The Washington Post reports today that disgraced former Congressman Bob Ney was done in by his own chief of staff, who wore a wire to gather evidence against his boss for the FBI.
The newspaper said Will Heaton began by secretly forwarding documents to the FBI and tape recording the conversations of other members of the Ohio Republican's staff. He moved into a stoolie role big-time last summer, when he strapped on a wire to catch the boss.
Court documents reviewed by the Post showed that "Heaton taped numerous phone calls and wore a hidden wire to a 2 1/2-hour, face-to-face meeting with Ney that provided 'exceptionally important' help to the FBI's investigation of Abramoff."
Ney got 30 months in a federal slammer for doing official favors for the clients of lobbyist Jack Abramoff, D.C.'s king of sleeze. In exchange, Abramoff showered Ney with an array of illegal gifts that seemed to include just about everything but the Jeopardy home game.
Heaton shared in some of the goodies, accompanying "Ney on a golf junket to Scotland with Abramoff," and helping Ney return favors to Abramoff.
But like Ney, Heaton was caught with his hand in the golf bag and decided to cooperate with the feds in hopes of obtaining leniency.
"Dreading the role of 'tattletale on the playground,'" Heaton wrote, "I chose to let these grossly unprofessional and immoral actions slide for the sake of acceptance amongst my professional peers. For that, I am ashamed and deeply sorry," the Post reported.
Heaton will be sentenced for his role in the kickback scheme on Thursday.
Hasta La Vista, Rovey
Credit the Wall Street Journal for breaking the story about the resignation of top Bush aide and boon buddy Karl Rove. Perhaps Rove liked the idea of giving the story to a newspaper that will soon be owned by conservative soulmate Rupert Murdoch.
In any case, the political strategist Democrats view as an Evil Genius told the newspaper that he'd been thinking of leaving the White House for about a year. He gave a non-Evil Genius reason for hitting the road.
"I just think it's time," Rove told the Journal. "There's always something that can keep you here, and as much as I'd like to be here, I've got to do this for the sake of my family."
The DVR Menace
The widespread use of digital video recorders has produced fear and loathing in the corporate headquarters of America's TV networks. Viewers are happily zapping through the commercials that pay the bills. What to do? Well, according to the New York Times, Time Warner cable has decided to help out the nets by introducing a free service called Look Back.
Look Back will enable customers to watch shows they missed, but only on the day that the show runs. In addition to that, Time Warner has eliminated the handy-dandy fast-forwarding feature that enables viewers to zap through commercials. Plus, you can't record the show for later viewing. (Now you see why no one would pay for such a service.)
The media giant plans to offer Look Back to customers in South Carolina in October. The service will then be gradually introduced elsewhere in the country.
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