In one of his recent Davenport Mystery novels, author John Sandford claimed — satirically, it is hoped — that Democrat scandals are “always about money,” and Republican scandals are “always about sex.” Except, you know, for Bill Clinton and his dress-soiling ways. John Edwards and his love child. And Mel Reynolds, convicted of having sex with teens. Or Barney Frank and his male prostitute. Or, right now down in Florida, Democratic Congressman Tim Mahoney and…
“Uh… Tim who?” you might fairly ask.
If you haven’t heard of Mahoney, it’s because our Mainstream Media is in Full Bore Yawn Until It Goes Away Mode. After all, there’s an election going on, and what could be less important in a Congressional race than a Congressman who paid off his mistress to the tune of a hundred and twenty thousand smackeroos, and I don’t mean on the lips.
“Uh… there’s money involved, too?”
You didn’t know? Oh, yes. Oh, my , yes. Oh, yes, yes, yes-yes-yes, oh God yes! Congressman Mahoney paid off his mistress $121,000. Where did he get the money? Mahoney got Patricia Allen a $50,000-a-year job at the very same advertising agency which handles his campaign buys. Furthermore, Allen, a former Mahoney staffer…
“Uh… she was on his staff?”
Yes, and not even so to speak. As it turns out, Allen was a former employee on Mahoney’s Congressional staff. The good news, at least according to ABC News, is that Allen “has not received any special payment from campaign funds.” Although ABC News doesn’t let us know where the other $21,000 came from. Because, even though I don’t have layers of editors and fact-checkers working with me, I’m pretty sure that $121,000 minus $50,000 times two, still leaves some left over. But ABC News isn’t that curious, so why should you care about the missing money, or even about the lawsuit?
“Uh… the lawsuit over what?”
Sexual harassment? A blackmail-type nuisance suit? Illegitimate W-4 withholding? Who knows? If the mainstream media know, they’re not telling us. So you’re as in-the-dark on this right now as I am. In any case, it’s all very amusing because Mahoney was elected to replace a Republican, Mark Foley, who got caught sending naughty instant messages to teen boys.
“Oh, yes, I remember that one.”
We all do. It got lots of play in the press, unlike l’affair Mahoney.
“Uh… why did that one get so much more media interest?”
Well, in all fairness, back then there was the teenage boy angle. Today, we only have a couple of middle-age folks who, judging by the scanty photographic evidence, were lucky to be having sex even with each other. That personal mean-spirited nastiness on my own part aside, what we’re dealing with today involves merely a sitting Congressman. Oh — and his staffer, and large sums of money, and a lawsuit, and a reelection campaign, and graft, and, apparently, a whole lot of dirty, dirty illicit sex. If this were a Peter Greenaway movie, it might be titled, “The Media, Its Congresscritter, His Lover, and Her Lawsuit. And All Her Ill-Gotten Money. And No Cannibalism Of Which We’re Aware, Otherwise It Might Make Some Headlines.” With a nice Chianti, thpppht, thpppht, thpppht, thpppht.
But honestly, really, now, there’s nothing to see here, so move on (dot-org) already.
“Uh… What do you mean, there’s nothing to see here?”
Well, when a Republican — the above-mentioned Mark Foley — representing the exact same distract got involved in his own scandal, involving no actual sex, no money, and no potential for workplace harassment… well, back then the mainstream media couldn’t get enough of it. Glenn Greenwald , that brave liberal soul, took endless delight in questioning the questioners, just to make sure each and every sordid detail made the light of day. And good on him, too, because Foley deserved every hit he took.
Everyone wanted to know what then-House Speaker Dennis Hastert knew, and when he knew it. Current Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a terse statement on Monday (“I just learned today about the serious allegations concerning Congressman Tim Mahoney. These charges must be immediately and thoroughly investigated by the House Ethics Committee”), and no one seems to be pressing her on it.
These days, Greenwald breathlessly reports that Mahoney occupies the same seat once held by that scoundrel Republican Mark Foley. Oooh, there’s the saucy angle the MSM missed! Along with Mahoney’s other affair…
“Wait… he had a girl on the side of his girl on the side?”
It appears that way, yes. According to this blog report (much easier to find somehow than the MSM version), “a person close to his campaign told the Associated Press that Mahoney also was having an affair with a second woman around the same time.” And now the FBI …
“Uh… the FBI is on this? Why?”
ABC Radio News — not nearly so sexy as the TV version, but still mainstream — has audiotape of Mahoney firing Allen. Nastily, too, reminding her that “the only person who matters is — guess who? — me … I’m not negotiating anymore, you’re done.” And: “If I find out you say anything else, you won’t get your last paycheck. That’s life.” The FBI isn’t talking, but it looks from here like Mahoney might have used his power of the purse to blackmail Allen into keeping quiet. This is pretty hot stuff.
And yet… type the words “Mahoney,” “Sex,” and “Scandal” into Google News’ search function, and (as of this evening) you’ll get 94 stories. Ninety-four. Which means that, according to all those important editors in the MSM, “Mahoney Sex Scandal” is only about 1/7th as interesting Chain, Link, and Fence , which returns more than 650 stories. That’s 650 stories on the innerwebs from the MSM featuring chain link fences.
Are you asleep yet? Mmm, good — that was the whole point, after all.