Friday, July 8, 2011

Faleomavaega Blasts ABCDEFGroup Blog

We have been highly critical of the local media in American Samoa for its "inadequate" coverage of our wandering Congressman, Faleomavaega Eni, who seems to be everywhere in  the world but Washington or American Samoa most of the time.  We have long felt the leading news outlets have given him a pass for his foibles and indiscretions, especially Samoa News, where his sister-in-law is an editor.  Most of the controversies in which he has been involved seem to get sept under the rug.

So, it was a pleasant surprise to see the leading radio news organization, Radio Station KHJ-FM raise questions about some of the campaign money he has raised, based on our report, even if the story were centered on Faleomavaega's condemnation of us for our report.  See:  Give Faleomavaega credit for his ability to divert attention from controversy by attacking his adversary.  Regrettably he sucked KHJ into the diversion.  Instead of condemning our report, he should have attacked the Project of Government Oversight (POGO), the source of our story.  We did not raise the question of whether his campaign contributions might be tied to his support for the dictatorship in Kazahkstan.  POGO did.  We only reported what POGO suggested.   But of course, it makes more sense for him to attack us, since we have an admitted bias against him, rather than attack POGO, which is a respected non-partisan, non-profit organization that has no agenda.

Nevertheless, we salute KHJ-FM for bringing this important story to the attention of the public.  As for Samoa News, we will give them a half salute for carrying a buried link to this story in their on-line edition.  They may not have swept it under the rug but they did manage to push it into a corner.  Until they do their job and carry this sort of news up front in their A section, we will continue to give them a big raspberry for pro-Faleomavaega bias.   It hardly comes as a surprise not only because his sister-in-law is an editor while also serving as Democratic National Committeewoman for the territory, a fact we do not recall seeing ever having been disclosed (she does byline some stories), but because the paper has a leftist bias.  It is no secret Faleomavaega is on the left of the Democrat Party and was a charter member of the socialistic Congressional Progressive Caucus and Samoa News often carries editorials and op-ed columns by such left wingers as Paul Krugman.

KHJ wrote: "Faleomavaega  commended POGO for championing good government but said at no time has the group contacted him to inquire about the Central Asia Caucus, or the contributions mentioned.  Neither has the ABCDEF Group or Samoa News which posted the story on its website."
Let us note for the record that at no time did Faleomavaega contact us to refute POGO's story, either.