Anonymous Leaks: Reliable As Always!

There has been a great deal of buzz about ABC’s report that Dennis Hastert, Speaker of the House, is “included” in the ongoing bribery investigation of House members. That report, of course, was based on leaks from “federal officials.”

Tonight, the Justice Department denied the report:

The Justice Department denied a news report Wednesday that it was investigating House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

Perhaps it could still turn out to be true. But, once again, the moral is, I think, that it is foolish to assume that stories based on anonymous leaks are well-founded. More likely, they are smears and slanders put out by people with a political agenda, and printed by reporters with the same political agenda.

The broader question, of course, is whether it makes sense to launch “bribery” investigations when Congressmen and Senators vote consistent with the interests of their campaign contributors. People rarely contribute money to politicians who disagree with their views, and the idea that there is something wrong with a politician voting the way his supporters and constituents want him to, is ridiculous.

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