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MacCallum Picking on Pelosi

Reported by Judy - December 11, 2006 -

Fox News' Martha MacCallum implied Monday (December 11, 2006) that the incoming Democratic majority in the U.S. House has multiple ethics problems piling up, but offered only one instance of such a matter.

MacCallum's "Live Desk" began with the ominous warning, “Why House Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi could have trouble keeping her election night promises.” Yet it was 35 minutes into the program before MacCallum got around to the actual story.

"Nancy Pelosi has another ethics dilemma as she prepares to become the new Democratic Speaker of the House," MacCallum said, prior to going to Fox News Capitol reporter Major Garrett.

"Another." OK, that implies more than one. MacCallum went on to mention that William Jefferson, a Democratic member of Congress under investigation by the FBI for corruption, won a run-off election over the weekend anyway.

“When you look at this situation for Nancy Pelosi, she’s said that she wants to make this the most ethnical Congress that we’ve seen in a long time. And then you have William Jefferson, who is suspected of having $90,000 in his freezer and they want to know where that came from. What kind of problem does that present for her?” MacCallum asked Garrett.

Garrett noted that although Jefferson has not been convicted of anything, Pelosi already has removed him from his powerful committee assignment, the House Ways and Means Committee, because she says the accusations were so serious.

"I believe she’s insulated herself at least slightly from the problem," Garrett said.

This would have been a good time for Garrett to mention the other ethical problems that MacCallum said Pelosi faced when she began her report with the phrase "another ethics dilemma." But Garrett left us in the dark, refusing to trot out the laundry list of sordid Democratic goings-on that MacCallum led us to expect. Instead, MacCallum chose to smear Democrats by innuendo, subtly implanting the idea that Democrats are as ethically challenged as their Republican predecessors by the deft use of a single word slipped into an ostensibly fair news account.