Hume again cherry-picked for the "Grapevine," attacked DCCC chair Emanuel by selectively quoting columnist

››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

Fox News' Brit Hume selectively cited a Chicago Sun-Times column to attack Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) chairman Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) over his relationship to his former campaign treasurer, William Singer. Citing the column, Hume said Singer lobbied Emanuel on at least one occasion since he became Emanuel's campaign treasurer but omitted that the same Sun-Times column also reported that "Emanuel voted against Singer's position."

During the "Grapevine" segment of the February 2 edition of Special Report with Brit Hume, Fox News Washington managing editor Brit Hume selectively cited a February 2 Chicago Sun-Times column by Lynn Sweet to attack Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) chairman Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) on his relationship to his former campaign treasurer, William Singer. Drawing on Sweet's Sun-Times piece, Hume reported that Emanuel "has made ethics a central issue in 2006," but "quietly switched campaign treasurers last month, dropping a longtime friend [Singer] who was also a federally registered lobbyist." Hume then noted that Singer had been Emanuel's treasurer since 2002, continuing, "[T]he Chicago Sun-Times reports that he's [Singer] officially lobbied Emanuel on at least one occasion since then. A spokesman for the congressman says with ethics issues heating up in the House, Singer was replaced for, quote, obvious reasons." What Hume left out is that in the only example cited in Sweet's column of Singer lobbying Emanuel while serving as Emanuel's treasurer, Sweet also noted that "Emanuel voted against Singer's position."

Media Matters for America has documented other examples of Hume's distortions during the "Grapevine" (here, here, here, and, most recently, here).

From Sweet's February 2 Chicago Sun-Times column:

Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), the boss of the House Democratic political operation who is making ethics a centerpiece issue in the November elections, last month quietly switched campaign treasurers -- from a federal lobbyist who has for a long time served in that role to someone else.

Emanuel's move comes as GOP leaders who control Congress are seriously considering a crackdown on ethics rules in the wake of an unfolding GOP scandal triggered by the conviction of Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Kathleen Connery, Emanuel's government spokesman, said the treasurer, William Singer, a lawyer and a lobbyist, has been replaced. Asked why, Connery replied, "It's obvious.''

The obvious, I surmise, is this: Emanuel saw the need to get his own ethics house in order. Singer is a former Chicago alderman whose friendship with Emanuel predates his election to Congress. Singer is also a fund-raiser for Senate Democrats.

With the ethics issue heating up, Singer told me he stepped down because "I respect him and want to help him and the best way to do that is not to serve in a meaningless job as treasurer.'' Singer said he will continue to raise money for Emanuel, one of the most prolific fund-raisers in Washington.

I wrote about Singer's connection to Emanuel's campaign Jan. 3, 2002, when Emanuel was first running for his seat.

In Washington, Singer represents United Airlines, mainly on pension issues and Verizon on telecommunication legislation.

Emanuel sits on the Ways and Means Committee, which handles many pension matters. Singer lobbied him on one issue and Emanuel voted against Singer's position.

From the February 2 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume:

HUME: And now the most engaging two minutes in television, the latest from the political "Grapevine."

[...]

HUME: Illinois Democratic Congressman Rahm Emanuel, head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, who has made ethics a central issue in 2006, quietly switched campaign treasurers last month, dropping a longtime friend who was also a federally registered lobbyist. William Singer, a former Chicago alderman and one of Washington's most prolific Democratic fund-raisers, has been Emanuel's treasurer since his first campaign in 2002. And the Chicago Sun-Times reports that he's officially lobbied Emanuel on at least one occasion since then. A spokesman for the congressman says with ethics issues heating up in the House, Singer was replaced for, quote, obvious reasons.

Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Brit Hume
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Special Report with Brit Hume
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Attacks on Progressives, Propaganda/Noise Machine
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