Chicago Tribune’s double standard on ethics

by Dan Curry

Like many newspapers, the Chicago Tribune frequently uses a slippery double standard on ethics to attack Republicans and protect Democrats.

The Tribune reported today that Republican rising star congressman Aaron Schock is “under fire” for using an interior designer to colorfully redo his DC congressional office. Why is he “under fire?” Because, the Tribune notes, “a watchdog group” has asked a congressional ethics office to examine it.

It is a frequently employed liberal media trick to camouflage the partisan identity of “watchdog groups.” The group in question in this instance is Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). It is common knowledge that CREW is funded by known leftists such as George Soros and is a group that overwhelmingly attacks Republicans. One estimate is that CREW goes after conservatives eight times more often than liberals. It is no surprise that the news media consistently heralds CREW’s findings across the country.

Of course if Tribune reporters and editors told you CREW was a partisan group, the story would lose some steam. So they omit it.

So, what happens in the Tribune newsroom when a conservative “watchdog group” files an official ethics complaint against a prominent Illinois Democrat member of Congress on a relevant issue in the news? Nothing. The Trib refuses to cover it.

In June of last year, the First Amendment advocacy group known as the Center for Competitive Politics filed an ethics complaint with the Senate Ethics Committee asking it to examine the conduct of nine Democrat Senators, including Illinois’ Dick Durbin, for illegally coercing the Internal Revenue Service to stifle the free speech rights of conservative Americans.

The IRS scandal was deemed an important issue by Barack Obama, Dick Durbin and other Democrats when it emerged. It certainly is more important than whether Aaron Schock accepted a minimal gift from a designer to make his office nice. Yet the Tribune refused to cover the Center for Competitive Politics’ complaint, which truly had some national news value. The only media outlet to cover it was the The Hill, a Washington-based insiders’ newspaper.

These are the games the liberal media plays every day on the pages of our newspapers.