July 23, 2011

Democratic congressman David Wu is accused of "aggressive and unwanted sexual behavior" by "the daughter of a longtime friend and campaign donor."

This is a strange story, because there is no report to the police. We're told of a "distraught" message left on the phone machine at Wu's Portland office, and we're not told how old this "young woman" is. Was she underage? Wu acknowledges what the article refers to as an "encounter," but says it was consensual.
Reporters could not verify the young woman's age. Notes on Facebook over the past 18 months indicate she graduated from high school in 2010. California records show she registered to vote in August.
So, she's above the age of consent. Since when do breathless messages on answering machines get reported in the newspaper? The newspaper — The Oregonian — continues:
The alleged incident raises new questions about Wu's behavior during the 1st District congressman's re-election campaign last year...
At this point, we hear about "erratic" behavior that doesn't ostensibly involve sex. What exactly are the "new questions"? This is a cheap and ridiculous article in my view. A woman who is unhappy with her sexual relationship with Wu has called his office but has not called the police, and now we're supposed to review everything else we know about him in some new context? Is this the way we are to do politics in America now?

Note that the woman who has brought this chaos into Wu's career is shielded by the newspaper's policy not to "use the names of victims of sexual assault without their permission." That's convenient. I think if you are going to have a policy like that, you should not report at all unless the alleged victim has reported a crime to the police. It's not fair.

55 comments:

ET1492 said...

This trash is beneath The Oregonian.

I expect stories like this from cheap "bloggers" but not from journalists.

America's Politico said...

At the breakfast at the Belgium bakery near the Hill, some consultants from K-street suggest that Wu has a problem. It is likely Clinton-Lewinsky. A young woman (is the race/ethnicity known) gets impressed into the power Wu has (and Wu is a big-talker) and thus, we have this situation.

BUT, it will not affect 2012. Mark my words, believe me later. The K-street consultants have already convinced me that OB2 will defeat any GOP with at least 60%. The GOP will not get a single state. It is over for the GOP. Why is it over? No vision, No deliverables, no diversity, etc. As a consultant to one state GOP pol., I can only do so much.

Fred4Pres said...

What did Wu do wrong?

And ET1492, when was the Oregonian raised in status above cheap bloggers?

ndspinelli said...

Life is unfair, then you die.

ET1492 said...

When it was printed on paper?

Fred4Pres said...

America's Politico, how many bloodies did those K-Street consultants have?

I would agree with them (in part) if they were talking about politics in certain coastal communities and states. Of course "diversity" means not rouge diverse people with the wrong views but the type who stay on the liberal plantation. But there is a big country in between.

Fred4Pres said...

I sometimes leave things on paper. But if it is from a roll of toilet paper does that make it better?

Fred4Pres said...

Excuse me rogue. My bad. No bloodies yet, but I did water the fuchias this morning.

ET1492 said...

Fred,

I was just being silly.

DKWalser said...

Let's assume that Wu's own account of the incident is accurate: He was at the family's home over Thanksgiving in 2010. The young women went outside, Wu followed, and the consensual sexual encounter ensued. He was 55 or 56 at the time. She was 18 or 19.

On those facts, does the incident bother you? It bothers me. While no laws were broken, adults have a moral obligation to protect young adults from their own folly. Adults are NOT supposed to take advantage of a young adult's naivete. In this case, it's worse because Wu was a friend of the family, someone the girl's parents trusted to protect her, and someone she had been taught to admire and respect. He should have known she was likely to deeply regret their encounter afterwards and he should have acted to protect her, not indulge himself at her expense.

Sue D'Nhym said...

Context. She is the daughter of an old friend of his, and it's become apparent to everyone that he is dealing with some emotional problems.

G Joubert said...

Note that the woman who has brought this chaos into Wu's career is shielded...

Wu's career was already in chaos. First, in his 2004 re-election campaign he somehow srvived revelations that he was accused of sexual assault while at Stanford in the 1970s. Then it turn out during his 2010 campaign his staffers were so alarmed by his erratic behavior that they demanded he enter a hospital for psychiatric treatment. So this story today is just the latest thing on the pile.

And, yeah, The O does have weird editorial policies.

ET1492 said...

I would have liked to sit in on the meetings when the editors discussed running this story.

I'm sure the publisher was in on it, and maybe a lawyer or two on speakerphone.

I used to work in a newsroom and I don't think my paper would have printed this story. But times are hard in the publishing industry.

If I hadn't read Ann's post before reading (skimming) the story, I probably wouldn't have noticed the flimsiness.

edutcher said...

