NPR, Reuters Can't Find the Magic D for Democrat in Corruption, Reckless Driving Stories

From Ohio to Massachusetts, Democrats in trouble are somehow merely politicians without an identifiable party. On Monday’s Morning Edition, NPR aired a three-and-a-half-minute corruption story from Cleveland that never mentioned the party starting with D.

Anchor Linda Wertheimer explained, “In Ohio today, a trial gets underway in the biggest public corruption case the state's ever seen. Jimmy Dimora rose from sanitation worker to commissioner of Cuyahoga County, which includes Cleveland and its suburbs. He's accused of being at the center of a number of bribery schemes that federal investigators uncovered in recent years.”

Reporter Kevin Niedermayer of local affiliate WKSU added, “Jimmy Dimora is charged with being a kingpin, running a Boss Tweed-style criminal enterprise out of the county's administration building. Prosecutors say He accepted home improvements, trips, appliances, meals and even prostitutes in exchange for millions of dollars in county contracts.”

But NPR and Niedermayer couldn’t mention what the Cleveland Plain Dealer put in the first paragraph: “The criminal trial of former Cuyahoga County Commissioner and Democratic party power-broker Jimmy Dimora begins with jury selection Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Akron.” Or this, from Dimora’s own biography: “In 1994, he was elected to lead the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party and is currently in his fourth term as chairman.”

Meanwhile, a Reuters dispatch also lacked any party label starting in D in a story on the number-two politician in Massachusetts:

Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray was slapped with a $555 fine on Tuesday after he apparently fell asleep and drove 108 miles per hour before careening off the road and crashing last November.

A state police report detailing the 20 seconds prior to his car striking a rock ledge and the five seconds just after show Murray was traveling at speeds ranging from 75 mph to 99 mph before driving off the road. The crash data shows the vehicle hit 108 mph just before impact, according to the report. Murray, who was not wearing a seat belt, was not injured in the crash.

What makes this additionally biased is that the wire service cites other politicians with automobile accidents, but only notes the party when it's an R instead of a D:

Other political officials not wearing seat belts in crashes have not been as lucky as Murray.

In 2011, Colorado lawmaker Suzanne Williams, who advocates stricter seat belt laws, did not have her three-year-old grandson restrained during a fatal crash in Texas. Williams, who was driving, was the only passenger in her car wearing a seat belt and the crash killed a passenger in another car.

In 2007, former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine broke his left leg, several ribs, his sternum and collarbone after a car crash. In that instance, Corzine was not wearing a seat belt and the sport utility vehicle he was traveling in was speeding when it collided with another car.

Drifting asleep at the wheel was considered as a possible cause of a summer 2011 car crash that killed the majority leader of North Dakota's Republican-controlled state Senate while on a fishing trip in Alaska.

[HTs to Philip Eveland, Alma Allred]

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis