CNN's John Roberts on First Name Basis With Democrat Illinois Congressman

September 10th, 2007 9:05 AM

Illinois Democrat Rahm Emanuel and California Republican Duncan Hunter appeared on CNN's American Morning Monday to discuss the Iraq War and anticipated address from General David Patraeus. CNN's John Roberts questioned the congressmen.

During the interview, Hunter challenged his Democratic counterpart (Emanuel) by pointing out that Democrats had previously implored President Bush to "listen to his generals," but now the Democrats were preemptively being critical of General Patraeus. Having heard enough, Roberts switched the questioning to Emanuel, prodding for a response to Hunter's point. But in asking for a response, Roberts addressed the Illinois congressman as "Rahm," as in - what is your response to that point "Rahm?"

Roberts, recognizing his mistake almost immediately, thereafter made a point of addressing Emanuel as "congressman." Roberts, however, never addressed the California congressman as "Duncan."

So - was this just a simple mistake or something else? To call a congressman by his first name at least implies a familiarity beyond just a professional relationship between journalist and politician.

Maybe we should ask John Roberts whether he is merely prone to journalistic sloppiness - or does he have a personal friendship with the Illinois Democrat which should be disclosed for the sake of fair and impartial reporting.