand Paul detained by TSA
  • Commander_Chico

    Stealing funds meant for wounded veterans and Gold Star familes?   Hang ‘im high.

    • herddog505


    • Gmacr1

      Nice side step CC.

      While I totally agree that he needs to have his nads stretched it misses the basic premise of the article which was that his political affiliation and associations were diligently neglected by the press while in the other story they were loudly trumpeted.

      Reading comprehension isn’t your strong suit, neither is deflection.

      • jim_m

        reading comp is not something that the left excels in.

      • Commander_Chico

        These stories are ho-hum to me.  Ringing the bell of pavlovian partisanship.  You can find the same thing over at Daily Kos, if you reverse the premises.  Show me a peer-reviewed study of media bias and it will be worth discussing.

        One guy committed a heinous crime, the other guy committed a not-so heinous crime. How can you compare the coverage?

        • Walter_Cronanty

          “Show me a peer-reviewed study of media bias and it will be worth discussing.”  Ah, unless it’s “peer-reviewed” (like those oh so truthful peer-reviewed studies like the CAGW’s Hockey Stick) it simply isn’t worth discussing.  Well, it’s not peer-reviewed, but the WaPo’s ombudsman says the WaPo is biased towards liberals. Then there’s the news release in 2005 from UCLA concerning a book written by one of its professors about media bias.  The news release says:”Meanwhile, almost all major media outlets tilt to the left.These
          are just a few of the surprising findings from a UCLA-led  study, which is believed to be the first successful attempt at objectively quantifying bias in
          a range of media outlets and ranking them, which is believed to be the first successful attempt at objectively quantifying bias in a range of media outlets and ranking them accordingly.”
          Then there’s the book that came out in 2011 by professor Timothy Grosecrose’s, “Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind.” On Eugene Volokh’s website, the book is summarized as: “1) It attempts to measure media bias quantitatively and scientifically,
          and it shows that, yes, basically the entire mainstream media have a
          liberal bias. 2) The bias has shifted the average American’s views
          about 20–25 points on the “political quotient scale”—about the
          difference between the average voter in a purple state (such as Iowa or
          Nevada) and the average voter in a solid red state (such as Texas or
          Then there’s the former head of Newsweek [I think] who admitted that liberal media bias is worth 5-10% in an election.
          Ah, but none of those was peer-reviewed, so they really don’t mean anything.

    • Jwb10001

      yep by all means hang the SOB, how about the democrat that is trying to steal someone’s identity in order to create a political scandal, what shall we do with him?

      • Commander_Chico

        Well, it’s not the same as stealing from war widows and widowers and wounded war amputees, but yeah he should be whacked on the pee-pee.

        Complaining about media bias is the dumbest thing in the world nowadays. Hey, people get to say what they want in our country. They have a right to be biased. Get over it. What do you want, censorship?

        • warnertoddhuston

          You are ignoring the actual point of this piece. It wasn’t about which criminal act was worse. It was how the two perps were identified by the press! Jeeze, try sticking to the subject, huh?

          • Commander_Chico

            I’m sorry, your premise rests on a poor foundation.  If the offenses were identical or roughly so, there could be a complaint.

            But some attempt at an O’Keefe-like dirty trick is like jaywalking compared to stealing from wounded warriors and the families of the fallen.  Of course the amount of detail in the coverage will vary.

          • Jwb10001

            So what if the 2 crimes aren’t equal why does that mean that one of them goes without party affiliation especially when the democrat crime was intended as a political stunt? We’re not suggesting that the punishment be equal we just want the MSM to recognize that one of these guys is a democrat, why is that so much to ask?

          • warnertoddhuston

            How would you know what “the premise” is? You have yet to even start discussing it! Instead you go off on tangents.

        • warnertoddhuston

          You are ignoring the actual point of this piece. It wasn’t about which criminal act was worse. It was how the two perps were identified by the press! Jeeze, try sticking to the subject, huh?

        • Jwb10001

          I have no interest in censorship I want honesty. And honestly Chico why should conservatives let this go? Do liberals lay off Fox News? If the msm outlets allow bias to effect their reporting they should expect to be held accountable for it. I would never suggest anyone lay off conservatives I want to know the good the bad and the ugly, I think most of us just want librerals treated the same way.

        • Walter_Cronanty

          Of course they have the right to be biased, just don’t pretend that they’re not biased – like you did above and how the MSM does all the time.  That’s the point of the post.

  • Gmacr1

    <<< This is my shocked face.

    Sigh… The MSM has no credibility left at all, none.

    I suppose no one has seen the story about the ex Senator's staffer who was arrested and charged with giving information to Taliban inmates at Guantonamo that allowed the identities of CIA operatives to be published in papers and their lives endangered?

    • The Drudge Report has a link to the story, and the Drudge headline identifies the culprit as having worked for a Democrat Senator.

      • Walter_Cronanty

        I guess that’s why Drudge is so popular, and the MSM is so…..going bankrupt.

