In response to this evening's groundbreaking report on 60 Minutes
, which targeted both Republicans and Democrats for insider trading in Congress, Politico
has circled the wagons
around Washington's political elite.
The CBS story was based on original research by Hoover Institution fellow and Big Peace
editor Peter Schweizer for his new book, Throw Them All Out: How Politicians and Their Friends Get Rich Off Insider Stock Tips, Land Deals, and Cronyism That Would Send the Rest of Us to Prison
That, apparently, was enough to send Politico
--and the clowns at Media Matters for America--into a panic.
While hyper-partisan Media Matters has vomited a torrent of non-sequiturs
to defend House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi from charges of inside deals (she paid high wages to her non-union farm workers? really?), Politico
has attempted to defend Washington's political class as a whole.
First, says Politico
's John Bresnahan--before describing the 60 Minutes
report in any detail--Schweizer is a conservative. Hence, by implication, he has an agenda (unlike Politico
, of course).
Second, Bresnahan claims, Schweizer's allegations are old charges--nothing to see here:
The allegations regarding Bachus, Hastert and Gregg [all Republicans!] covered by 60 Minutes are several years old and have received extensive media coverage already.
Curiously, Bresnahan does not link to previous reports by Politico
on these individuals. (Perhaps they were at the bottom of the page somewhere
, near the Solyndra scandal.)
Third, Bresnahan adds, Pelosi and House Speaker John Boehner (also criticized in Schweizer's book and the 60 Minutes
report) are innocent of wrongdoing, because... because... they say so:
“I have not made any decisions on day-to-day trading activities of my account and haven’t for years. I do not do it, haven’t done it and wouldn’t do it,” Boehner said during a Nov. 3 press conference when asked about the transactions by Steve Kroft.
Boehner’s office dismissed the 60 Minutes report as absurd...
“First of all, what you’re contending is not true,” Pelosi said. “Second of all, we are very proud of our record of what happened.”
Instead of following up original research by Schweizer--and by CBS, which did its own, independent investigations--Politico
has stepped in to act as mouthpiece for the leaders of the Washington elite.
There is so much more to come--in Schweizer's book, and in additional investigations to be released throughout the coming days--that for Politico
to dismiss the story as old or discredited is short-sighted--and simply wrong.
's rapid reaction to the 60 Minutes
story began long before the episode even aired--ten days ago
, to be exact, when Steve Kroft of CBS asked Pelosi and Boehner about their stock transactions at press conferences.
Ten days would have been plenty of time for Politico
to do a some research of its own, and discover some of the evidence that Kroft and Schweizer were pursuing.
did on Nov. 13 exactly what it did on Nov. 3--publish the denials of politicians and their press representatives, while drawing attention to Schweizer's conservative credentials.
Here's some news for Politico
: though there's little that unites the Tea Party and Occupy movements, they do share a disgust with Washington, and the way it has betrayed our nation's democratic hopes and principles.
Left and right, the desire to "Throw Them All Out" is widely shared. And "them" ain't just the politicians.