Friday, January 13, 2006

How easy it is

When Lynn suggested the book idea two years ago and we started researching, we were quickly struck by just how easy it is to find corrupt Democrats in the news. Anybody can do it but -- because of media bias -- you have to know the tricks.

Any day of the week, just go to Google News and enter a term like "mayor," "councilman," "lawmaker," etc., in combination with "indicted," "arrested," "guilty," etc. Hit the return key, and start checking out the results. You will notice that most of the corrupt politicians (or, to be fair, politicians accused of corruption) are not listed by party name. Mayor Smith is indicted, arrested, convicted, etc., and that darn local newspaper just can't seem to remember what his party is! Isn't that strange?

If the guy's a Republican, there won't be any doubt. The newspaper may even put his party affiliation in the headline: "GOP mayor goes to prison."* This goes to show you that media bias isn't just the big boys at the New York Times; it goes all the way down to the tiniest little local daily.

But if the corrupt guy's a Democrat, his party affiliation probably won't be mentioned in the news story about his indictment. So you will now have to do separate Googles to double-check.

Anyone who takes the time to research this subject will find the same thing we found: Day in, day out, year after year, Democrats are the all-time leaders in political corruption, by a ratio of at least 3 to 2, and probably more like 2 to 1.

How easy is it to find corrupt Democrats? I just got off deadline (Lynn's sending the corrected manuscript to the publisher today, and it's supposed to hit the bookstores in April). So it's been a few weeks since we've done any fresh research into late-breaking scandals. So I thought I'd just check out Google News to see if there were newly-exposed bad boys out there. It took only a few seconds to discover former Eastlake, Ohio, Mayor Dan DiLiberto.

Just before the end of the year, Mayor DiLiberto was indicted on four felony charges. Tracey Read of the (Willoughby, Ohio) News-Herald reported Dec. 31:

DiLiberto, 58 ... is accused of helping Richmond Heights businessman John Chiappetta improperly receive funds from a state loan program to develop Eastlake Industrial Park.

He was indicted Thursday in Lake County Common Pleas Court on four felony charges - falsification, two counts of theft in office and complicity to aggravated theft.He was also indicted on two misdemeanor falsification counts.

DiLiberto was mayor from January 1994 to April 2004. When he retired and suddenly moved to Florida in the middle of his term, citing health concerns, the Eastlake Police Department and the FBI began a 17-month investigation. The investigation started out focusing on whether DiLiberto mishandled money from marriage ceremonies, illegally bought city goods for family members, and misused campaign funds.

Authorities then shifted their focus from allegations of impropriety to the former mayor's suspected involvement with Chiappetta, who defaulted on repayment of an estimated $2.7 million of a $3.015 million state loan for the Erie Road industrial park.Chiappetta is scheduled for trial Feb. 6 in Lake County Common Pleas Court on charges of aggravated theft, forgery and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.

Notice, however, that nowhere in the story is it mentioned that DiLiberto is a Democrat. To discover that, you'd have to Google the ex-mayor's name with the word "Democrat."

Right now, Ohio is up to its neck in corruption scandals involving Republican politicians. I doubt you'd find a single story about Bob Ney, for instance, that omits his party affiliation. Indeed, I just got 168 hits with a Google News search for the phrase "Republican scandal.") But when Democrats get caught with their hands in the cookie jar, they suddenly and rather mysteriously become nonpartisan in media accounts.

But there's no such thing as liberal bias, right?


* UPDATE: Via Michelle Malkin, I went to Ranting Right Wing Howler, where Vilmar points out a perfect example of this phenomenon (i.e., corrupt Republicans being identified by party affiliation in headlines) from the San Francisco Chronicle: "Scandal rocks Ohio GOP insider." And this is why the MSM is losing audience share: They really do think people are too stupid to notice their bias.