The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Monday, February 20, 2006

NPR repeats dubious Reid-Abramoff ties without explanation

NPR came closer than the AP to getting the story right, but still failed to mention those three little words that make all the difference: quid pro quo. By failing to point out that the issue here is whether legislators did favors for lobbyists after taking money from them, NPR does nothing to clarify this.

Furthermore, this permits the GOP to claim that Democrats are 'corrupt' merely because they accepted donations from any group connected with Abramoff or any of his partners. Whether those groups of accused of any wrong-doing or not. Case in point are the tribes that Abramoff is accused of cheating himself. And accepting donations from a victim of Abramoff is hardly the same as accepting money from the corrupt lobbyist.

The two instances the NPR story specifically mentions are his opposition to expanded numbers of Indian casinos and his support for a minimum wage increase in the Marianas Islands. Lobbyists involved with Abramoff were for the other side, and contacted Reid's office and gave him some money, ostensibly in an attempt to change his stance on the issues. He didn't. Therefore, Reid did not do favors for Abramoff's associates in exchange for money. Pretty simple, isn't it?

This is the fundamental issue in the Abramoff scandal, but AP and NPR failed to mention it. And by omitting this basic fact, they turn a non-story into the incorrect allegation that this is a bi-partisan problem. It isn't.