NYT Jumps on DeLay, Discounts Jesse Jackson/DNC Fine
A $200,000 fine against political action committee treasurer Bill Ceverha (who?) is worth a two-column story in Friday's Times, while an equivalent fine against the DNC and left-wing activist Jesse Jackson gets a short AP dispatch in Friday's Times. The difference? Ceverha is the treasurer of a PAC founded by liberal bogeyman Rep. Tom DeLay.
Anne Kornblut continues the Tom DeLay drumbeat of "scandal" with "Treasurer of a Texas PAC Is Fined Nearly $200,000 - Official of Committee Formed by DeLay."
She notes: "A Texas judge ruled on Thursday that the treasurer of a political action committee formed by United States Representative Tom DeLay, the House majority leader, broke campaign finance laws as the group propelled the party into power in the Texas House in 2002. The judgment awarded nearly $200,000 to five Democrats who were ousted by Republican candidates backed by Texans for a Republican Majority, the political committee founded by Mr. DeLay to help win control of the Legislature. Mr. DeLay was not named in the case, and he has maintained that he did not play a role in how the group's money was raised and spent. But the decision was a symbolic victory for Mr. DeLay's critics, lending credence to accusations that his allies used illegal campaign finance tactics to win a Republican majority in the state for the first time in 130 years."
She goes on to say: "The judgment was the latest development in a widening controversy that has engulfed Mr. DeLay and his political allies for months."
But while going after DeLay (or at least the treasurer of a PAC formed by DeLay) the Times manages to bury - in a tiny shirttail of an AP story dangling off the two-column DeLay piece - a confession of actual campaign misdeeds on the left side of the aisle.
Left-wing Jesse Jackson and the Democratic National Committee agreed to pay a fine of $200,000 ($100,000 from Jackson's group and $100,000 from the DNC) for using corporate money for organizing a partisan voter drive. That amount, as it happens, is slightly more than the fine levied in Texas against Bill Ceverha. By the way, Ceverha's name isn't mentioned until the seventh paragraph of Kornblut's story, at which point Kornblut has already mentioned DeLay six times.
But for the Democratic campaignscandal, directly involving Jesse Jackson and the DNC (which both parties have agreed to pay civil fines for), the Times makes do with an Associated Press dispatch headlined "Jesse Jackson and Democrats Fined."
For the full Kornblut on DeLay, click here:
Burying the GDP Jump
When the government announced three weeks ago that gross domestic product (the most popular measure of economic growth) grew at a 3.1% annual rate from January-March 2005, the Times trumpetedthe story as gloomy news, giving it a front-page blurb and placement on the front page of the Business section. Eduardo Porter's story began: "The economy braked sharply in the first three months of the year, the government reported yesterday, expanding at its slowest pace in two years as rising energy prices spurred a burst of increased inflation and dragged down spending by businesses and consumers."
Come yesterday, and the revised GDP numbers are substantially higher, showing an annual rate of 3.5% growth over the same period. Yet the Times doesn't bother to report the story itself, relying on a Reuters dispatch under the headline, "Economic Growth in Quarter Was Greater Than Estimated."