Green Room

CBS: Did you see what the Washington Post reported about Menendez?

posted at 12:45 pm on February 16, 2013 by

Earlier today, I wrote about the Washington Post’s reporting on the FBI probe into sex scandal allegations against Robert Menendez, and how that will likely give other media outlets an entree.  The dam looks like it may be breaking in the rest of the national media.  Here’s CBS:

The FBI is investigating allegations that Sen. Rob. Menendez, D-N.J., patronized prostitutes in the Dominican Republic, two people familiar with the investigationtold the Washington Post.

One source told the Post that investigators are focused on whether Salmon Melgen, a Florida eye doctor and major Menendez donor, provided the Menendez with prostitutes while he was vacationing in the Caribbean nation. Another person indicated that the FBI is looking into allegations of underage prostitution and sex parties.

The FBI, according to the sources, was tipped off by a series of anonymous emails alleging that Menendez had patronized the prostitutes while vacationing at Melgen’s resort home in the Dominican Republic. Prostitution is not illegal in the Dominican Republic, but solicitation of underage prostitutes is.

So far, nothing on ABC or NBC websites, but we’ll see whether they pick it up later today.  The New York Times reports on it more obliquely today, taking a very skeptical look into the allegations and questioning the motives of the accusers:

“My duty as a U.S. citizen obligates me to report what I consider to be a grave violation of the most fundamental codes of conduct that a politician of my country must follow,” said the first sentence of the e-mail, sent by a person who identified himself as Peter Williams. The e-mail, and others that followed, then went on to detail claims related to Mr. Menendez and the underage prostitutes, as well as decadent outings on a yacht.

But there was something immediately suspicious about Mr. Williams, said Melanie Sloan, a former federal prosecutor who is now executive director of Citizens for Responsibility, which is based in Washington. Mr. Williams provided some accurate details about Dr. Melgen’s life in the Dominican Republic, but would not agree to speak by phone, and he also said he had been aware of Mr. Menendez’s activities since 2008 — but was only now coming forward. That, Ms. Sloan observed, was seven months before Mr. Menendez faced re-election.

Pete Williams is the nickname of former Senator Harrison A. Williams Jr., Democrat of New Jersey; in 1983, he became the first senator jailed in 80 years, for his role in the so-called Abscam case, in which agents posing as Arab sheiks offered bribes to members of Congress. Perhaps in adopting that name, the person who sent the e-mail about Mr. Menendez was making a cruel joke.

As I’ve noted on more than one occasion, there is reason for some skepticism about the allegations, as there should be for any allegations of this sort when sources remain anonymous.  But it also pays to be skeptical about the motivation for skepticism in the media, especially when it seems that the level of skepticism depends on which part of the political spectrum the target of the allegations seems to fall.

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Comments

That he was attacked by crazed coked-up hookers that stripped him and jumped on his ****, yeah heard all about it on MSDNC.

abobo on February 16, 2013 at 12:49 PM

As long as he didn’t send any text messages, what’s the big deal?

WashJeff on February 16, 2013 at 12:50 PM

Is kiddie sex a crime in the DR?

BobMbx on February 16, 2013 at 12:56 PM

Is kiddie sex a crime in the DR?

BobMbx on February 16, 2013 at 12:56 PM

Due to a law which Menendez himself voted for, having kiddie sex in the Dominican Republic is a felony in the U.S.

steebo77 on February 16, 2013 at 1:44 PM

Did he snort coke sip water off the underage hookers though? If not, total non scandal.

Kataklysmic on February 16, 2013 at 1:45 PM

It would only be a scandal if an R was in front of his name. Since it is a D – nothing to see here.

johnnybgood on February 16, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Big deal….This story could have broken *before* the election…but WasPo and all the other MSM outlets suppressed it.

JeffersonFan on February 16, 2013 at 3:00 PM

allegations without proof is a Harry Reid specialty – so what’s good for the goose…

Slade73 on February 16, 2013 at 4:20 PM

It is a little suspicious, but if the guy has been with underage prostitutes it’s probably been going on for years, and there has to be a trail. If one person has knowledge of this, he can’t be the only one.

scalleywag on February 16, 2013 at 4:39 PM

Bumper sticker.
Hillary-Menendez 2016
What difference, at this point, does it make?

countrybumpkin on February 16, 2013 at 4:51 PM

So far, nothing on ABC or NBC websites, but we’ll see whether they pick it up later today. The New York Times reports on it more obliquely today, taking a very skeptical look into the allegations and questioning the motives of the accusers

…but of course!…if it were Republican Menendez?

