Give Steny Hoyer one cheer for at least acknowledging the domestic violence allegations against DNC deputy chair Rep. Keith Ellison. Give him another for calling the matter “serious.” However, offer up a boo or two for the lack of follow-up from Hoyer — and from the news outlets with whom he discussed it.
Only CBS News appears interested in the story:
The second-highest ranking Democrat in the House, Rep. Steny Hoyer, called the allegations of abuse against fellow Democratic congressman Rep. Keith Ellison, of Minnesota, “serious.”
Minority Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, said he has spoken with Ellison, who denies allegations that he abused his ex-girlfriend, Karen Monahan.
However, when asked about the allegations by CBS News, Hoyer told a group of reporters he has never seen any action by Ellison “to indicate violent behavior.” The accusations against Ellison, a top leader in the Democratic National Committee, come as the congressman is running for Minnesota attorney general.
What about that “group of reporters” with whom Hoyer spoke? A Bing search of news outlets for stories about Hoyer and Ellison over the last 24 hours turns up only two links — this CBS report and a reposting of the same report by WDEF in Chattanooga. A Google search for the past week turns up the same two stories, plus another on a sports blog transcript about Brian Hoyer.
So even though the second-ranking Democrat in the House called the allegation involving the second-ranking Democratic Party official “serious,” no one in the media seems to be taking it seriously at all. For that matter, neither does Hoyer, apart from the lip service here. Not seeing “violent behavior” on the job doesn’t preclude violence at home; it’s not even germane to the point. Neither does he give any indication that the House or the party are taking any “serious” steps to address this “serious” allegation.
And why should they? If the news media isn’t going to press the question, then there’s no real reason to come up with answers. Just a few months ago, Democrats took allegations of unwanted kissing seriously enough as an assault to demand that Al Franken resign his Senate seat over it, without bothering with an investigation or any due process beforehand. In Ellison’s case, we have one allegation of recent domestic abuse and a 911 call from 2005 alleging another similar incident, and suddenly Democrats are keeping quiet about it — and media outlets from Minnesota to Washington DC and New York aren’t covering it, with only a couple of notable exceptions.
It’s possible that Karen Monahan is not telling the truth. It’s possible that Amy Alexander wasn’t telling the truth in 2005, either. But maybe Democratic leadership and media outlets that profess to “believe the women” should take it seriously enough to find out before Ellison gets elected as this state’s top law enforcement officer.