The world is replete with double-standards, instances where a set of facts are reported one way based on the biases of those doing the reporting while a nearly identical set of facts is presented differently, again based on the biases of those telling the story.
We see them everywhere, but they are most present perhaps where politics and the media intersect. As one example, consider how the media handled two stories, each involving powerful and politically well-connected CEOs who tanked their companies, causing shareholders to lose billions.
In the first case, Enron, the media went into high gear to expose the connections between the top guy, Ken Lay, and President George W. Bush. You heard over and over again how close they were and all the things Lay had done to help Bush in the course of his political career, real or imagined. To hear some people tell it, Lay made Bush governor of Texas and then made him president—all the better to damage the image of his administration by attempting to show it was soft on corporate crime.
In the second, you have a former U.S. senator and governor of New Jersey, Jon Corzine, who not only presided over the downfall of the MF Global but on whose watch more than $1.5 billion in investors' funds were misplaced.
As chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Corzine helped Obama first win election to the Senate. He helped him win the presidency. He has been praised by Obama and by Vice President Joe Biden as a "go to guy" on financial, economic, and Wall Street issues. He's as close to an insider as you can be without actually being in the White House or a member of the president's cabinet.
To most of the media, however, he's "Jon who?"
All this came into sharp relief this week as The Weekly Standard reported that Corzine, who is reportedly under investigation for his role in the collapse of MF Global by the U.S. Department of Justice, is still acting as a "bundler" for Obama's re-election campaign, helping enrich the campaign's coffers by at least half-a-million dollars.
Bundlers are people who collect checks from friends, business associates, and other 1 percent-ers, and send them off to campaigns in one big batch. Obama may not be taking any more money from Corzine's personal funds but he's apparently happy to have him collect money from others—a distinction with barely a difference.
Why does this matter? Well, there is still the matter of what caused MF Global to fail. Was fraud involved? Were federal regulations broken? Were private accounts comingled with corporate funds in ways that are against well-established rules? Corzine, say some experts, could be in legal trouble with, among others, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission—whose members are appointed by the president of the United States; the Commodity Futures Trading Commission—whose members are appointed by the president of the United States; and the aforementioned Justice Department which, for those who may need to be reminded, is led by the attorney general of the United States—who is also appointed by the president. And yet the president's re-election campaign, apparently unaware or not caring about the potential conflicts of interest this creates at the highest level, continues to take the money Corzine raises to support his bid for a second term.
If Corzine were Ken Lay, it would be front page news, day after day after day. Government-funded PBS would be producing news programs connecting the dots for anyone who was unable to do it for themselves. And MSNBC would be all Ken Lay all the time. But because Corzine is a Democrat and Obama is a Democrat people who should know better are ready and willing to turn a blind eye to what is going on. That's a true double-standard in action. We now return to you to our extended coverage of Mitt Romney and his dog.