MASSA’S GONE, ENSIGN’S A SITTING SENATOR…. The Washington Post is promoting its latest scoop today about former Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y.), who resigned from Congress last month.
Just three months after Eric Massa was elected to Congress, his young male employees on Capitol Hill began complaining to supervisors that the lawmaker was making aggressive, sexual overtures toward them, according to new interviews and internal documents.
The senior staff, one of whom said he heard Massa making lewd remarks to young staffers, tried to manage the problem internally. But reports of Massa’s inappropriate behavior continued, leaving junior workers feeling helpless, according to victims, other staffers and sources close to an ongoing House ethics investigation.
To be sure, this sounds extremely damaging for the former lawmaker. The Post appears to have conducted a very thorough investigation, drawing on “more than two dozen interviews and internal documents.”
Indeed, the Washington Post has, by most measures, been exceedingly interested in the Massa story for several weeks now. According to a Nexis search, the newspaper has run 26 stories that mention Eric Massa since March 1. Some of those articles were Style-section pieces that mentioned Massa in passing, but most are substantive news stories — some on the front page — about his alleged misconduct.
Now, let’s contrast this coverage with the Post‘s reporting on Republican Sen. John Ensign of Nevada, who is the subject of an ongoing FBI investigation into his humiliating sex-ethics-corruption scandal.
While the paper has run 26 stories that mention Massa since March 1, it’s run 12 stories that mention Ensign since Jan. 1 — and only five deal with his scandal. The Post‘s editorial board has only mentioned Ensign once during that time, and that was to praise him for supporting public funding of private schools.
The Post is heavily invested in researching a scandal involving a former House member, but it’s choosing to ignore a scandal involving sitting senator. Massa drew scrutiny from the House ethics committee; Ensign is being investigated by the FBI.
If the allegations surrounding Massa are true, there’s not much that can be done — he’s already resigned in disgrace. If the allegations surrounding Ensign are true, a sitting senator will have to resign and will likely have to go on trial.
If this were the Washington Times, it’d be easier to understand. But as it stands, the difference in the Post‘s coverage of the Massa and Ensign controversies is just bizarre.
We’re talking about a controversy featuring a sitting senator’s adulterous 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, the Post is still digging into Eric Massa?