Inquirer compared abuse charges against Sherwood to Clinton affair with Lewinsky; Liasson, The Note ignored charges altogether
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A Philadelphia Inquirer article characterized an admitted affair between Rep. Don Sherwood and a "woman in her 20s" as "Clintonian," even though the affair was reportedly exposed as a result of allegations that Sherwood had "repeatedly chok[ed]" and "attempt[ed] to strangle" his former mistress. An item in ABC News' political newsletter, The Note, and a report on Fox News Sunday by Mara Liasson ignored the abuse allegations altogether.
In an October 9 article discussing the congressional race between incumbent Rep. Don Sherwood (R-PA) and his Democratic opponent Chris Carney, Philadelphia Inquirer senior writer Larry Eichel characterized an affair between Sherwood and a "woman in her 20s" as "Clintonian," even though , unlike President Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky, Sherwood's affair was exposed as a result of allegations that Sherwood had "repeatedly chok[ed]" and "attempt[ed] to strangle" Cynthia Ore, his former mistress. A lawsuit filed against Sherwood based on these allegations was settled for an undisclosed amount, according to the Associated Press. Sherwood has denied the charge, most recently in a campaign ad in which he admits the affair but says "the allegation of abuse was never true."
Eichel mentioned the abuse allegations and the resulting lawsuit in the 14th and 15th paragraphs of the article. However, the October 9 edition of The Note, ABC News' political newsletter, summarized the piece as asking "whether or not Rep. Don Sherwood's (R-PA) affair with a younger woman is enough to boot him from his seat," ignoring the abuse allegations altogether.
National Public Radio national political correspondent Mara Liasson also downplayed the Sherwood scandal on the October 8 edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday, during which she said that the Mark Foley scandal would "affect certain races," including that of Sherwood, "who's had an extramarital affair."
From the October 9 edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer:
In northern Pennsylvania's sprawling 10th Congressional District, as Election Day approaches, voters are grappling with a Clintonian question:
How much does it matter that their man in Congress, 65 years old and married, was carrying on an affair in Washington with a woman in her 20s?
Sherwood's affair became public in May 2005 when the local media obtained a police report about a 2004 incident. According to the report, a woman named Cynthia Ore called 911 after having locked herself in the bathroom of Sherwood's Washington apartment, saying that she'd been assaulted.
No charges resulted from the incident, and Sherwood denies having abused the woman. Ore filed a $5.5 million civil suit, alleging repeated assaults during a five-year relationship. The litigation was settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.
From ABC News' The Note:
Larry Eichel of the Philadelphia Inquirer Notes that the Foley scandal has made the GOP bastion PA-10 a competetive [sic] race, as voters grapple with "a Clintonian question["] and whether or not Rep. Don Sherwood's (R-PA) affair with a younger woman is enough to boot him from his seat.
From the October 8 edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday:
LIASSON: This is not a national election. This is a series of 25 or so incredibly competitive House races, and it's going to affect certain races. Maybe it won't be some kind of overall, huge thing where all Republicans are rejected because of this, but in certainly Mark Foley's district, certainly in Tom Reynolds's district, Don Sherwood, who's had an extramarital affair, I mean, maybe Patty Wetterling and Michele Bachmann, an open seat in Minnesota where the Democratic challenger had a child abducted 13 years ago, maybe those seats are affected. This will happen in individual districts. It's not going to be some huge, overall -- overall change.