Robert Novak has a story on the efforts of the MSM to remove Tom Delay from Congress
Notice that NOBODY says that Tom Delay ever did anything illegal. Just trying to create smoke, and eventually fire, from non-flammable tinder. If they convince enough people that there actually is smoke, they won't have to produce the fire.
"WASHINGTON -- On March 24, former Congressman Bob Livingston was sent an e-mail by a New York Times editorial page staffer suggesting he write an op-ed essay. ... In a subsequent conversation, it was made clear the Times wanted the prominent Republican to say DeLay should step aside for the good of the party.
...this remarkable case of that august newspaper fishing for an op-ed piece makes it appear part of a calculated campaign to bring down the single most powerful Republican in Congress. The Democratic establishment and left-wing activists have targeted DeLay as the way to end a decade of Republican control of the House.
...The assault on DeLay did not begin until he redistricted Texas congressional seats, which changed the 2004 election from a net loss to a net gain for House Republicans.
At least 18 news organizations now have assigned reporters to cover DeLay, but the quest by The New York Times for a prominent Republican to suggest his resignation may cross a line....
New York Times editorial page staffer Tobin Harshaw sent the March 24 e-mail to Livingston...
...Harshaw's e-mail suggested Livingston might want to write "a short op-ed on DeLay's political future." Terrell said he telephoned Harshaw, saying his boss would "write a favorable piece," then asked: "Is that really what you're seeking or is that what you would print?"
It clearly was not. While Harshaw asserted "we would welcome any thoughts" by Livingston, Terrell quoted him as saying "we are seeking those who would go on the record or state for the good of the party he [DeLay] should step aside."
...Would this editorial start a chain reaction of Republican House members abandoning DeLay, much as Democrats turned against Speaker Jim Wright in 1989? Those defections doomed Wright, whose fall was followed in five years by the Republican capture of the House. Since Bob Livingston would not get the ball rolling, the campaign to get DeLay still needs a major anti-DeLay Republican to go public."