The Donkeys' Elephant In The Room

The Norman Hsu scandal is growing bigger and bigger. Even Bill Clinton has chimed in on it, saying he was “shocked” (in a Captain Renault sense, I suspect) to hear that one of his wife’s top fundraisers — who pulled in over $1.3 million dollars for Democrats and Democratic causes — had been a wanted fugitive for 15 years.

(This brings up an interesting circumstance — Hsu was convicted in February of 1992. This means that he was a fugitive from essentially the very beginning of Bill Clinton’s presidency. He both fled the United States and returned during Clinton’s term of office, and set up his Democratic fund-raising machine in the state Hillary Clinton nominally represents. This is most likely an utterly meaningless coincidence, but a fun thought.)

To be blunt, this is huge news. Hsu was a very big money-raiser for the Democrats. The fact that not ONE of the Democrats he patronized — Senator Hillary Clinton, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, New York governor Elliot Spitzer, Senator Tom Harkin, Senator Ted Kennedy, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Tennessee Democratic Party, Senator Barack Obama, and a cast of thousands — thought to perform any sort of background check on this guy. (I suspect the only “check” involved was making sure his checks cleared.)

I know this is a holiday weekend, but I was curious what some of the left end of the blogosphere had to say about this mess. So I went over to the Truth Laid Bear’s ecosystem and started poking around the highest-ranked liberal blogs.

Daily Kos: Nothing on the main page, four mentions in the whole site — one in a “troll diary,” the rest pooh-poohing the matter.

Talking Points Memo: Nothing on the main page, three stories in the archives.

Think Progress: Nothing on the main page (although they have a link to a piece on Jack Abramoff, ironically enough), five in archives — all from commenters asking why TP isn’t discussing the story.

Eschaton: Nothing on main page or archives.

Crooks And Liars: One would think that this would be a natural for them — Hsu is both a crook and a liar — but like Atrios, nothing on the main page or archives.

The Raw Story: Nothing on the main page, two articles in archives.

FireDogLake: Nothing on main page or archives.

And for my old punching bag, Oliver Willis: Zilch on main page or archives. As for his employer, Media Matters: nothing on the main page, six articles in archives — all playing down its significance.

(All numbers based on first doing a “Find” on “Norman Hsu” on the main page, then using Google’s “Search Site” option on “Norman Hsu.”)

As I said, it’s a holiday weekend. But it’ll be interesting to see if the pattern of ignoring the story continue for the rest of the week.

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