A few days ago Harry Reid told the AP that Senate rules permit a Senator to accept items of value from home-state government agencies. In fact the rules are less strict, allowing Senators to accept items of value from government agencies of any state. Either way he is perfectly in the clear. So what is the difference? Reid was talking about whether it’s okay for John McCain to accept boxing tickets (Reid was not offered tickets but credentials for admission, which would have been illegal to reimburse). The AP apparently finds this newsworthy:
Reversing course, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid’s office acknowledged Wednesday night he misstated the ethics rules governing his acceptance of free boxing tickets and has decided to avoid taking such gifts in the future.
The Nevada senator still believes it was “entirely permissible” for him to accept ringside seats for three professional boxing matches in 2004 and 2005 from the Nevada Athletic Commission but has nonetheless decided to avoid doing so in the future, his office said.
I agree with Steve Benen and Aravosis, this third hit piece by Solomon gets the basic facts so wrong that you have to assume there’s a conscious decision behind it. William Jefferson just isn’t a big enough fish to “balance” the amazing number of prominent Republicans in jail, on trial, facing indictment and under various stages of investigation. Reid certainly fits the bill, or he would if he ever did anything wrong, which he has not.
If you feel like reminding the AP that “balance” means more than simply declaring that A equals B and then misrepresenting B to make it so, drop them a line at firstname.lastname@example.org . Try to be firm but pleasant because, 1) there is no point helping people like Debbie Howell turn the story into what a poor hate victim she is, and 2) you will be more persuasive that way (thinly-veiled hint: this also works for blog comments).