  • davidt

    The Democrat Media Complex.

  • jim_m

    When it’s a dem, party affiliation almost never makes it into the story.

    • herddog505

      Bingo.  I’ve heard it referred to as “Name That Party!”

      O’ course, it’s not an especially challenging game once you know where to look:

      — If the miscreant is the Republican, it’s noted in the first paragraph.

      — If the miscreant is a democrat, it MIGHT be mentioned in the last paragraph.

  • jim_m

    It’s just apiece with the Old Media’s bias against Republicans.

    What bias?  As everyone on the left knows Republicans are corrupt so party affiliation is relevant, whereas dems and leftists are as pure as the driven snow so any corrupt dealings are a total aberration and so party affiliation is not relevant.

  • UOG

    Take solace in the fact that Republicans are not alone in this category. How many times have your read of an SUV running off the roadway onto a sidewalk and mowing down pedestrians, or “going out of control” and slamming into a school bus? It’s never about a drunk driver, it’s the damn SUV.

    Or maybe it’s the stories of a gun “going off” and shooting someone. Never an incompetent/untrained gun owner or someone other than the owner who gained access to the weapon. It’s always the gun that just somehow “went off.”

    Any impartial observer with half a mind and the ability to pay attention would necessarily at some point come to the conclusion that such news stories reflect somebody’s biases (oh hell, why be nice… they’re prejudices).

  • This has been going on a long time, but has gotten so bad that in recent years Glen Reynolds and others have begun a game called “Name that Party!” 

    You will note that if a Republican officeholder or aide is arrested or suspected, that will figure in the headline or at least the lede paragraph.  But if it is a Democrat involved, the party often isn’t mentioned at all, or if it is it comes well into the story, 13th paragraph stuff after the jump to the back pages.

    But of course it’s just chance that seems to happen that way so often, hence the fun-loving game.

  • EricSteel

    How about another example today?
    Where former CIA agent and Senate staffer has been arrested for leaking classified information to the media and others. 

    The Justice Department also said that the information Kiriakou supplied to journalists also contributed to a subsequent security breach at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay. Kiriakou’s disclosures, according to the Justice Department, enabled defense attorneys to obtain photographs of CIA operatives suspected of being involved in controversial interrogations, pictures that were subsequently discovered in prisoners’ cells.

    Funny, the article mentions that he was a senior Senate aide, but fails to mention that he was an aide to Senator John Kerry.  Shouldn’t that be an important piece of information?  After all, didn’t Kerry run for some other office besides Senator?  I forget which…  It’s right on the tip of my tongue…  Somehow I think it may have been an important job, which had he been elected would be somewhat problematic to have this guy on staff.

    • 914

      A simple explanation would be: They were waiting for Lurch’s military records to be released. Everybody knows this takes at least 60 years if your a Dem and 6 days if You are a Repub.

    • herddog505

      It would be of some interest to know where and how Kiriakou got the information in the first place.  Could it be that he used his position as an aide to the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, i.e. Jean-Francois?  And could it be that other aides helped him?  Could it even be that Jean-Francois had a hand in it?

      Another little fact about our friend Kiriakou: he’s the rat who squealed about waterboarding.

      Why oh why do milquesops like this get into the CIA (or ANY position related to national security) in the first place???

      • Commander_Chico

        Yes, we can’t have Americans talking about war crimes.  They are Streng Gehiem.

        • Walter_Cronanty

          Exactly what war crimes was he talking about?  The 2 or 3 people we water boarded to save lives? 

        • herddog505

          “War crimes” being defined as anything the left doesn’t like.

          In lefty world, it’s a far, far better thing to have large numbers of Americans killed by terrorists than to dirty our hands by (gasp!) being mean to people.

        • Commander_Chico

          Well, first, it wouldn’t be “squealing” if it wasn’t something illegal and shameful, would it? 

          Second, all but the most extreme right-wing Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld apparatchiki and apologists consider waterboarding and most of the rest of the “enhanced interrogation” techniques, like sleep deprivation, use of cold temperatures, terrorizing with dogs and insects, torture and a violation of the federal law against torture.  Those who have undergone waterboarding, like the late Chris Hitchens, say it’s torture.  Again, the USA prosecuted Japanese and Germans for torture, including waterboarding, after WW II.

          Third, don’t the people have some right to know what kind of policies and abominations are being carried out on their dime and in their name? 

          As for “milquesops,” many people get involved in national security because they believe that the United States stands for freedom, justice, and decency as expressed in the Constitution and not because they worship power or are afraid of boogiemen in the desert.  WTF does the United States mean if it’s about running secret torture camps around the world? Are those the people you’re talking about?

          • herddog505

            1.  Squealing, as in the sound that a dirty, filthy rat makes.

            2.  Torture is in the eye of the beholder.  When you can provide credible evidence that we’ve done what the NVA did to Adm. Stockdale and the rest of the “guests” in the Hanoi Hilton, get back to me.  Except for the waterboarding, you are otherwise describing much of my fraternity hell night.

