Sunday, January 22, 2006

Getting Closer To Getting It Right

Deborah Howell, the Washington Post, corrected and defended a column she had written.

Her mistake was allowing the story to appear to echo the Republican talking points that try to leave the impression that the Abramoff affair was a bipartisan event. What is entertaining is, in her clarification, she still tries to let some of this spin stay in place.

I wrote that he gave campaign money to both parties and their members of Congress. He didn't. I should have said he directed his client Indian tribes to make campaign contributions to members of Congress from both parties.

Here in lies her defense of the sloppy work. Jack's clients have given money to both parties. (but remember, not Jack himself, he only gave money to Republicans)

Abramoff's Indian clients contributed money to 195 Republicans and 88 Democrats between 1999 and 2004.

So for every Democrat that got money two Republicans got money. This is her defense of her story, but here she again leaves out important information. Only among Jack Ambrmoff's tribal cleints do we see this trend in favoring the Republicans in giving.

The breakouts of donations that I have seen show that among the vast majority of tribal groups, the giving has always been heavily Democratic. This fact makes sense, but is never mentioned by Howell. Historically the Democrats have been the party that has gotten the majority of tribal votes, and been most willing to work on their issues. To fail to note this striking change in donation patterns, along with not clearly pointing out the truth about Jack (that he only gave to Republicans) just make it appear that Mrs. Howell is simply spinning the Republican party line.

Her work started a fire storm, as it should have. It was sloppy and appears to be partisan. Two things you don't like to see in news reporting.



Deacon Tim said...

John, it's just one more example of how far the mainstream press has drifted right in the last decade. Amazing what can happen when you control not just the debate, but the language used to debate.

John said...

exactly, and very depressing

Lynne said...

Number 6 on the list.