The Corner

No Time for Hillary Scandals — Because Every Reporter Everywhere Is Covering the Dennis Hastert Indictment

Following a Chicago grand jury’s decision to indict former House speaker Dennis Hastert on charges that he violated federal banking laws by paying $3.5 million to an unnamed person to cover up “past misconduct,” rumors have abounded about what exactly that misconduct might be.

The Washington Post reports now that Hastert “was trying to cover up decades-old allegations that he sexually molested a male victim to whom he recently paid hush money in violation of federal banking laws, according to a federal law enforcement official briefed on the case.”

The misconduct, according to the unnamed source, dates from Hastert’s days as a teacher and wrestling coach in Illinois in the 1980s, but Hastert “is not expected to face any charges relating to the alleged misconduct because authorities don’t believe they have enough corroborating evidence to bring a case against him.”

This is a big story, certainly. Hastert was a leader on the national stage less than a decade ago, and remains a lobbyist in Washington, D.C.

Yet one cannot help but observe: Three authors are given a byline for this scoop, and six others are credited with “contributing” to the report. That’s nine Washington Post authors hard at work getting the (legally non-actionable) background to the indictment of a retired congressman.

And it’s not just the PostABC News needed six authors to report the same story. The New York Times needed five. Politico needed four.

Would that so much media manpower were devoted to covering current scandal-laden politicians — like, oh, for instance, Hillary Clinton.

Ian Tuttle — Ian Tuttle is the former Thomas L. Rhodes Journalism Fellow at the National Review Institute.

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