July 2, 2012

The Associated Press Equates Scott Brown’s Secret Meetings With Lobbyists And Elizabeth Warren’s Heritage

Are questions about Elizabeth Warren's ethnicity really as important as Scott Brown's secret meetings with lobbiysts?

This morning, the Associated Press published an article outlining a “battle over transparency” in the Massachusetts Senate race:

Both candidates in Massachusetts’ closely watched U.S. Senate race have championed the virtues of public disclosure — but each has limits when it comes to their own records and history.

What are these limits that the Associated Press is equivocating? For Republican candidate Scott Brown it’s these:

Brown … opposed a Democratic bill requiring more detailed campaign finance disclosure requirements, kept hidden all but one of the names of a committee that hosted a New York City fundraising event for him, and declined to publish his tax returns on his website, although he allowed reporters to view six years of returns in his office […] Brown has also declined to release the names of lobbyists he’s met with in his Senate offices since winning a special election in January 2010 to fill the seat left vacant by the death of longtime Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy.

These are serious breaches of any pledge to be transparent. Lobbyists and fundraisers for special interests unfortunately can have a major impact on public policy. But here’s what the Associated Press seems to equate with Brown’s lack of disclosure:

Brown, however, has been quick to fault his Democratic rival Elizabeth Warren — a consumer advocate and Harvard Law School professor — for a lack of disclosure over her claims of Native American heritage. […]  Warren has been unable to produce any documents to support the heritage claim, and she hasn’t responded to Brown’s call that she release full employment records from the colleges where she taught.

This is weak reporting. Brown’s lack of transparency can have a real impact on public policy. Whether Warren truly has Native American heritage has little to no relevance on public policy and the sort of behavior she will exhibit as a U.S. Senator. The Associated Press should vigorously examine the behavior of both of these candidates, but it should do so in a serious way that does not equate two very different activities.

  • Sagebrush

    Scott’s big donors are scared to death of Elizabeth Warren and they have a right to be scared. Just imagine, a sitting senator who puts the welfare of the American People ahead of the corrupt wall Street Banks and other Corporate Special Interests. I don’t care what her heritage is. The U.S. Congress is sold out corrupt and it’s going to take Elizabeth Warren and others like her, who think more of their constituents then their campaign donors and future employers to straighten it out.

    If the title Media Integrity refers to the MSM, forget it. Misinformation, manipulation, and misrepresentation of the truth to further corporate agendas and the political careers of their revolving door employees, is standard operation procedure for the Corporate Main Stream Media. Integrity isn’t part of the equation.

  • I have never heard Elizabeth Warren mention anything about her having native American ancestry,and who cares if she was anyway,beings from Oklahoma she may be,either way this is all a plot by the right wing to discredit someone.

  • CatKinNY

    Why does most of todays media seem to believe that their job is to simply parrot what newsmakers tell them? What happened to investigation, and what the hell happened to common sense? Secret meetings with lobbyists from big campaign donors (many of them from Wall Street, whose interests are in direct opposition to the interests of the country as a whole) are equivalent to believing what you were taught growing up as family lore? Really? Had she grown up in a family that believed they had arrived in a space ship from another galaxy and was claiming that those roots would be useful in the event of an alien invasion, then it would be relevant; but to have grown up in Oklahoma believing you had some Cherokee roots is not far fetched, and therefore meaningless. She did not use these supposed connections to gain entrance to law school or to get her first job (the two places where such a claim could have given her a competitive edge), so continuing to report on this nonstory is only giving an unfair, and unearned, advantage to Brown, and aiding and abetting the right wing echo chamber.

    It’s past time for the main stream media to face reality; the right wing media is never going to drop the meme that most media is liberal – they can’t – it’s the entire justifaction for their own existance. Therefore, calling them out on their lies will cost nothing, but restore the respect they have lost from the rational and well informed over nonsense like this.

  • Jjdp47

    This isn’t weak reporting, it’s just parroting the he said she said crap that the campaigns are spouting. Nothing new!!