Politico published a recent post about U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, who has apparently turned over emails to federal investigators probing the fallout from U.S. Sen. John Ensign’s extramarital affair.
Here’s the post, the gist of which is that Coburn is now going to fully cooperate with investigators in the scandal. Coburn was a former roommate of Ensign and apparently knew about the affair, according to media reports. The Politico post stated the investigation is apparently focused on whether Ensign helped former staffer Doug Hampton obtain lobbying work. Hampton is the husband of Cynthia Hampton, who was involved in the affair with Ensign.
As you might recall, when the story first broke, Coburn made absurd statements about how he would never never reveal any information about Ensign.
This is what he said about the issue back in July, 2009:
I was counseling him [Ensign] as a physician and as an ordained deacon. … That is privileged communication that I will never reveal to anybody. Not to the Ethics Committee, not to a court of law, not to anybody.
As I wrote then in Okie Funk:
But it’s disingenuous for Coburn to claim he was treating Ensign as a patient-Coburn is an obstetrician-and does a church deacon really have privilege rights like an ordained pastor, especially when it involves a roommate and a friend? Many people would consider that an obvious conflict of interest. Under Coburn’s wide definition, anything anyone ever says to him can be considered privileged unless, say, he didn’t want to claim privilege.
So we can only guess that Coburn isn’t going to “claim privilege.” The simply fact is that Coburn is not above the law just because he’s a medical doctor or an ordained deacon, and the corporate media here should have called him out on this issue back in 2009.
As far I can tell, Chris Casteel, the Washington correspondent for The Oklahoman, covered the Politico post with only one sentence. (I guess Casteel’s job is about the easiest gig you can get.) Meanwhile, Casteel promotes Coburn’s political stunts as his chief stenographer.
When will the corporate media here hold Coburn accountable?
Speaking of holding someone accountable, what about U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe and the heat wave in the northeast section of the United States these days? Inhofe leads the fight against the “hoax” of global warming. One of Inhofe’s basic strategies as a supplicant to oil companies is to make a point whenever it gets really cold. (Remember the igloo created by Inhofe’s family last winter that mocked former Vice President Al Gore.) Now that it’s brutally hot in some places not used to such extended heat, we hear nothing from Inhofe or his family.
Paul Krugman, a columnist for The New York Times, puts it this way:
Of course, you can’t infer trends in global temperatures from one year’s experience. But ignoring that fact has long been one of the favorite tricks of climate-change deniers: they point to an unusually warm year in the past, and say “See, the planet has been cooling, not warming, since 1998!” Actually, 2005, not 1998, was the warmest year to date – but the point is that the record-breaking temperatures we’re currently experiencing have made a nonsense argument even more nonsensical; at this point it doesn’t work even on its own terms.
So why doesn’t the corporate media here ask Inhofe what he thinks about the heat wave?