O'Reilly Ignoring Ensign/Coburn Hush Money Scandal
By: Steve - May 15, 2011 - 9:30am
This was a big scandal that just got even bigger, and O'Reilly has ignored it all. Because it involves Republicans, but when the Democrat John Edwards mistress scandal broke, O'Reilly was all over it for months on end.
After a 22-month investigation, the Senate Ethics Committee released a report on the conduct of Sen. John Ensign (R-NV), who resigned early this month. The report contains pages and pages of evidence suggesting Ensign may have violated several laws in an effort to cover up an affair with a member of his staff. The committee has even referred the matter to the Department of Justice.
Contained in the 67-page report, however, is troubling evidence of the central role that current Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) played in trying to keep Ensign's mistress and her husband quiet - evidence that contradicts Coburn's previous public statements on the matter.
According to the report, Coburn actively assisted in the discussions of a hush money package, negotiating a proposed package from $8 million down to $2.8 million. The report describes the negotiation between Mr. Albregts, an attorney for the husband of Ensign's mistress, and Sen. Coburn.
The Ensigns rejected the new offer. Previous reports referenced Coburn's role as a go-between but did not reveal the extent of his inovlement in the negotations.
The report notes that "Mr. Albregts testified that Senator Coburn took an active role in the negotiations between Mr. Hampton and Senator Ensign, and this role included proposing specific resolutions." Coburn told the committee that he was "simply going to pass information" on to Ensign.
After the release of the findings of the Senate Ethics Committee's hearing on former Senator John Ensign (R-NV), which determined that Ensign may have broken various laws in order to cover up an extramarital affair, Fox News largely ignored the story.
All of the network's primetime opinion shows, as well as its morning opinion show Fox & Friends, totally ignored the story.
A Nexis search of Fox News primetime shows for May 12th, including The O'Reilly Factor, Hannity, and On the Record, returned no results for mentions of Ensign or the Senate Ethics Committee's report. A review of the May 13 broadcast of Fox & Friends had the same results.
Only two Fox News programs covered the Ensign scandal at all: Special Report and The Fox Report. But they barely mentioned it, and spent very little time discussing the story.
The Senate Ethics Committee report said the DOJ should charge Ensign with crimes. Senate Ethics Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) said this: "Mr. Ensign's actions were so brazen and improper that had he not resigned last week he might have been the first senator expelled in nearly 150 years."
Call me crazy, but that sounds like a big story that all the major news shows should have reported on, and they did, except for the shows at Fox. Here are some findings from the report.
Report: "There Is Substantial Credible Evidence That Senator Ensign" Pressured Donors, Constituents To Hire Hampton And Violated One-Year Lobbying Ban.
Report: "There Is Substantial Credible Evidence That Senator Ensign And His Parents Made False Or Misleading Statements To The Federal Election Commission."
Report: "There Is Substantial Credible Evidence That A Portion Of The $96,000 Payment Constituted An Unlawful And Unreported Campaign Contribution And Violated Federal Law."
Report: "There Is Substantial Credible Evidence That Senator Ensign Permitted Spoliation of Documents and Engaged in Potential Obstruction of Justice Violations."
Report: "There Is Substantial Credible Evidence That Senator Ensign Discriminated on the Basis of Sex and Engaged in Improper Conduct Reflecting Upon the Senate by Terminating the Hamptons Employment Because of the Affair."
Report: "There Is Substantial Credible Evidence That Senator Ensign Violated His Own Senate Office Policies."
Report: "The Special Counsel Recommends Referrals To The Department Of Justice And The Federal Election Commission."
And yet, O'Reilly did not even mention the story, not a word, nothing, zero, zip, nada. But when Democratic Senator (John Edwards) had a sex scandal, with possible violations of the law, O'Reilly was all over it for months on end.
At the time, O'Reilly even said he did want to cover the John Edwards story, but that he had to as a journalist because it had possible crimes involving with a Senator. So here you have a Republican Senator in a sex scandal, with possible crimes involved, and O'Reilly ignores the entire story.
One thing is certain: Tom Coburn has a lot of explaining to do. But you will not get any news about it from O'Reilly, because he has not even mentioned the scandal, not one time, ever. Good job Billy, you have just proven once again that you are a biased, one sided, right-wing hack of a pretend journalist.
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