Sunday, April 09, 2006

Dissembling in the First Degree

Hyman attempts a bit of cleverness in
his latest anti-Hillary Clinton editorial, pretending to defend her from “critics” who he claims are attacking her for receiving a $2000 contribution from Willie Tan, the sweatshop owner who was a client of Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Hyman suggests that this small amount of money wouldn’t influence a politician with tens of millions of dollars at her disposal.

In framing his “defense” of Clinton this way, Hyman 1) ties her to the Congressional scandal involving Abramoff by mentioning her name in connection with it, and 2) tacitly suggests she’s a candidate who has been bought and paid for by special interests through his emphasis on the “tens of millions” she has “raked in.” And he carries out his stealth attack in the guise of a defense. Cute.

The most obvious reasons for such an attack are to lay the groundwork for future attacks on Clinton, a presumptive candidate for the 2008 Democratic nomination. Another is to contribute to the attempts to paint the Abramoff Congressional scandal as bipartisan, despite Abramoff’s longstanding ties to the Republican Party, the fact that nearly two-thirds of the money that he collected in donations went to Repblicans, and the fact that the biggest players in the scandal are nearly all GOP-ers, including the disgraced former Republican leader Tom “Dale Gribble” DeLay. Unlike Clinton, DeLay was influenced by money he received from Willie Tan to the point that he promised Tan he’d scuttle any legislation that might protect the workers in Tan’s sweatshops,
sweatshops that relied on young immigrant women to man sewing machines for 70 hours a week with no overtime pay, to work for less than minimum wage, and in some cases to become unpaid participants in the sex industry or to choose between losing their job and aborting their babies if they became pregnant. DeLay championed this system as a miracle of the free market system. So much for the “culture of life.”

But there might a more specific reason why Hyman might want to suggest that a politician would not necessarily be influenced by money that they received via Abramoff or from an Abramoff client.

As it turns out, Maryland Governor, and former Mark Hyman boss, Bob Ehrlich has close ties to Abramoff. You might recall that
Ehrlich, who is facing an election this year, has close ties to Sinclair. He did some unethical lobbying for Sinclair Broadcasting while in Congress and in turn received unethical in-kind campaign contributions from Sinclair. He got Sinclair to produce some Maryland tourism commercials that—surprise, surprise—featured the governor himself. In return, he had the state government buy advertising time on Sinclair stations. And, as regular readers will remember, there have been any number of times in which Hyman has used “The Point” to defend the policies of his former employer and Sinclair pal.

But Ehrlich has other friends, too,
and one of them is Maryland resident Jack Abramoff, who has given Ehrlich $16,000 in contributions. On top of that, Ehrlich’s deputy chief of staff is a founder of a company that served as front for funneling cash into Abramoff’s personal coffers.

So, in Hyman’s game of “Six Degrees of Jack Abramoff,” it turns out that Hyman’s former boss is only one degree away, and Sinclair itself a mere two.

And that’s The Counterpoint.

Hyman Index: 3.05


At 9:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess Hyman thinks it's time to crank up his Noise Machine. Must miss the good ol days of swiftboating John Kerry.

Free speech to all, but more free speech to the wealthy who own TV stations. Ah, bought-democracy in action! The rich gotta luv it!

Whatever happen to the concept of the Greater Good????


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