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Former FNS "Power Player" Bob Ney - how the mighty have fallen

Reported by Chrish - September 18, 2006 -

Chris Wallace addressed the imminent sentencing of US Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH), who has pled guilty to corruption charges, with a sense of inevitability: "Given the ways of Washington, it was only a matter of time before one of the people we profile at the end of this show got in trouble with the law."

Ney was profiled in the "Power Player of the Week" segment on an earlier Fox News Sunday (3/21/04). Knowing now that at the time Ney was recognized, he was involved in the corruption for which he has pled guilty, his statements become all the more blatantly self-serving.

It was not beyond him to assure that his constituents would benefit from his clout as the so-called "Mayor of Capitol Hill," where he ran everything, from funding for committees to furniture purchases. He admitted that he felt that if the institution ran well then his constituents should benefit from his clout, and while he didn't see himself as a bully he would not allow people to walk on him either - an attitude that, Wallace said. led to his other nickname, the Velvet Hammer. Said Ney "We're fair, but if we have to lay the hammer down, a rule is a rule, we'll run it that way."

After showing clips of the interview Wallace impassively stated that on Friday Ney agreed to plead guilty to corruption charges stemming from "gifts" (bribes) received from lobbyists in exchange for official favors, and prosecutors are expected to ask for a 27 month prison sentence.

Rather than highlight the downfall of this once-powerful crook, Wallace highlighted his former respected persona, with the criminal aspect almost as an afterthought. It will be interesting to see how the weekly outrage shows treat this undermining of our democracy.