ENSIGN FEELS SORRY FOR HIMSELF…. Republican Sen. John Ensign’s (Nev.) humiliating sex scandal doesn’t get a lot of media attention, but it’s becoming a very big deal, including an ongoing FBI investigation that produced subpoenas for the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
But as far as the disgraced, hypocritical, right-wing senator is concerned, he’s gotten a bad rap. In fact, Ensign believes he’s been the victim of “gotcha” journalism.
The Nevada Republican made the charge as he was being asked whether he’s been subpoenaed in a grand jury probe into the aftermath of his affair. Instead of answering that question, he descended into an extended rebuke of the press — including POLITICO — for the way it has covered the scandal surrounding him.
“Seeking of the truth should be not only part of the Justice Department and part of our judicial system, but also should be … a goal of reporters today,” Ensign said. “Unfortunately, too much of our press is … (1) biased or (2) just about ‘gotcha.’” […]
Ensign has insisted that he complied with the law and with Senate ethics rules, and he suggested Wednesday that the press is out to get him.
“Whether it’s Republican or Democrat, it’s about nailing somebody,” Ensign said.
And if there’s one senator who knows all about nailing somebody, it’s John Ensign.
Look, for the senator to claim to be a victim is ridiculous. If anything, the media has gone unbelievably easy on this guy. Despite recent revelations and subpoenas, the Washington Post, for example, hasn’t run an article about Ensign’s scandal in months. News outlets that couldn’t get enough of Eric Massa (and John Edwardse, and Eliot Spitzer) haven’t even mentioned Ensign’s sordid affair.
If you’re just joining us, Ensign’s humiliation came to public attention last June, when we learned the conservative, “family-values” senator carried on a lengthy extra-marital relationship with one of his aides, who happened to be married to another one of his aides. Ensign’s parents tried to pay off the mistress’ family.
The scandal grew far worse in October, when we learned that the Republican senator pushed his political and corporate allies to give lobbying contracts to his mistress’s husband. When Douglas and Cynthia Hampton left Ensign’s employ — because, you know, the senator was sleeping with Cynthia — Ensign allegedly took steps to help them make up the lost income, leaning on corporate associates to hire Douglas as a lobbyist. Emails surfaced this month that bolstered the allegations.
The controversy features the immediate affair, plus alleged ethics violations, hush money, and official corruption. An ongoing FBI investigation appears to be heating up, and by some accounts, expanding.
And yet, no media frenzy. No reporters staked out in front of Ensign’s home. No op-eds speculating about the need for Ensign to resign in disgrace.
“Gotcha” journalism? Please. If Ensign were a Democrat, he would have been forced from office months ago.