Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Abramoff Pleads Guilty

"Ninety percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad reputation." --Henry Kissinger

Usually, I try not to place much credibility in any news organization that shows itself to be biased, which explains why I never go to the New York Times to find stories to discuss.

It also explains why I seldom rely on Newsmax. They are as far right as The Times is far left, but I didn't see this story any other place. Therefore, I reserve the right to take this entire post back should it prove to be in error.

Another thing, I have to admit, is when I see a story that appears to be detrimental to Conservatives and/or Republicans, I won't post comments about it. At the same time, I tend to jump all over stories that appear to validate what I often say about Liberals or Democrats, even before the full details are revealed. I think most everyone of both ideologies do the same.

But today, in the interest in fairness, I'm going to discuss Jack Abramoff's plea bargain and subsequent guilty plea.

As I pointed out in a previous post, It seems Abramoff is a particularly smarmy little worm, as far as shady dealings are concerned. He has now pled guilty to influence peddling and Democrats are salivating at the possibility that at last some very influential Republican Legislators will finally get caught with their hand in the proverbial cookie jar.

If the Democrats suspicions are confirmed, I will be the first to call for appropriate actions against any Republicans involved with Amramoff's dirty dealings.

However, Newsmax reports that one particular Democrat Senator is at least as much involved as any of the Republicans.

Harry Reid.

According to Newsmax, "In a little-noticed story in November, The Associated Press revealed that Reid had accepted tens of thousands of dollars from an Abramoff client, the Coushatta Indian tribe, after interceding with Secretary of the Interior Gail Norton over a casino dispute with a rival tribe.

Reid "sent a letter to Norton on March 5, 2002," reported the AP. "The next day, the Coushattas issued a $5,000 check to Reid's tax-exempt political group, the Searchlight Leadership Fund. A second tribe represented by Abramoff sent an additional $5,000 to Reid's group. Reid ultimately received more than $66,000 in Abramoff-related donations between 2001 and 2004."


But, as I said, I take anything reported by an obviously biased news organization with a grain of salt. Including those by Conservatively biased organizations.

I will reserve comment on this story until more details are revealed.

But it wouldn't surprise me in the least to find that the Newsmax story is true.

Supplemental: This morning I awoke and signed on to AOL to find news that 12 of the 13 miners found in the West Virginia coal mine disaster were found dead. Last night, when I went to bed, the press was reporting they were found alive. This is a tragic example of the reason why I startd my blog in the first place.

Long time readers may remember me explaining that my original intention in starting my blog was because there seemed to be so many stories in the news that are under-reported, or erroneously reported, or otherwise make me say, "What the....?

Last night, I read on AOL news that 12 miners were found alive and only one died. This morning I read the initial reports were wrong. They were found dead. Only one survived. The first words that escaped my lips upon reading that was, "What the...?"

I'm sorry. I confess I don't know what the usual process of verifying the veracity of a news story is but this appears to be an example of the most irresposible journalism I have ever seen. I am not saying it is irresponsible, I am saying that's how it appears. Aren't journalist supposed to verify their story before they report on them? Is the problem competition between news organizations? Are they so eager to be the first to "get the scoop" (if I may borrow an old movie phrase), that they don't take the time to make sure the news is accurate?

Perhaps some of my journalist readers can explain how something like this could happen. I am not pointing fingers, at least, not yet. I really want to know.

28 comments:

Erudite Redneck said...

1. "Another thing, I have to admit, is when I see a story that appears to be detrimental to Conservatives and/or Republicans, I won't post comments about it. At the same time, I tend to jump all over stories that appear to validate what I often say about Liberals or Democrats, even before the full details are revealed. I think most everyone of both ideologies do the same."

No, only extremists do that.

2. On the miners. Read some more about the screw-up. Looks like some family members overheard and misinterpreted something from a phone call or radio transmission from a non-official source, then the rumor turned into a wildfire among the survivors, who then started celebrating, which THEN became news, whrether or not their celebration was warranted.

