Jesse Jackson Jr.
Twenty minutes into her February 20 Jansing & Co. program, MSNBC anchor Chris Jansing noted that former Illinois Democrat Jesse Jackson was entering a federal courtroom later that hour to plead guilty to campaign finance violations. Only Jansing left out the part about Jackson being a Democrat.
What's more, while Jansing noted that Jackson's wife Sandi was answering charges of filing false tax returns, she failed to note that Sandi Jackson, also a Democrat, resigned her seat as Chicago city alderman in January.
Former Democratic Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. was charged on Friday with improperly spending $750,000 of campaign funds on items such as Michael Jackson and Bruce Lee memorabilia (among other things). Yet, ABC's World News did not cover the story at all. On Saturday, Good Morning America allowed the news a mere 18 seconds. Over the course of the weekend, NBC's Nightly News, the CBS Evening News, Saturday Morning, Today and GMA never mentioned that Jackson is a Democrat. There was no coverage on Sunday.
Most, such as Evening News guest-host Anthony Mason, simply referred to Jackson as the "former Chicago Congressman." CBS correspondent Nancy Cordes spun, "Jackson, Jr., came to Congress in 1995, the promising and personable son of a civil rights leader, the Reverend Jesse Jackson." Cordes did highlight how the ex-representative spent his campaign funds, including "$43,000 on a gold-plated men's Rolex watch, $5,000 on fur capes and parkas and a long list of Bruce Lee and Michael Jackson memorabilia."
In anticipation of Jesse Jackson Jr.'s indictment on Friday afternoon, Jonathan Allen and John Bresnahan at the Politico seemed all too willing to hand out sympathy cards to Jackson and his wife, both of whom stand to do time in prison for offenses relating to their raid of the congressman's campaign funds.
Specifically, the Politico pair wrote: "It’s a story of a Chicago power couple that lost track of the line between campaign cash and personal funds in a spiral of money troubles." Gosh, I didn't know that line was so blurred. Excerpts from the write-up follow the jump:
Jesse L. Jackson Jr. was indicted on Friday, February 15, the final day before a three-day weekend, even though the information necessary to indict appears to have been in place for some time. Though it may be out there and I'm certainly willing to stand corrected, from what I can tell, the U.S. Department of Justice made no formal announcement when it filed its charges (10-page PDF). Based on the 12:55 p.m. ET time stamp at a Politico story reporting what "the government will allege" and the 1:03 p.m. Pacific Time (i.e., 4:03 p.m. ET) of what appears to have been the first breaking news story from the Associated Press, the government appears to have waited until well into the afternoon to file its charges.
The reporting on Jackson's indictment mostly deferred identifying his party affiliation for several paragraphs, and in some instances, including the aforementioned AP breaking news item, omitted it entirely.
Double standards on race and religion in the New York Times. The paper's liberal concerns about racism in voting patterns or separation of church and state, so prevalent when discussing white conservative voters in southern states, were markedly absent in Monday's report by Steven Yaccino from Chicago on candidates lining up for the congressional seat vacated by the resignation of Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., amid worries that a white candidate might win it: "In Race to Fill Jackson's House Seat, Candidates Court Chicago's Black Clergy."
This is really too easy. Imagine the hue and cry in the press and elsewhere, which to be clear would be quite appropriate, if an accurate story about a special congressional election to replace a white congressperson began as follows: "White leaders are growing increasingly worried that a black candidate might seize the seat of former Rep. ____ in the upcoming special election."
Well, a story by Alex Isenstadt at Politico with a truth-obscuring headline ("Blacks fret free-for-all for Jesse Jackson Jr. seat"; the headline should be "Blacks fear a white person will win 'their' seat") clearly shows that Chicagoland's black establishment thinks it has first dibs on IL-02, and apparently believes that "Jackson's seat" (as if he ever owned it) can't be appropriately represented by a white person, even though the early frontrunner is clearly liberal on most issues (bolds are mine):
Don't be surprised if you hear less from John Stanton out of left-wing media in the foreseeable future.
Why? Stanton's penchant for speaking candidly, as he did yesterday on Bill Press's radio show about embattled former congressman Jesse Jackson Jr.'s resignation from Congress only weeks after winning re-election. (video after page break)
Jesse Jackson Jr. resigned from office today. The timing of the Democratic congressman's resignation (even beyond it taking place on Thanksgiving Eve) is convenient, coming just two weeks after his reelection and prior to what in apparently an imminent indictment. The former enables Democratic Party kingpins in Chicago and its south suburbs to ensure that the seat stays with someone they like and can control (a general election situation with a preceding mini-primary might have been more problematic), while resigning before an indictment makes it likely that Jackson will be eligible for a congressional pension he might have lost had he still been in office when charged.
We are told that Jackson is too distraught to get through a publicly spoken resignation and that he cancelled a conference call with his staff. His resignation letter (original here; Washington Post transcription here) to House Speaker John Boehner, our best potential window to his current state of mind, reveals a man who is utterly full of himself and his wonderfulness. In the process of building this monument to himself, Jackson delivered several self-evident falsehoods the press would never let a Republican in a similar position get away with making without sharp criticism. Since it's a public document, the letter follows the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
As of shortly before 1 p.m. ET, at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, there is no story about what the Chicago Sun-Times reported Wednesday evening about just-reelected Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., namely that he " is in the midst of plea discussions with the feds probing his alleged misuse of campaign funds." There is also no story on the home page at Politico.
Selected paragraphs from Michael Sneed's Sun-Times report follow the jump (bolds are mine):
ABC on Wednesday finally reported on the mysterious disappearance of Democratic Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. from Capitol Hill. Good Morning America's Jon Karl explained that the Representative "has been missing in action for more than a month, skipping some 80 votes and prompting speculation about where he is and what's wrong with him." CBS and NBC also covered the story on Wednesday. Unlike ABC, however, this wasn't their first report.
Having finally gotten to the story, Karl actually labeled Jackson as "one of the more outspoken liberals on Capitol Hill." He also noted that the Congressman's disappearance comes "days after his former fundraiser was arrested by the FBI for allegedly paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to doctors." On Tuesday's Today, news reader Natalie Morales mentioned the latest, but skipped any reference to the ethics investigation against Jackson.
In the midst of fill-in host Craig Melvin hyping accusations that black lawmakers were "being unfairly targeted for ethics investigations" by the Republican-led House Ethics Committee during Firday's News Nation on MSNBC, the channel's graphics department mistakenly displayed an image on screen of the Reverend Jesse Jackson senior, instead of his son, Illinois Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Melvin touted Democratic Congressman Emmanuel Cleaver "now calling for members...of the House ethics panel to temporarily step aside." He continued: "The Congressman writing a letter saying in part, quote, 'I write to express my deep and abiding concern with the protracted length, abnormal number, motive, and fairness of pending matters.'"
The same congressional panel that launched a preliminary inquiry into Weiner-gate this week has been diddling around with several other Democratic ethics scandals for years. These aren't foxes guarding the henhouse. They're sloths guarding the foxhole.
The House Ethics Committee is now reportedly probing into Twitter-holic Democratic New York Rep. Anthony Weiner's possible abuse of government resources while sending pervy messages and photos to young women across the country. The latest batch of Weiner's leaked social-media self-portraits — more cheesecake than beefcake — showed him in various states of undress at the congressional gym. From what other public buildings has Ick-arus tweeted his junk? And how much time on the public's dime did his government staff spend coaching Weiner girls to assist with damage control?