Today, eight city council members were arrested in Bell, California for what Los Angeles County District Attorney labeled "corruption on steroids." Thus far, every major news outlet that has reported on the story has omitted the fact that all eight individuals arrested are Democrats.
These glaring omissions come only weeks after NewsBusters reported that of the 351 stories on the then-brewing controversy, 350 had omitted party affiliations, and one had mentioned they were Democrats only in apologizing for not doing so sooner.
One commenter at CNN's online story got it spot on: "I notice there is no mention of the party affiliation of the accused. I can find no mention of it in any story on the internet. This must mean they were all Democrats."
Give the man a cigar.
Together, the eight city officials "misappropriated" $5.5 million in municipal funds. Robert Rizzo, the chief culprit, was arrested on 53 counts of various brands of corruption.
Before the scandal came to light, Rizzo had been making roughly $1.5 million per year, even though the per capita income in Bell is roughly half the national average.
Pedro Carillo, Bell's interim city manager, released a statement on the arrests today:
Given the sheer volume of charges levied against former Bell Chief Administrative Officer Robert Rizzo and former Assistant CAO Angela Spaccia by the district attorney, it is clear that Rizzo and Spaccia were at the root of the cancer that has afflicted the City of Bell. Also, it is a sad day for Bell that four current and two former members of the council also have been arrested. I am prepared to double down our efforts to continue to restore order, establish good government reforms, and to ensure that Bell is providing needed services to its residents.
Despite arrests in one of the most massive cases of municipal corruption in recent memory, no media outlet could bring itself to mention the officials' party affiliations, a fact that has been widely reported since the scandal entered the national spotlight.