“Allegations of shady campaign contributors and procurement of prostitutes are usually the ingredients of a political scandal that send the media into a feeding frenzy. Unless, of course, the figure involved is a Democrat,” observes Geoffrey Dickens, deputy research director for the Media Research Center, a conservative watchdog.
He’s been counting the stories.
From January 24 through Friday, there have been a total of just seven stories on CBS, NBC and ABC, he says. PBS has also been slow to report on the Menendez allegations, offering only one brief on the February 7 “NewsHour.”
This has not always been the case when prominent political figures have their woes. A previous analysis found that when Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain was facing harassment charges on the campaign trail, the “Big Three” networks ran 99 stories on the topic in just over a week.
Former Republican Congressman Mark Foley’s scandal involving explicit messages with congressional pages warranted 152 stories on the three network less in than two weeks.
“The double-standard is staggering, but sadly not surprising. Since allegations of illicit contributions and sex haven’t sparked the media to hound the Democratic senator, one has to ask what will it take to get the Big Three to cover the Menendez scandal? A party switch to the Republican Party?” asks Mr. Dickens.