We wrote here and in several follow-up posts about the New York Times’s outrageous front-page smear of Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Times reporter Eric Lichtblau falsely accused Issa of using his Congressional office to enrich himself. Lichtblau’s piece was so fact-challenged that it has given rise, so far, I believe, to four corrections. There should be several more, but the Times has dug in its heels and refuses to correct any more of its obvious errors.
The Times piece started with a left-wing web site; indeed, some have accused Lichtblau of plagiarism. This is common: reporters for Democratic newspapers like the Times and the Washington Post constantly troll far-left web sites for story ideas. When they come across a slander they think they can sell, they jump in. That is what happened here.
The Times story blew up like an exploding cigar. You might think that would cause the Left to abandon it in shame, but you would be wrong. Today The Hill reported that a left-wing group has asserted ethics violations against Issa, based on the Times story. That was the plan all along, of course. The Hill writes:
A liberal advocacy group is filing an ethics complaint against Rep. Darrell Issa, alleging that the California Republican has repeatedly used his public office for personal gain.
The group, American Family Voices, is planning to file the complaint with the House Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) on Tuesday.
So, who is “American Family Voices”? We have no idea, of course. They are a 501(c)(4) organization that does not disclose its donor list. But you can be confident that some of the same people who donated to the left-wing web site that got the ball rolling in the first place also donate to “American Voices.” This is all a well-coordinated plan. Those who lodged the ethics complaint make no secret of the fact that they rely on the discredited NY Times story:
Lux cites a 3,080-word investigative report published in The New York Times on Aug. 15 and reporting by Thinkprogress.org, a liberal media outlet.
There you have it. This is how the Left operates: they pay for lies to be published, and then demand investigations on the basis of those lies. Why are they out to get Issa? No secret there, either. His committee has embarrassed the Obama administration with its investigation of ATF’s Fast and Furious program. At this point, best case for the Obama administration is that the scandal ends with Attorney General Eric Holder. So Issa has become public enemy number one.
The word “corruption” is often tossed around in connection with politics, generally wrongly. In my opinion, this story illustrates the real corruption that infects our public life.