G.O.P. Meg Whitman's Old Shove More Newsworthy Than Dem. Congressman's Videotaped Assault

Balance? Eight paragraphs for the widely seen clip of Democratic Rep. Bob Etheridge attacking two young filmmakers; 27 paragraphs and prominent placement for an allegation from 2007 about Republican candidate for California governor Meg Whitman.

Reporter Jeff Zeleny addressed the now-famous clip featuring Rep. Bob Etheridge, Democrat of North Carolina, accosted by two young people with video cameras, in a short story for Tuesday's Times. The incident was worth a small, eight-paragraph story on page A21 under a mild headline that referred to the congressman's assault a "tussle": "Congressman Apologizes After Tussle." (The online version goes two paragraphs longer than the print version.)

The incendiary question that set Etheridge off? "Hi, Congressman. How are you? Do you fully support the Obama agenda?" Etheridge, after repeatedly roughly asking "Tell me who you are," grabbed the young interviewer's hand and refused to let go, then grabbed him by the neck and pulled him in. Zeleny:

Representative Bob Etheridge, Democrat of North Carolina, issued an apology on Monday for grabbing a young man by the hand, arm and neck - as a video camera rolled - as the man tried to ask him whether he supports President Obama's agenda.

The apology came after images of the incident spread across the Internet.

Meanwhile, a story involving something that Meg Whitman, Republican candidate for governor, was alleged to have done three years ago led Tuesday's National section (page A15): "Ex-C.E.O. Was Accused Of Shoving EBay Worker."

Whitman, then president of eBay, evidently shoved employee Young Mi Kim in June 2007. A six-figure settlement was reached and confidentiality agreement made, but someone with some details talked to the Times.

The three-year-old Whitman story took up 26 paragraphs, while the story about an assault by a sitting Democratic congressman, complete with video, was worth just eight paragraphs. Brad Stone, who covers technology for the Times, wrote:

During her 10 years as chief executive of eBay, Meg Whitman, the Republican candidate for governor of California, was known as a demanding leader who did not hesitate to express displeasure with employees who failed to live up to her standards.

But on one occasion, she was accused of going too far - and paid for it.

In June 2007, an eBay employee claimed that Ms. Whitman became angry and forcefully pushed her in an executive conference room at eBay's headquarters, according to multiple former eBay employees with knowledge of the incident. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because the matter was delicate and was deemed to be strictly confidential.

The Times showed the same Golden State double standard with its coverage of Whitman's fellow female California Republican winner, Carly Fiorina, who will face Sen. Barbara Boxer in November. The Times managed to squeeze two stories out of Fiorina's innocuous live-mike gaffe in which she was caught mocking Sen. Barabra Boxer's hair. Yet the Times has yet to even mention Democrat candidate for governor Jerry Brown likening Whitman to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels in a off-the-cuff conversation with a California journalist.

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