The congressman only turned up once on the first page of search results (ordered chronologically, newest to oldest). Here's the headline:
La. congressman loses Democrats' backing
Sounds like a snoozer of a story, doesn't it? The headline doesn't exactly scream "corruption" does it? There's no telling from the Times' archive what page the story appeared on. But there are other ways to find out.
I'm glad I checked. I found a story that mentions Jefferson from April 8, 2007 ("On the brink of something big"). The story started, at least, on page 1 of the Sunday "Perspective" section. Jefferson gets his lone mention in paragraph 35 ... I'm guessing that occurs after the story jumps to a different page.
And another one! This one, published on Dec. 3 and written by Bill Maxwell has the following headline:
Ethics trumps skin color
The editorial (page 3 of the "Persective" section) concerns Alcee Hastings, a congressman from Florida with an ethically-challenged history, but Jefferson warrants mention in paragraph 11 (good job, Mr. Maxwell!). This sentence by Maxwell is worth mentioning:
Despite the party's pledge to drain the ethical swamp in Washington, too many black Democratic lawmakers continue to support other blacks with long track records of dishonesty.The Access World News archive doesn't have the only story contained in the Times' own archive.
Note that it's possible that the archive is incomplete, though the presence of an AP story in the Times' online archive suggests that at least some wire service stories end up there.
So, judging from this we might not know much about Congressman Jefferson. What might we have known?
Via Google News and the Orlando Sentinel:
Should U.S. Rep. William Jefferson resign?(Orlando Sentinel, June 5, 2007)
Aren't they supposed to wait until at least the tenth paragraph to mention the name? I mean, come on. Oh, wait. Maybe it's not so bad. This is not the paper, but the editorial blog.
Next daily that I was able to recognize ... the Houston Chronicle.
Rep. William Jefferson's indictment seems to say more about Louisiana's lapses than Washington's
(Houston Chronicle, June 5, 2007)
Jefferson is apparently both a Democrat and a Republican, serving as he does as an example of "bipartisan" corruption. Nice deck there, Chronicle.
At least he wasn't identified as a Republican.
I can't resist including the headline from National Public Radio, which I found on the second page of search results.
Indictment Looms Over New Orleans Recovery
Kind of produces a confused mental image, doesn't it? Almost sounds like the indictment threatens the city of New Orleans.
That does seem to be the implicit argument of the story.
NPR brings up the question of how effective Jefferson can be in helping Louisiana recover, then lets Jefferson provide the answer while the journalists maintain a respectful silence (encompassing contrary opinions from other sources, I might add).
Jefferson represents Louisiana's second congressional district, which includes much of the New Orleans area devastated by Hurricane Katrina. His community still struggles to recover from the effects of the hurricane, with city and state officials actively seeking federal help for the recovery. But the indictment raises questions about Jefferson's ability to effectively champion those efforts, and to lead his district in other pressing matters.
The audio portion may well have an added dimension to it; I'm sticking with an assessment of what they put on the Web site.