The Washington Post reported in a story by Jim VandeHei and Peter Baker, the following: “A series of scandals involving some of the most powerful Republicans in Washington have converged to disrupt President Bush's agenda….” They went on to mention issues involving presidential advisor Karl Rove, Senator Bill Frist, Representative Tom DeLay and the Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers, as if these four people are guilty of some impropriety.
Reporters VandeHei and Baker could barely contain their glee at the opportunity to cast the Bush administration in a bad light, even if they have to play fast and loose with facts to do so.
Let’s not forget that to date, neither Mr. Rove nor Sen. Frist have been charged with a crime, let alone tried and convicted of criminal activity. Exactly how the nomination of a Supreme Court Justice is scandalous, the Post story did not say.
And we should also remember that although Mr. DeLay has been indicted, he has not been convicted, and there is more than a little evidence that his indictment is politically motivated. In fact, the first indictment against Mr. DeLay, which took a couple of tries before multiple Grand Juries before one of them issued an indictment, was flawed. The law that Democrat Prosecutor Ronnie Earle told the grand jury that Mr. DeLay broke was not a law when Mr. Earle alleged Mr. DeLay broke it. Consequently, Mr. Earle had to approach yet another grand jury to pass a replacement indictment, and reports said this task was accomplished with unusual speed. Presenting multiple grand juries with information in an attempt to get one of them to issue an indictment is referred to as “forum shopping.”
So far, what we have is merely a series of questions, insinuations and accusations, not scandals. An accusation is proof of nothing. An indictment is a bit more than an accusation, but not much more. The New York Daily News reported in 1985 that “in a bid to make prosecutors more accountable for their actions, [New York] Chief Judge Sol Wachtler has proposed that the state scrap the grand jury system of bringing criminal indictments … [because] district attorneys now have so much influence on grand juries that ‘by and large’ they could get them to ‘indict a ham sandwich.’” What it all boils down to is that the grand jury gets only the prosecutor's side, and a prosecutor can say anything to a grand jury. There is no rebuttal of the prosecutor’s allegations.
Certainly a real scandal ought to have real wrongdoing, shouldn’t it? And maybe there ought to be a little proof of wrongdoing before we start slinging labels like “scandal” around. We don’t know for certain if any wrongdoing has taken place, yet the Post sees scandals everywhere, even in the nomination for Justice of the Supreme Court.
Curiously, if all it takes for the Post to label something a scandal is the thin case it made in this story, surely the behavior of Prosecutor Ronnie Earle also qualifies. Yet, there is no mention of that “scandal.”
Irresponsible reporting such as this has earned the Post its well-deserved reputation for biased reporting, and for being in the pocket of the liberal Left.