Oh, but don't confuse the idiots on cable "news" shows with journalism. TV "news" has sucked since Murrow died. There's a REASON for news editors, and TV producers are NOT editors in the journalistic sense.

You will not find me defending anything any TV "news" organization does. Maybe Lone Ranger has some input.

Mark said...

Ok, I'm an extremist. I'll accept that.

But your other point leaves me confused. I got my news from AOL news. Is that broadcast journalism or print journalism?

Besides that, surely all journalists, including broadcast journalists, are professional enough to check the accuracy of their stories before they write/broadcast them.

Wait. I forgot about Mary Mapes and Dan Rather. They were completely wrong. Or maybe they lied. Whatever. In any case they still stand by their story.

Maybe you're right about broadcast journalism.

Toad734 said...

USA today also said they were alive, it was on the front page.

So if 1 Democrat is involved in the scandal does tha means its ok for the several other Republicans to be involved?

Erudite Redneck said...

Here's a story that sheds some light on what happened in West Virginia. If I have to point a finger, I guess I'd point it at the coal company -- BUT, I think human people just made human mistakes here.

http://www.chron.com/disp/
story.mpl/ap/nation/3564919.html

KEvron said...

"Therefore, I reserve the right to take this entire post back should it prove to be in error."

too late; i c&p'ed it....

"when I see a story that appears to be detrimental to Conservatives and/or Republicans, I won't post comments about it."

how very fair and balanced of you.

if you don't trust the media, then how can you say that you know what is happening in this country and in the world? how do you stay informed enough to form an opinion? how do you justify any action based on this uninformed opinion?

KEvron

Deebo said...

Good thing Bruiser was right yet again with his suspicions about Jack Abramoff...maybe the right needs to listen a little closer to what Americans are calling a failed administration using failed policies.

Erudite Redneck said...

Oh, and as far as Abrams, lost in the news is the screwing the Indians took -- again.

If anyone deserves reparations, it's them.

Mark said...

Toad, You ask, "So if 1 Democrat is involved in the scandal does tha means its ok for the several other Republicans to be involved?"

Answer? NO. If you read the whole post, I said if Republicans are involved I will be the first to call for approriate actions against them. What part of that didn't you understand?

Mark said...

Kevron, you ask, "if you don't trust the media, then how can you say that you know what is happening in this country and in the world?"

Answer? I didn't say I didn't trust the media. I said I don't trust BIASED media, either Liberally biased or Conservativelly bias.

Deebo, Bruiser had no suspicions. He just repeated Liberal talking points. As usual.

And Americans are not calling the present administration a failed administration. Only Liberals are doing that, and they are very much in the minority.

And failed policies? Like Iraqis finally being able to vote in free and independent elections? Like the lowest unemployment figures in decades? Like the booming economy? Like lower taxes?

Geeez, If that is failed I'd dearly like to see what you call success.

Mark said...

Geeeez, When did my blog become the place where left wing extremist Liberals come to practice their mudslinging?

Mark said...

ER, I think I agree with you about the way the indians have been taken advantage of. Of course, I am not nearly informed enough about it to have much of an opinion, but it seems to me that placing casinos on indian land does more to worsen their plight than help it. And Abramoff certainly didn't help them with his shenanigans.

Then again, I am very much against gambling. To me, it is immoral and dangerous.

Erudite Redneck said...

It's the Indioan themselves who are building casinos -- and their forefathers are spinning in their graves.

Mark said...

Yes i guess you're right, ER. It's a shame. Gambling only leads to misery and suffering, broken homes and alcoholism, among other things. I've seen it first hand. I see no redeeming value in it at all. It even contributed to the break up of my last marriage. (She got addicted to gambling, not me.)

tugboatcapn said...

Mark...

"Geeeez, When did my blog become the place where left wing extremist Liberals come to practice their mudslinging?"

