Politico Buries Senator Leland Yee's Arms Trafficking Scandal
The world of political news was captivated by Thursday’s report of the arrest for gun trafficking of a famously anti-gun California state senator. Yet while most other news outlets reported the incident, Politico, an outlet that supposedly leads the nation in political news, didn't post a single story on the incident the day the news broke.
This is the same Politico that managed to publish 90 separate stories on the Herman Cain sexual harassment scandal when it broke – within six days.
California State Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) made a name for himself by becoming one of the most virulently anti-gun legislators in a state filled with anti-gun legislators. On March 27, news broke that Yee had been arrested for corruption the day before. He wasn't just arrested for run-of-the-mill corruption, either. He was arrested under charges of attempting to actually supply guns to local gangs.
Now, one would think that this would be big, big political news. In fact, nearly every other news agency in the nation dutifully reported on Yee's arrest. But a March 27 search of the name "Leland Yee" on Politico's website found only one recent entry: a mere blurb in the Politico Huddle, a compilation of the day's news stories.
Within that article, Yee's story comes after ten other items--and fails to mention arms trafficking, the most sensational charges he faces. Politico's Scott Wong only mentions "bribery and corruption charges," and he does not link to an outside article with more detail on the case.
A search of Google shows no other coverage of the story from Politico.
The story is quite a shocking one, too. During an investigation, Yee is accused of telling an undercover FBI agent that he would spend as much as $2.5 million on automatic, "shoulder-fired" weapons. He is accused of claiming he'd supply missiles to the gangs for a price. It is alleged that Yee hoped to traffic in firearms in exchange for thousands in campaign donations and help emigrating abroad.
According to an FBI-sworn affidavit, Yee proposed to import the fully automatic machine guns into the U.S. from a Philippines-based Muslim terror group.
This is the same state senator who made a name for himself time and again by attacking Californians' Second Amendment rights. Among a slew of anti-gun votes, Yee voted for the proposed California assault weapons ban (SB 374) in 2013. He also voted for the ban on lead hunting ammunition and for background checks for ammunition purchases.
Yet, on the day and the day after Yee's arrest, Politico had entirely ignored the story.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at email@example.com.