As the Rep. Laura Bradford (R-Collbran) scandal has consumed the Capitol press corps for the last few weeks, it's worth noting the tone and tenor of the coverage, and how it's been fundamentally different from coverage of political scandal on the other side of the aisle.
Representative Bradford may or may not have been driving drunk. It seems like a case of bad judgment on her part to us, for sure. But she didn't hurt anyone and asked to be treated like anyone else. An ethics investigation was called by Speaker McNulty within days and the issue will receive a fair hearing into what occurred. Seems like everything has followed a proper protocol and is being handled appropriately.
Compare that to coverage of Senator Suzanne Williams (D-Aurora) and her killing of a pregnant woman in a car crash in Texas last year. The Texas State Troopers recommended that she be charged with "criminally negligent homicide, tampering with physical evidence and injury to a child."
And the press corps barely batted an eye.
Even when haunting 911 tapes were uncovered by Complete Colorado, where you could hear the children of the now-deceased driver calling out for their mother, the press corps virtually ignored the story.
The only "punishment" Senator Williams saw was not becoming chair of the Transportation Committee, because that would be, you know, too close for comfort.
There was no drip, drip of Capitol intrigue over whether an ethics investigation would be called for lying to the police and tampering with crime scene evidence. No, nothing to see here. Move along.
Compare that to the Bradford scandal, which has seen nearly hourly updates from a press corps hungry for scandal, yet was oddly sated last year when a lawmaker was almost charged with homicide.
Or take a bubbling national story that was percolating right as the Bradford story came to light.
Boulder Congressman Jared Polis was accused by an investigative reporter of insider trading. While The Denver Post posted some back-and-forth between the reporter and the Congressman, no major media outlet in Colorado assigned their own reporters to dig into the very serious allegations.
The readers of the Post were quite intrigued. The Op-Eds by investigative reporter Peter Schweizer and Congressman Polis caused an avalanche of letters to the editor.
But news editors at TV stations and newspapers apparently were less interested in the story than their readers.
How in the world serious allegations of insider trading don't merit further investigation and reporting by the mainstream media just baffles our mind.
What Jared Polis is accused of doing would be blatantly illegal in the real world outside of Congress. It is sad that the news media has abdicated their responsibility to investigate alleged corruption among a powerful and wealthy Congressman who bought his seat for a cool $6 million.
To make the situation even more newsworthy, the activity by Polis and other Members of Congress prompted a change in federal law that Polis signed onto only two days after 60 Minutes aired the allegations against him.
That to us is…news.
Just in case the press blinked and missed the story, the President called out insider trading in Congress in his State of the Union.
With only limited activity covering Polis and largely ignoring the outrageous Suzanne Williams scandal, the press has still saw fit to cover every inch of intrigue and innuendo surrounding Bradford.
Shame on them for such a blatantly obvious double standard.