Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Media watch: Breaking story on Democratic senator

It looks like there is a very nasty scandal about to break around Democratic senator Bob Menendez (NJ). The FBI has raided a major donor to the senator, and there are reports that Menendez stayed at a mansion owned by the donor located in the Dominican Republic.

So far, the only major news outlet running the story is Fox News (best write-up by the Philly affiliate), but Daily Caller has been on the prostitution angle of the story since November.

What else is the media saying about Menendez? Huffington Post leads with Menedez' partial denial. I'm reminded of other partial denials, like Anthony Wiener not being able to categorically say it wasn't him in the crouch shot. Of other mainstream outlets, only New York magazine has a story, and it's negative, though it lacks the punch of the Fox story because of the absence of details about the connection between Menendez and the FBI target, Dr. Salomon Melgen.

I wonder whether this story will again show that the MSM is slow to jump on stories about Democrats. However, there is a big difference between being slow and completely ignoring a story. I think the MSM is slow to pick up some stories, but does follow them when there are hard facts about a newsworthy person or situation. I'll have to see how soon this is on CNN, and the major networks and newspapers. It should be soon (just long enough to do fact-checking), or it's a whitewash.

Senator, how much longer do you have?

Same day update. Now is running a story.
Day 2 update. Heard the story on NPR in the afternoon. Lots of details, including flights on private planes, donations, prostitution accusations.


Anonymous said...

Reading the reports, it all sounds like unsubstantiated hearsay and guilt by association.

The media jumps on stuff that attracts an audience. While the accusations against Menendez are salacious, for sure, that's usually not enough for MSM to devote air time or investigative resources to either find the truth or debunk the accusations.

Politics and MSM often operate on a guilty-until-proven-innocent basis, but that's not good for either Republicans or Democrats. Since the Right has as much MSM presence as the Left, I doubt the story will die as long as it serve their purpose. But unless there's independent corroboration or an official FBI investigation of Sen. Menendez, his denials will suffice for CNN.

ModeratePoli said...


First, please consider using a screen name--it's really easy.

There are unsubstantiated (for now) charges of involvement with prostitutes, but the close connection between the raided doctor and Menendez is real. How much this does to Menendez will depend on what he's done along with his friend.

I think the MSM is cautious about following salacious stories, so their tardiness isn't without reason. However, it seems that there are newsworthy facts to be reported regarding high-profile officials, and it's time for the MSM to start reporting and start digging.