The Washington Post’s gross partisan practice when reporting on alleged sex crimes

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The One Franklin Square Building on K Street NW in Washington, Friday, Dec. 11, 2015, that will house the Washington Post newspaper. The Washington Post is relocating to K Street after decades of history in its building on 15th street. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

The Washington Post’s gross partisan practice when reporting on alleged sex crimes

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The Washington Post, as of Monday morning, has four articles on its website about the child pornography arrest of Patrick Wojahn, the mayor of College Park, Maryland. Wojahn resigned in disgrace last month.

Read every one of those stories, and you will not learn that he is a Democrat and a longtime activist for gay rights and abortion.

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As of Monday morning, the Washington Post has three stories up on the sex crimes prosecution of Tony Lazzaro, a Minnesota political operative convicted last week for serially enticing underage girls for sex. All three of the stories have the words “GOP” or “Republican” in both the headline and the lead sentence.

So why is Lazzaro’s party the lead detail in the stories about his sex crimes, but Wojahn’s party is taken as so totally irrelevant that it is never mentioned?

It may be pure partisanship by the Washington Post, but it also may be a deeper culture-war discomfort. You see, the Washington Post in the past described Wojahn as College Park’s “first openly gay mayor” and featured his work as a crusader for gay marriage. Upon his arrest, though, the outlet ceased mentioning his sexuality, his gay marriage advocacy, and his abortion advocacy.

Yet when conservatives get arrested for sex crimes, the Washington Post writes lead sentences like this: “A Kentucky school principal who became infamous for his efforts to ban books with ‘homosexual content’ from classrooms has been indicted on child pornography charges.”

When Wojahn was arrested, I wrote about the Washington Post’s obvious double standard, which has become even more glaring in the past four weeks with Wojahn’s arraignment and Lazzaro’s conviction. This is the Washington Post’s consistent pattern going back many years: the party, the activism, and the views on sexuality are relevant after a sex-charge arrest of a conservative or a Republican, but not relevant after the sex-charge arrest of a Democrat or a liberal.

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The Washington Post should explain its policy here. Is it afraid of demonizing openly gay politicians? Does it simply want to convince its readers that Republicans and conservatives are more likely to be arrested for sexual misconduct?

It’s succeeding on that score:

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