Bob Beckel, of Bethesda, Md., has been a regular contributor to CBS “This Morning” and was a former host of CNN’s “Crossfire Sunday.”
He also managed Vice President Walter Mondale’s 1984 campaign, where he was credited with originating Mondale’s “Where’s the Beef?” question of Colorado’s Sen. Gary Hart.
Beckel wrote a syndicated column for the Los Angeles Times and has appeared on “CBS News,” “NBC Nightly News,” “Face the Nation” and “Meet the Press.”
Beckel made further headlines after the 2000 presidential election, when the Republicans charged that he tried to persuade some members of the Electoral College to vote for Democrats. Now Beckel is in the headlines of a northern Virginia daily newspaper, the Journal of Fairfax, Va.
But none of Washington’s many major media are reporting what Journal reporter Lauren Dunn reported – as follows:
“A former host of CNN’s ‘Crossfire Sunday’ and regular contributor to CBS’ ‘This Morning’ paid a Fairfax County woman to perform sex acts on him at his Maryland home, and was then threatened that the incident would be made public unless he paid $50,000, according to Virginia court records.
“Bob Beckel, a political analyst who managed Walter Mondale’s 1984 presidential campaign, paid a woman $300 per hour to visit his home on June 27th and June 29th. Days later he found a note on his car and a message on his answering machine demanding money and threatening to release evidence of the woman’s visits, to his family and the media according to a search warrant filed Aug. 26th in Alexandria Circuit Court.
“Beckel said Thursday that he cannot comment on the case because it is still under investigation. Officer Joyce Utter, Montgomery County, Md. police spokeswoman, acknowledged Thursday that Beckel was a victim of extortion and that he had been very cooperative. She would not comment on the case because it is still being investigated.
“Three people from Alexandria, Washington, D.C., and Fairfax County, Va., were arrested and charged last week with extortion and conspiracy to commit extortion.
“About 6 p.m. on June 27th, Beckel was at his Bethesda, Md., home when he found an Internet web site with a photograph of a woman named ‘Tiffany’ who was dressed in provocative clothing. The site said she was available for regular sessions, bachelor parties and multiple-hour sessions, according to the warrant’s sworn affidavit.
“Beckel called the telephone number listed on the Web page and made arrangements for the woman to come to his house for a $300-an-hour massage, the affidavit states. The woman, who identified herself as Tiffany, arrived at his home and he paid her $600 for two hours.
“During the visit, she performed oral sex on him and he revealed to her that he worked for a ‘major media syndicate.’ She asked if he could say something to her in code while he was on television, but he said he could not, according to the affidavit.
“Tiffany saw Beckel again at his home from 3-6 p.m. June 29th and received a check for $1,300. She performed oral sex on him and she agreed that she would return to his house July 1st, the affidavit states. On July 1st, she left him a message saying that she was going out of town and he never heard from her again according to the affidavit.
“Beckel left town from July 5th-11th. When he returned, an envelope was on the windshield of his car. The envelope contained a computer-generated letter that stated: ‘For the last time, you need to drop off the money on Friday, July 12, 2002 at exactly 4 p.m.’ The letter then stated: ‘You might want to listen to your answering machine if you think I have prove (sic) of your actions’ according to the affidavit. The letter also stated:
“‘I’ve been watching you for the past few months. Now in my possession I hold credible evidence of your illegal activities. This includes taped phone conversations, pictures, times, dates and soliciting sex. These instructions are to be followed 100 percent or the above evidence stated will be turned over to your wife, your employer and the newspapers.’
“The letter included demands for $50,000, all in $100 bills, a drop-off time of 2 p.m. July 7, and directions to the drop-off area on Potomac Street in Washington, the affidavit states.”
At the Journal in Fairfax, reporter Dunn told WorldNetDaily that she had received only three calls from the media, including a radio station and Court TV.
She also noted that the Associated Press reported only that Beckel had recently left the campaign of an Idaho U.S. Senate candidate.
There is growing concern that the failure of most big media to report this case concerning a nationally known media figure may be evidence of media protecting its own.