NYT turns blind eye to Illinois Dem scandals

The New York Times has routinely published articles on relatively minor political scandals involving Republican politicians.* But the Times remains virtually silent on recent political scandals in the pivotal state of Illinois, scandals that have been front page news in Chicago.  Might it be because the figures touched by the recent Illinois scandals are Democrats?

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has been the subject of a long-running political scandal involving, among other suspicious acts, political supporters receiving government jobs and contracts ("pay for play"). He has been indicted by Federal prosecutors. Presidential Candidate Barack Obama has been tainted by business dealings with indicted businessman and political fundraiser Antoin " Tony" Rezko. A trucking scandal (wherein Chicago outsources its trucking business to contractors) has been shot through with bribery and kickbacks and corrupt hiring practices. Among other things, city employees on the clock operated as a political army to get out the vote for the Democratic Mayor Richard Daley and powerful Democratic Congressman Rahm Emanuel, Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in the 2006 elections, and chair of the Democratic Caucus - the fourth-ranking member.

Scandals are the stories that sell newspapers, build journalistic reputations and win Pulitzers. The New York Times bills itself as printing all the news that is fit to print. If the two major papers in Illinois have printed hundreds of stories about these scandals over the last couple of years, one would think the Times might find these news items worthy of coverage. One might think that the scandal-mongering New York Times would look at these stories as a bee looks at a flower. One would be wrong. For these scandals all involve Democrats who are a protected class in the newsrooms of the New York Times.

If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, then does it make a sound? Censorship for political purposes would be condemned by the Times if the Bush Administration were so charged. Accusations of 1984 would fill the airwaves. But when the Times chooses to practice silence to aid the Democratic Party that posture escapes notice and comment.

*For example, this Republican politician ($ link),  a GOP Kentucky Governor who was indicted on charges that he illegally rewarded political supporters with state jobs received front-page coverage, though he later signed an agreement admitting mishaps by his administration and all charges were dropped).