            3.  No, people don’t have a right to know what’s being done in their name.  For example, I don’t consider that I have a right to know what’s written down in the documents that (I assume) are in The Football.  If this were 1943, I wouldn’t consider that I had a right to know what Operation Overlord was all about.  Etc.

            On the other hand, I WOULD be rather interested in knowing where the hundreds of billions of dollars in “stimulus” actually got spent.  I would also be very interested in seeing all the various e-mails between Bagman and his minions about running guns to Mexico.  Unlike dealing with terrorists, these things don’t have a national security component that requires any secrecy.

            4.  Milquesops are those who get into something that their delicate little constitutions can’t handle, then squeal like little piglets when they realize it.  What the hell did Kiriakou THINK he’d be doing as a CIA counterterrorism officer?  Drinking vodka martinis and balling Miss Moneypenny?

          • Commander_Chico

            Kirakou was pretty outfront in defending waterboarding on TV, if you remember.

            The USA has lost it’s moorings and is adift on a sea of fear.  Principles have been abandoned.  Not the least of the crime was that lots of innocent people were tortured in our camps.

        • EricSteel

          The Kiriakou investigation appears to have been triggered by a CIA referral to the Justice Department as well as a separate probe into how photographs of CIA operatives ended up in the possession of high-value detainees at Guantanamo Bay in 2009.
          Investigators believe that defense attorneys obtained the photos after learning the identities of CIA operatives from a journalist who had been in contact with Kiriakou. The photographs, which included shots taken surreptitiously outside CIA employees’ homes, were shown to the detainees as part of an effort by defense attorneys to identify participants in CIA interrogations and potentially call them as witnesses in terrorism trials.

          Kirakou is accused of leaking the identities of CIA agents to the media and to others. There used to be a time when the left thought that was a problem. Valerie Plame

          • Commander_Chico

            I’m not defending that, but torture is torture.  Actually, Kirakou did defend waterboarding in several TV appearances. 

      • Commander_Chico

        Yes, we can’t have Americans talking about war crimes.  They are Streng Gehiem.

  • retired.military

    In other news today the sun rose, the sky is blue and water is wet.

  • ackwired

    This points out how illogical it is to demonize people just because they have an R or a D by their name.  Politics attracts dishonest people accross the board.  As the man said, “If we can keep the liberals convinced that the problem is the conservatives, and if we can keep the conservatives convinced that the problem is the liberals, neither one will realize who is picking their pockets.

    • herddog505

      What???  How do you make the (ahem) logical leap from “guilt by association (with Republicans)” to “gee whiz, all politicians are bad and – gosh darnit! – labeling people by affiliation just stops us knowing who the REAL bad guys are!”???

      To reiterate, the point is that MiniTru has no problem telling us when a Republican – or somebody who used to be a Republican, or was associated with a Republican, or knows somebody who went to third grade with somebody who later dated somebody who thought about being a Republican – does something bad, but juuuuuust can quite seem to work it into the story when a democrat does something wrong.

    • jim_m

      Actually I thought it was pointing out how, despite the fact that corruption exists on both sides of the aisle, the MSM only reports on the right side of the aisle or it resolutely refuses to identify those from the left when they are caught.

      That’s what is referred to commonly as bias.  Conservatives consider it a left wing bias because corrupt polls are rarely identified with their party affiliation if they are dems.  Lefties consider it a right wing bias that corrupt dems are ever reported with their party affiliation.

    • So when the bias against Republican offenders is exposed, it gets a tut-tut-tut.

      The number of examples proves beyond doubt this is no random phenomenon, and the only possible explanation is a desire to make the GOP suffer for its miscreants and cover Democrats from any fallout from theirs.

      I mean, if there is an alternative plausible explanation for how this happens with the given frequency, I’d love to hear it. 

      So the issue is really a concerted effort on the part of the media to deliberately mislead the public they pretend to “serve” in order to tilt the playing field unfairly to their side.

      But I do accept the blame for foolishly expecting any degree of honesty from anyone on the left.

  • Oysteria

    Here’s the difference.

    One crime is plain old greed; I somehow doubt that the perpetrator was driven by hate for the military.  An opportunity for theft presented itself and the guy went for it.  His political persuasion has nothing to do with it.  Nothing.

    The other is driven specifically by political reasons.  It was to destroy a politician he disagreed with and a whole group by association.

    That Chico finds one worse than the other is not at all surprising. I find them equally disgusting.  And that he ignores the actual point of the post is also not surprising.  He does that all the time.  The point being that these major news outlets would tie politics to one story that has nothing to do with politics and ignore the other that was actually driven by politics.

    • Commander_Chico

      Yes, I do find stealing from war widows and war amputees worse than some political shenanigans.  I also find rape worse than trespassing, and murder worse than jaywalking.