When you started making points that stung 'em.

I thought that Abramoff was slinging money all over Washington in order to try to HELP the Indians...

Or did I misunderstand that part?

tugboatcapn said...

I argued with one the other night, (I forget which one...) and now he seems to have developed some sort of obsession.

Can't leave me alone.

It's kinda funny, actually...

Mark said...

Tug, I would say he helped himself more than he helped anyone else.

tugboatcapn said...

Well, he sure didn't help the people he gave the money to...

The Indians thought he was supposed to be helping them though...

That's where he was getting the money from...

Oh, and I meant that I argued with a Lib the other night, not an Indian...

I haven't argued with an Indian in several years (that I know of...)

Toad734 said...

Mark:

So does that mean you don't trust the Drudge Report and Fox News?

Even when news organizations themselves are not biased each writer has his own political beliefs as does every investigator, especially the ones at Fox.

KEvron said...

"I didn't say I didn't trust the media. I said I don't trust BIASED media...."

oops! indeed, you did. but i notice you mention the new york times. you do understand that they are considered the paper of record by both hill dems and repubs, and pretty much everyone else? they're not in the habit of just making up their news. facts are pretty much facts.

KEvron

Mark said...
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Mark said...
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Mark said...

Kev, "they are considered the paper of record by both hill dems and repubs, and pretty much everyone else? they're not in the habit of just making up their news. facts are pretty much facts".

Well actually, as much as the Liberals pretend that the NYT is not biased, they are. And out of all the print media they are right up there at the top of the most Liberally biased list. That's why I referred to them. I could have mentioned several others as well.

Want proof? Start with the latest "scandal" they've concocted. 1 Day before the vote on the extension of the Patriot act, they come out with the story about warrantless wiretaps. What they don't say in that story is that the President was within his rights and that no law abiding American citizen was being spied upon, only suspected and confirmed al-Qauda operatives. They admit that they sat on that story at the request of the NSA for a year before publishing it. Do you seriously believe that is just coincidental timing?

What about the so-called leak of a CIA agent? Do you know that Valerie Plame wasn't classified as covert when her name was "leaked'? Therefore, there was no crime. And did you also know that they, along with 32 other news organizations, admitted in a court of law
to lying about that story? They published this non-story specifically to undermine the President. There can be no other explanation

KEvron said...

"It isn't surprising to me that Harry Reid would be involved in shady dealings, since he represents a state that derives the majority of it's income from gambling and prostitution."

and yet:

"Oh. I am holding off on this thing until I find out who Abramoff is going to finger."

"holding off", eh? too late.

KEvro

KEvron said...

"Well actually, etc, etc, etc...."

paper of record, bub.

oh, and they sat on the story for a year. the chimp had them in his office a year ago, pleading with them. so he's known about the leak for a year. why is he announcing an investigation now if he's known for a year?

KEvron

Mark said...

Yes I am holding off on the whole story. So far, I've only commented on a small part of it.

"so he's known about the leak for a year. why is he announcing an investigation now if he's known for a year?"

I suspect that is because they published it. against Bush's wishes. It isn't because he didn't want people to know he was doing something illegal because he wasn't. He asked them not to publish it because he didn't want al-Qaida to know he was eavesdropping on them. You see, if they know we are listening, they will find other ways to continue to plan for the next attack.

That should be obvious, even to you.

KEvron said...

hello? the chimp has known for a year that there was a leak. why did he wait until now to launch an investigation?

"I suspect that is because they published it. against Bush's wishes."

is this still the answer you want to go with?

KEvron

KEvron said...

and harry isn't giving back the money. wouldn't you think someone who had something to worry about might give back the money?

this thing is republican, all the way....

KEvron

Erudite Redneck said...

Re, "the President was within his rights."

No, no he wasn't. And Arlen Specter himself will sign the document that asserts the truth that the president of the red states of America violated the spirit and the letter of the law. Needlessly. Arrogantly. Stupidly.