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Saturday, June 03, 2006

Why Do Republican Crooks Get More Ink than Democrat Crooks?

I consider myself a very informed citizen. I typically know days or even weeks ahead of time the news that gets printed in the dead tree press, in the TV news or is commented on by friends and associates.

So I was surprised by this article. I had never heard of Frank Balance before today. From NewBusters written by John Armor:

Quick, name the two Congressmen who were convicted of corruption this year and sent to the slammer. Bet you came up with Duke Cunningham (R-Calif.) like a shot. But who was the other one?

My friend John Fogle, a fine writer, ran an eye-opening comparison in the Hendersonville Times-News today. It names the other crooked Congressman. The other one, who now resides in the same federal penitentiary as Cunningham, is Rep. Frank Ballance (D-NC). Here's the comparison of the national press coverage of these two convicts:

A Web search for articles containing the three words Cunningham, congressman and jail results in 156,000 hits. But, replace Cunningham with Ballance and you get only 890 hits. So the liberal press produced not twice as many, not 10 times as many, but 175 times as many articles describing a Republican going to jail as those describing a Democrat in the same predicament.

What explains the difference in coverage? Well, Cunningham is a white Republican, therefore a target of opportunity for much of the press. Ballance, on the other hand, is a black Democrat. And we cannot have strongly negative coverage of blacks and Democrats in the press, now can we?

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