Malpractice: CBS Fails to Note Party ID of Corrupt Democrat Mayor as ABC, NBC Ignore

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On Wednesday, former Maryland Senate Majority Leader and former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh (D) was indicted on 11 counts of fraud and tax invasion concerning her Healthy Holly book series that had forced her out of office on May 2. If convicted on all counts, she could face 175 years in jail.

And while ABC’s World News Tonight and NBC Nightly News didn’t believe it was worth informing the public about, the CBS Evening News covered it with a one-minute-and-44-second report, but left out the key fact that she was a Democrat. How convenient. 

 

 

Anchor Norah O’Donnell went first and failed spectacularly at denoting Pugh’s party ID:

Now to another story of a politician accused of enriching themselves. Tonight ‘s Baltimore — tonight, Baltimore's former mayor, elected to heal a city scarred by riots is charged with 11 counts of fraud, tax evasion, and conspiracy and it all stems from a series of children's books that she wrote. 

Chief Justice and Homeland Security correspondent Jeff Pegues had the story from Baltimore and, like O’Donnell, he failed miserably in fulfilling a basic journalistic duty of providing a full picture and, in this case, a basic fact like Pugh’s party affiliation.

Here was his opening prior to a soundbite from FBI Special Agent in Charge Jennifer Boone:

Investigators say Catherine Pugh was paid nearly $800,000 for copies of her self-published Healthy Holly children's books, even though there were multiple errors in the books like the word “vegetable" spelled “vegetale.” According to court papers, the books were sold to non-profit organizations and foundations which “did business or attempted to do business with Maryland state government and Baltimore City.”

Pegues added that “[e]arlier this year, the IRS and FBI raided her home and city hall offices” and became the second Charm City leader to resign “in ten years under the cloud of a criminal investigation.”

Prior to a soundbite from U.S. Attorney Robert Hur and ending with the possible prison length, Pegues explained that “Pugh is accused of illegally funneling some of the money from the books to her mayoral campaign, using it to purchase and renovate a house, and evading taxes.”

But again, Pegues decided that party ID didn’t matter. In other words, it was much the same tune ABC and CBS sang in August 2013 when former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL) was sentenced to 30 months in prison. When released in March 2015, CBS and NBC also failed to note his party.

ABC and CBS followed the came script in 2013 and 2014 when former New Orleans, Louisiana Mayor Ray Nagin (D) was indicted, convicted, and sentenced for public corruption.

Instead of at least covering the latest negative press for Baltimore, sensationalist ABC anchor David Muir hype a viral video of a turkey chasing a U.S. Postal Service worker. On NBC Nightly News, they turned over their c-block to 2020 Democratic candidate Andrew Yang for his health care plan.

To see the relevant transcript from November 20's CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell, click “expand.”

CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell
November 20, 2019
6:40 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Former Mayor Indicted]

NORAH O’DONNELL: Now to another story of a politician accused of enriching themselves. Tonight ‘s Baltimore — tonight, Baltimore's former mayor, elected to heal a city scarred by riots is charged with 11 counts of fraud, tax evasion, and conspiracy and it all stems from a series of children's books that she wrote. Jeff Pegues on this latest plot twist. 

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Fmr. Baltimore Mayor Charged with Fraud]

JEFF PEGUES: Investigators say Catherine Pugh was paid nearly $800,000 for copies of her self-published Healthy Holly children's books, even though there were multiple errors in the books like the word “vegetable" spelled “vegetale.” According to court papers, the books were sold to non-profit organizations and foundations which “did business or attempted to do business with Maryland state government and Baltimore City.”

FBI SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE JENNIFER BOONE: Ms. Pugh blurred the lines between public duties and private business. 

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Pugh Made $800K in Book Sale Scandal]

PEGUES: Earlier this year, the IRS and FBI raided her home and city hall offices. She became the second Baltimore city mayor to step down in ten years under the cloud of a criminal investigation. Pugh is accused of illegally funneling some of the money from the books to her mayoral campaign, using it to purchase and renovate a house, and evading taxes. The U.S. Attorney called the former mayor's actions a betrayal of the public trust. 

U.S. ATTORNEY ROBERT HUR: The people of Baltimore expect that elected officials place the interests of their citizens above their own.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Fmr. Baltimore Mayor Charged with Fraud] 

PEGUES: Pugh’s attorney says that he will address the allegations in court tomorrow. If you add up all these charges, if convicted, Baltimore's former mayor faces up to 175 years behind bars. Norah? 

O’DONNELL: Jeff, thank you. 

NB Daily Bias by Omission Name That Party Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats ABC World News Tonight CBS CBS Evening News NBC NBC Nightly News Jeff Pegues Norah O'Donnell
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