There was a story about Wu dressing oddly and acting strangely a while ago. The guy has problems.

His friends need to get him some help.

Curious George said...

AA: "At this point, we hear about "erratic" behavior that doesn't ostensibly involve sex."

Bullshit. We also learn that "In 2004, The Oregonian reported on a 1976 case when Wu was a student at Stanford University and was disciplined for trying to force an ex-girlfriend to have sex."

Maybe you didn't get that far. Or got stuck on a big word.

We have an current accusation of "aggressive and unwanted sexual behavior" against some one who has done this very thing before. In his very near past he is divorcing, admits "taken medication for an unspecified mental condition". taking medication, and had been acting emotionally erratic.

You think that's not a story? Would you leave your 18 year old daughter with him?

tocrat

ET1492 said...

If it turns out Wu has a brain tumor, we're all going to feel terrible about this.

ET1492 said...

... a slow-growing brain tumor that he has had since the 1970s

NYTNewYorker said...

Oh my, "The Democrat Culture Of Corruption" (tm) continues apace.

Jim S. said...

I remember when Wu was first running for Congress. On election day he was standing on a street corner near our apartment and waving to the passing cars with a sign telling us to vote for him. Nothing wrong with that, but there was something about him that just seemed so ... sleazy. The point being that Wu always struck me as a slimy dirtbag so I'm not in a good position to evaluate the merits of this particular story.

ricpic said...

Diverse rogues instruct us
On proprieties
While separating us
From our properties.

Fred4Pres said...

ET1492, I was too. The toilet paper in the Idaho river story below inspired me.

Steve Koch said...

Wu has had serious problems for a long time. Althouse has a genius for posting interesting stories which she accompanies with her own wrong headed analysis. This doubly encourages people to comment.

The bigger picture is that guaranteed one party districts frequently elect terrible congressmen. The controlling party needs to weed out the terrible congressmen at primary time but this doesn't happen reliably.

One great thing about the Tea Party is that it uses the primaries to weed out terrible GOP politicians.

ic said...

Oregon's own DSK.

Pogo said...

Wu woos with woo-woo.

Woops!

Fred4Pres said...

Is this Wu guy the guy from the Hangover?

A. Shmendrik said...

AMY WINEHOUSE - DOA! Whooda thunk it!

madAsHell said...

She ain't dead!

She just joined the 27 club!!

SGT Ted said...

hey its a liberal congressman being a sexual creep, so it's ok. nothing wrong was done.

SGT Ted said...

Fred: it is ESPECIALLY good if it is left on the toilet paper, as opposed to where it originated.

madAsHell said...

David Wu is the guy that was emailing pictures of himself in a kid's tiger suit in October of 2010.

There were several other emails that upset the recipients, but were never explained.

Trooper York said...

Amy Winehouse has died.

Rabbits and noisy blue jays suffer the most.

Big Mike said...

Is this the way we are to do politics in America now?

Uh, yeah.

There are two things that are new about this, the first being that they reported something as flimsy as this about a Democrat politician in the first place, and the second being that he is identified as a Democrat early in the story -- not in the lede, but in the first sentence of the 2nd paragraph.

I conclude that the Oregonian is a right-of-center scandal rag.

Joe said...

This story is bullshit. A teen has hot sex with an older guy. Wanna bet the parents found out about it and only then did the freak out begin.

flenser said...

So, she's above the age of consent.

That hasn't been established. You should have said, "She's above the age of consent?"

And a Congressman having a quickie with a teenager is news, regardless of the age of consent.

Methadras said...

Wasn't this the same guy who was acting strangely because his medication for some sort of mental disorder was not taken?

Methadras said...

Well, that picture of him in a Tiger jammie is fairly mild in comparison to what the really outrageous Furry collective does.

traditionalguy said...

Another a wu wu story.

I blame co2 for the Democrat's Warming. It's still raising his testosterone level. But the Dem women are cooling off into a freeze as the Dem men lose power.

A Dem Congress Man needs self control, unless he is in a safely gerrymandererd District.

The Crack Emcee said...

G Joubert at 11:06 AM has it:

I can't find my reference to Wu's former behavior, but I blogged about him years ago.

This is either piling on or he's finally lost it.

I think the latter.

Roger J. said...

I didnt know gooks did this kind of stuff--just thought they were into steam and cream operations--Oh--the gook is a democrat? gotta be alright

By the way: "gook" is an endearment I learned in viet nam--its not racist at all

MarkG said...

