Bias by Boring Headline? WashPost Gives Snoozer of a Headline to Story About Ethically-suspect Democrat in Crucial Senate Race

July 10th, 2012 11:51 AM

She's a seven-term Democrat representing Las Vegas in the U.S. House of Representatives and she's running in a U.S. Senate race which "observers believe could be a pickup for Democrats." But yesterday, Rep. Shelley Berkley (Nev.) received "a blow to her candidacy" when "[t]he House Ethics Committee... voted unanimously to launch a formal investigation into allegations" that the congresswoman "used her position to benefit the financial interests of her husband," Washington Post reporter Ed O'Keefe reported in a page A4 article in today's paper. Yes, that unanimous vote means that fellow Democrats want a formal investigation into Berkley.

But alas, O'Keefe was given no favors by Post editors who punished the reporter with a snoozer of a headline certain to interest hardly anyone beyond hard-core political junkies: "Nevada Rep. Berkley faces ethics investigation."

"House panel to probe activities and communications related to husband's financial interests," added the subheader.

"News reports last fall detailed moves made by Berkley to sponsor legislation or influence federal regulators in ways that favored the business interests of her husband, Larry Lehrner, who operates dialysis centers in Nevada and has actively lobbied lawmakers to help kidney care providers," O'Keefe noted. "This is the first time the ethics panel has empaneled a formal investigation subcommittee based on an OCE [Office of Congressional Ethics] report since October 2009, when it agreed to probe allegations against Reps. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Laura Richardson (D-Calif.)."

"In recent years, the committee also has launched formal investigations against Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), O'Keefe noted in closing.