Elizabeth Lauten is a name familiar to far too many people these days.
She’s the previously unknown staffer of previously unknown Republican Rep. Steven Fincher from Tennessee who wrote a Facebook post critical of President Obama’s daughters and their demeanor and disinterest in a public event they clearly weren’t interested in attending. Her comments caused her to lose her job and to be the subject of stories across cable news, network newscasts and all over the Internet.
Commenting on presidential children being used as props is one thing. What about sexually assaulting two women? For that, you have to cross the aisle.
Ever heard the name Donny Ray Williams Jr.? Probably not.
Donny is a longtime Hill staffer for members of Congress you have heard of — Joe Lieberman, Mary Landrieu, Herb Kohl, Elijah Cummings, Jan Schakowsky — who just cut a deal with prosecutors to avoid jail time by pleading guilty to sexually assaulting two women. Oh, and if you couldn’t tell by who he’s worked for, he’s a Democrat.
The story of Williams allegedly drugging and raping a woman seeking a job won’t lead NBC’s “Nightly News,” nor will it be mentioned at all in the 22 minutes of airtime anchor Brian Williams has. But Lauten was.
NBC’s “Today” show won’t devote a segment to Donny’s other victim, the one he got too drunk to give consent while he violated. Lauten got one.
None of the major networks will devote any time to the plea deal that allowed Williams to avoid jail time after pleading guilty to what he’d said in 2012 were “absolutely and completely false” charges. Meanwhile two network news vans were parked outside Lauten’s parents home the other day, because priorities.
As part of his plea deal, Donny will have to register as a sex offender for the next 10 years. As part of expressing her opinion and poking a little fun at the first daughters, Elizabeth Lauten will have a difficult time finding work because the media will hunt her down anywhere she goes.
Remember these two names next time anyone says media bias is a myth.