Today on Fox News Sunday, NPR’s Mara Liasson asserted that members of both parties accepted money from Jack Abramoff, who has plead guilty to fraud, public corruption and tax evasion:
I think every time you hear another one of these kind of bipartisan scandal stories, where it’s Democrats, not just Republicans taking money from Abramoff, it underlines a feeling that people tell pollsters over and over again, that everybody does it.
It’s not true. Jack Abramoff has never contributed a dime to a Democrat.
Some of Jack Abramoff’s tribal clients donated money to Democrats. But an analysis commissioned by the American Prospect found that, after hiring Abramoff, most clients “dramatically ratcheted up donations to Republicans.” Meanwhile, “donations to Democrats from the same clients either dropped, remained largely static or, in two cases, rose by a far smaller percentage than the ones to Republicans did.”
In this instance, the perception that “everybody does it” is being driven by the media, not the facts.
UPDATE: The NPR ombudsman has responded to this post and says we misinterpreted what Liasson meant. To clarify, this post was written after viewing Liasson’s comments on TV, not from the Fox transcript.