The Media Fails You, Example #23,745: Why Is The Media Ignoring Tom Coburn's Role In Ensign Scandal?

ABC News' Jonathan Karl sat down this week for this gimmicky "Subway Series" interview with Sen. Tom Coburnof Oklahoma. Coburn opined on Grover Norquist, the tax structure (where to his credit, he was surprisingly honest, admitting that our taxes are at a 100 year low) the deficit, leaving the Gang of 6, effectively killing it, and the debt ceiling.

But note what wasn't mentioned: Coburn's role in the Ensign sex scandal:

Contained in the 67-page report {written by the Senate Ethics Committee investigating John Ensign's conduct}, however, is troubling evidence of the central role that current Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) played in trying to keep Ensign’s mistress and her husband quiet — evidence that contradicts Coburn’s previous public statements on the matter. In July 2009, Coburn said he was consulting with Ensign “as a physician and as an ordained deacon” and he considered it a “privileged communication that I will never reveal to anybody.” Asked about the claim from Doug Hampton, the husband of Ensign’s mistress, that he “urged Ensign to pay the Hamptons millions of dollars,” Coburn said, “I categorically deny everything he said.”[..]

Coburn eventually agreed to cooperate with the Ethics Committee; their findings on the level of his involvement are startling. According to the committees report, Coburn actively assisted in the discussions of a hush money package, negotiating a proposed package from $8 million down to $2.8 million.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but that sounds like some seriously ethically-challenged behavior to me. Ensign left office the day before the report came out and had the unbelievable luck to do so just before Osama bin Laden was killed, so the entire event flew under the radar of the media. But Coburn continues his luck that no one in the media bothers to ask him about his role whatsoever.

So what will it take? What will make the media wake up and do their job? Or is it just okay to be brokering hush money to your colleagues mistress if you're a Republican?


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