As soon as Rep. John Boehner was elected Majority Leader by his Republican colleagues in the House, CNN issued the following news release. Read it for yourself, and tell me if it sounds like the Democrats wrote it for them:
Boehner elected House majority leader
GOP representatives choose Ohio lawmaker to succeed DeLay
(CNN)-- House Republicans on Thursday elected U.S. Rep. John Boehner of Ohio as majority leader.
He upset Rep. Roy Blunt of Missouri in a 122-109 vote on the second ballot. Rep. John Shadegg of Arizona dropped out of the running after the first ballot.
Party rules forced Rep. Tom DeLay of Texas to step down as majority leader in December after he was indicted on money laundering and conspiracy charges in his home state.
DeLay announced January 7 that he would not try to reclaim the House majority leader post, although he said he will seek re-election in his Texas district in November.
DeLay also has ties to lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who agreed to a plea deal with federal prosecutors on January 3. Abramoff was charged with conspiracy, fraud and tax evasion.
In addition to DeLay's charges, House Republicans also have been hit by the Abramoff lobbying scandal, and candidates vying for majority leader promised to implement ethics reforms.
The race appeared to turn on the desire for members to present a fresh face to the public and distance themselves from Washington's K Street, or lobbyist, community.
Blunt was a part of DeLay's leadership team and has ties to K Street.
Going into the 2006 elections, House Republicans enjoy a 232-203 majority over Democrats, and there's one independent.
The Democratic leadership have accused the GOP of a "culture of corruption," and their candidates plan to make ethics a main issue in this year's campaigns.
A CNN poll conducted January 20-22 found that 40 percent of those interviewed believed that Democrats would do a better job of dealing with corruption, while 32 percent believed that Republicans would do a better job.
Nineteen percent believe there was no difference between the parties as far as corruption issues. The results were based on interviews with 506 Americans and had a plus or minus margin of error of 4 percent.
I have no problem with their decision to add context to the story by describing when and why Tom Delay stepped down.
Still, I think it's a little suspect when a self-described objective news source starts spouting off about the Democrats' Culture of Corruption campaign against Republicans.
Here's what the average person is supposed to get out of this news release:
- Rep. Boehner is the new Republican Majority Leader in the House.
- The spot was open because the old leader was too greedy and had to quit.
- The old Leader was close friends with a very bad man who doesn't care about you.
- Actually, lots of Republicans are close friends with very bad men who don't care about you.
- This election was held so the Republicans could pretend they don't like the bad men anymore.
- The Republican that Boehner beat was close with the old Leader who was close with the bad man who doesn't care about you.
- The good Democrats said that all Republicans are bad and always have been.
- The Republicans have a 232-203 majority over Democrats, so they're in charge.
- There's an election this year, so you have time to change that of you vote correctly.
- If you don't know what to think about the situation, then look at our poll that tells you what everyone else thinks: We asked hundreds of Americans who is most trustworthy and least corrupt. They trust Democrats the most, and so should you.