Even when you are used to seeing it on a regular basis, the hypocrisy of The Birmingham News can still be jolting.
Take an editorial from today's paper (please!). The News huffs and puffs about the latest from Alabama's two-year college scandal, a story the paper loves, evidently because the wrongdoing involves mostly Democrats.
Listen to the "tsk, tsk" from the News:
"One of the dangers in reading about so much corruption is that you sometimes get jaded to it, so much that it's hard to be shocked and outraged when the next chapter unfolds on the front page. So excuse us while we pause to remind ourselves it's not business as usual when public servants enrich themselves at our expense."
Oh, really? When Bob Riley, Alabama's Republican governor, appears to be up to his neck in doo-doo, it's evidently business as usual--so much so that the News ignores it.
The story about Riley's possible violations of Alabama campaign-finance laws, both in 2002 and 2006, has been all over the Web now for more than three days. Has the News written the first word about it? Nope.
Let's review a few other stories about Riley's shenanigans that the News either has ignored or given only the most cursory of glances:
* Evidence that vote tabulations in Baldwin County were electronically manipulated, allowing the election to be stolen for Riley over Democrat Don Siegelman.
* Evidence that convicted felons Jack Abramoff and Michael Scanlon (a former Riley aide) helped funnel Mississippi Choctaw gambling money into Riley's 2002 campaign.
* Evidence that Riley has displayed blatant cronyism in his awarding of state contracts.
* Evidence that Riley had a quid pro quo arrangement with Huntsville supporters, which resulted in state support for a biotech center in Huntsville while stiffing the biotech infrastructure that already existed at UAB.
* Evidence that Riley's children, Rob and Minda, have improperly benefitted from their father's position as governor.
* Evidence that Riley campaign manager Dax Swatek has ties to Jack Abramoff and comes from a family with an almost 30-year history of ethical violations in the legal profession.
* Evidence that Riley instigated a criminal investigation against Montgomery insurance executive John W. Goff in retaliation for Goff filing a lawsuit against Riley and others who allegedly took improper actions that ruined one of Goff's companies.
The list goes on, but you get the idea. The two-year colleges scandal is an important story, and Democrats involved in wrongdoing should be dealt with under the law. But that standard also should apply to Riley and his cronies.
Here's the bottom line: Compelling evidence suggests that Alabama has been ruled for about five years by a governor who was elected based on fraudulent tampering with the voting process. Evidence is even stronger that we've been ruled for five years by a governor who was elected with the help of unlawful activity.
Does this concern the braintrust at Alabama's largest newspaper? Evidently, not in the least.