Deborah Howell wrote in WaPo Nothing in my 50-year career prepared me for the thousands of flaming e-mails I got last week over my last column, e-mails so abusive and many so obscene that part of The Post's Web site was shut down.
That column praised The Post for breaking the story on lobbyist Jack Abramoff's dealings, for which he has pleaded guilty to several felony counts. The column clearly pointed out that Abramoff is a Republican and dealt mainly with Republicans, most prominently former House majority leader Tom DeLay of Texas.
Who was sixth on the list of recipients of money, and who got $71,000, compared to $131,000 received by Patrick Kennedy, Democrat from Rhode Island, according to Washington Post's graphic of how the money was distributedI wrote that he gave campaign money to both parties and their members of Congress. He didn't. I should have said he directed his client Indian tribes to make campaign contributions to members of Congress from both parties.
A distinction without a difference. It was still money.My mistake set off a firestorm. I heard that I was lying, that Democrats never got a penny of Abramoff-tainted money, that I was trying to say it was a bipartisan scandal, as some Republicans claim. I didn't say that. It's not a bipartisan scandal; it's a Republican scandal, and that's why the Republicans are scurrying around trying to enact lobbying reforms.
But there is no doubt about the campaign contributions that were directed to lawmakers of both parties. Records from the Federal Election Commission and the Center for Public Integrity show that Abramoff's Indian clients contributed money to 195 Republicans and 88 Democrats between 1999 and 2004. The Post also has copies of lists sent to tribes by Abramoff with his personal directions on which members were to receive what amounts.
Michael Crowley of the New Republic said in his blog that "while for all practical purposes this is indisputably a Republican scandal, the narrow liberal-blogger definition of whether any Democrats took money 'from Abramoff' -- which neatly excludes contributions he directed his clients to make -- amounts to foolish semantics."
But the Left Wing Moonbats are very foolish.These facts have been reported many times in The Post and elsewhere. So why would it cause me to be called a "right-wing whore" and much worse?
Witness three printable examples:
"Yes, the WAPO needs an enema, and Howell should be the first thing that gets medicinally removed."
That comment really shows a lot of insight, doesn't it."You Deborah Howell, stop lying about Democrats getting money from Abramoff. Democrats do not control anything in Washington, so why would he waste money bribing them. Think and do your research, and stop being an idiot."
As the chart shows, Democrats got about half as much as the Republicans. He wanted to buy a bipartisan support for his projects."This rag must be something that I pulled off a barscreen at a sewage treatment plant. Howell is simply a paid liar. How this creature endures itself is something I don't understand. What a piece of flotsam."