The controlling party needs to weed out the terrible congressmen at primary time but this doesn't happen reliably.

Maybe that's what The Oregonian is up to. Start chipping away at Wu now so someone less nutty has a chance in the primary.

mariner said...

I wonder if Dem leaders have decided it's time for Wu to leave, and this is their way of working toward it.

rhhardin said...

You can think of "unwanted," "undefeated," as participlies of imaginary verbs, to unwant, and to undefeat, and see what happens.

Possibly the woman unwanted Wu's advances after wanting them.

Some headline surely has Wu Woos too.

urpower said...

For me it's useful to know if a political figure made a crude & overbearing sexual advance, which the girl decided not to press legally but thought to mention. But enough about the Kennedys.

Trooper York said...

Is this what they mean when they talk about "Pitching Wu"?

David R said...

I used to live in this smiling bastard's district. Most of these articles are talking around the previous "allegation of sexual assault", but what was reported in 2004, and never contested by Wu, was that he had tried to rape an ex-girlfriend and failed only because she fought him off. The woman reported it to campus security at the time, who, this being the early 70's, never bothered to pass it on to the real police.

Democrats and pro-choice activists rallied behind him at the time because his politics were correct and they didn't want to lose his seat in the general.

The thing about a new report of non-consensual sex is there already is a pattern of behavior here. If his own party has decided to cut him loose on unproven allegations, its only because that history makes him hard to defend.

And by the way, no, The Oregonian is anything but right-wing, but its one of the bigger papers and there are limits to what it can sit on.

Les said...

This has been in the making for quite a while here in Portland by the homophobic, anti-immigration crowd in Oregon. Some political rivals in Salem chose to assist them in deposing Wu and so they are amping it up. The guy went through a bad divorce and is recovering mentally so they smelled blood in the water and went after him. It's all phony and now his own wont' even stand with him! The whole thing is disgusting. Will anyone step up to this???

bobby said...

This is BS. She's alleging criminal behavior, she's taking it public, and a newspaper that seems to have a less than stellar rep for political honesty is running with it.

I say, if she fails to go to the police and make a report, he should be considered to have been exonerated, and we should ridicule her without pity.

Bryan C said...

Adults are NOT supposed to take advantage of a young adult's naivete.

For heaven's sake, do we ever actually grow up anymore? Let's raise the age of consent to 35 and require that prospective sexual partners complete a notarized non-naivete exam.

jrberg3 said...

"The thing about a new report of non-consensual sex is there already is a pattern of behavior here."

Wow, one incident over 30 years prior is a pattern??

Come on. Ann is right about this. There is nothing to suggest that this encounter was anything but consensual. To put it another way, I can't imagine any father not going after some old man who forced himself onto his 18 yo daughter, let alone not contacting the police! While this congressmen definitely seems out of sorts (go figure, he's liberal), there is nothing to this story that suggests anything criminal took place.

Jerome said...

Where do you get the idea that the woman is the source of the article? It says that she called his office. Presumably, someone who heard the calls is the source of the article.

Ann Althouse said...

"Where do you get the idea that the woman is the source of the article? It says that she called his office. Presumably, someone who heard the calls is the source of the article."

Are you addressing me with that question? I don't say that the woman called the newspaper. She created the publicity by calling his office, and who knows who took the step of calling the press?

Now that you mention it, I can see that it's possible that she called the newspaper and then the newspaper called his office to corroborate, but I don't know.

ken in sc said...

Roger, Gook is Korean for people. They call themselves Hangook, which means people of the Han River. They call Americans Migook, which they told me means brother people, at least in the south. In the north they call Americans big nosed aids carrying devils.

WFCalm said...

Just a comment about The Oregonian: they might have a hair trigger on stories about politicians' sexual misbehavior because they fumbled not once but twice--totally missing Bob Packwood's serial slobbering, which the Washington Post broke, and likewise missing Neil Goldschmidt's statutory rape of a child, which Willamette Week broke (and one a Pulitzer). They further booted that one calling Goldschmidt's despicable actions "an affair." So in this case, I don't think it's politics that's dictating the coverage. They're just trying not to get beaten again in their own back yard.

WFCalm said...

"Won," duh.

gr8god said...

wow. anthony weiner got run off for texting photos of his 'member' to ADULT women and lewd conversation with them, but it's okay that this guy slept with a TEENAGER because it was supposedly consensual? sorry, but criminal or not, sleeping with a donors teen daughter is creepy and it's horrible judgment. does it pass the "conduct himself at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the house" standard? i don't think so.