KOOLAID2 on February 16, 2013 at 5:05 PM

It’s just like the old days in the USSR when analysts scoured Pravda to see whose star was rising or falling, depending on what was written about them… fascinating.

Marxism is for dummies on February 16, 2013 at 5:57 PM

Common, George Bush made him do it.

Skipper50 on February 16, 2013 at 6:55 PM

Paying to rape children in a foreign country, meh. Taking a sip of water during a speech, now that is scandalous and career ending!

Ellis on February 16, 2013 at 7:09 PM

But it also pays to be skeptical about the motivation for skepticism in the media, especially when it seems that the level of skepticism depends on which part of the political spectrum the target of the allegations seems to fall.

ding ding ding

nail….head

cmsinaz on February 16, 2013 at 7:31 PM

Yes, who sane and honest doubts that if ABC (who had the story before the NJ primary election) had this against a Republican, they would have waited until too late to replace the candidate on the ballot and then “Abu Graibed” the story? That they didn’t even report it before the primary tells me that the “reporters, producers, and editors” (read Democratic Party Operatives allowed to pretend neutrality for the community service part of the broadcast license discount) don’t actually see anything wrong with their side using child prostitutes.

jhnone on February 16, 2013 at 8:06 PM

Hillary-Menendez 2016
What difference, at this point, does it make?

Not rape-rape…

drunyan8315 on February 17, 2013 at 10:01 AM

If Menendez was an R, the media would be asking if all Republicans were pedophiles at this point, just like they did with that obscure Republican House member who was sending creepy emails.

But, much as we saw with Roman Polanski, the Democrats are ok with pedophilia – as long as it is from a leftist who has paid his dues.

It is interesting the way the left gives its leaders and favorites permission to do anything – rape (Bill Clinton), pedophilia (Menendez), embezzlement (Corzine), tax fraud (Geithner) and I could go on…

Note that not one of them ended up in prison, as a normal person would, or was even forced our of politics.

18-1 on February 17, 2013 at 10:23 AM

This is a bunch of malarky. There are more important things going on in this country to focus on, like Choom and Mooch going on separate vacations.

HiJack on February 17, 2013 at 10:36 AM

Another person indicated that the FBI is looking into allegations of underage prostitution and sex parties.

They should send in the Secret Service, as they seem to have a proven ability for finding such things in country.

apostic on February 17, 2013 at 10:39 AM

Paying to rape children in a foreign country, meh. Taking a sip of water during a speech, now that is scandalous and career ending!

Ellis on February 16, 2013 at 7:09 PM

Yep. That is exactly the point.

Instapundit, in conjunction with PJMedia had a very funny “poster” up today covering that angle.

Heh!

Trochilus on February 17, 2013 at 5:22 PM

Back on February 6th the WaPo posted a story about the ethics problems Menendez is being investigated for vis-à-vis his curiously close financial relationships with Dr. Melgen, and the Senator’s attempted interventions into the $8.9 million Medicare and Medicaid over-billing case being pursued against the doctor since back in 2009.

But there was no mention of the allegations that had been posted by Daily Caller including a story one day earlier egarding the written note that had surfaced from the prostitute who alleged that she had been having sex with the Senator since she was 16 years old.

The Daily Caller had been consistently pursuing the sex with prostitutes angle since November, including the allegation regarding the underage prostitute, and in December they published a story that Menendez had a convicted sex offender who was an illegal immigrant working on his staff as an intern!

But until the WaPo finally mentioned these allegations, there had pretty much been an MSM hands off attitude toward this angle. And Menendez himself was issuing denials in such general and vague terms, that for a while many people thought he was talking about the alleged financial improprieties.

However, an old gag has been circulating for the last several weeks around here in New Jersey. Though that earlier story made no mention of the underage prostitute allegation, one of the commenters on the thread of that February 6th WaPo story — going by the name of Diesel_Skins — didn’t hesitate to bring it up.

Wrote he (or she) at 10:01 AM that day:

Senator Bob Menendez and his prostitute are arguing over money.

“You promised me $50, you pedophile!” she cried.

“Pedophile?” asked Menendez, “that’s an awfully big word for a 14-year-old.”

That kind of mockery gets around! Maybe one of the reasons the MSM is finally covering the prostitute angle is because there were so many people talking and joking about it, the only place there was no mention of that part of the Menendez scandal, was in the papers!

Trochilus on February 17, 2013 at 6:45 PM