Something I noticed about the recent Eliot Spitzer scandal-- there was a distinct difference in how it was covered as compared to the Larry Craig and Mark Foley scandals.
With Larry Craig and Mark Foley the scandals were covered as:
Republican Senator Larry Craig
Republican Representative Mark Foley
With the Spitzer scandal (and former NJ governor McGreevey) the scandals were covered as:
NY state governor Eliot Spitzer (D)
NJ governor Jim McGreevey (D)
Does this imply that it's only a surprise when a Republican is involved in a sex scandal and that it's actually EXPECTED of Democrats to be involved in sex scandals? I do understand that thanks largely to the far right religious fringe the Republicans have come to be identified as the "family values" party therefore I do understand why it's bigger news when a Republican gets caught up in a sex scandal... But at the same time, covering politicians of the two different parties differently creates a perception-- rightly or wrongly-- that it's no big deal when a Democrat is scandalized because it's almost expected of them.
Either way it's a disservice to the American people. There are good and bad seeds in BOTH parties. Creating the perception that it's bigger news when politicians from one party are caught up in a scandal than when politicians from the other party are creates the misconception that one party is inherently less corrupt than the other. Corruption in politics knows no party lines.
Remember the Jack Abramoff scandal back in 2006. Initially it was labeled by the media as a Republican scandal (likely because Abramoff was/is a registered Republican)... until it was discovered that just as many Democrats had their hands in Abramoff's cookie jar as Republicans did... Then for some reason coverage of the "scandal" disappeared. Abramoff was a non-partisan lobbyist... for him it wasn't about Democrat or Republican it was all about the money.
This also ties into how the different parties handle scandals-- with the Republicans generally they hang their own out to dry. With Democrats there tends to be a "circling of the wagons" they rally around each other for support and they end up being able to stand up to and weather scandals far better than the Republicans. In fact I think the Spitzer and McGreevey cases show a shift away from that within the Democratic party... or perhaps it's only at the federal level that the Democrats circle the wagons... maybe it's just that they offer up their governors as their sacrificial lambs.