Party Labels by the Numbers: Democratic Affiliation Often Ignored by ABC

ABC News has a photo montage of political sex scandals, featuring both Republicans and Democrats. But a few bloggers have noted that the captions for these photos often ignore the Democratic Party affiliation of Democrats while highlighting the GOP affiliation of Republican.

Out of 13 pols featured, there were five Democrats, four of whom (80 percent) were unidentified by party. Of the eight Republicans, only two (25 percent) were unidentified by party. Jay Tea at Wizbang has the breakdown here:

Here's a rundown of the disgraced pols, with party affiliations as ABC notes:

  1. Governor of New York State Eliot Spitzer(party unknown)
  2. Former Representative Mark Foley (R-FL)
  3. Former Representative Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-CA)
  4. Senator David Vitter (R-LA)
  5. Former Bush Administration Secretary of State Randall Tobias (party unknown)
  6. President Bill Clinton (party unknown)
  7. Former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey (party unknown)
  8. Senator Larry Craig (R-ID)
  9. Spokane, WA Mayor James West (party unknown)
  10. Representative Bob Livingston (R-LA)
  11. Representative Dan Crane (R-IL)
  12. Representative Gerry Studds (D-MA)
  13. Representative Wilbur Mills of Arkansas (party unknown)

(Note: I used the term "former" to denote those who resigned from office over the scandal.)

So, let's look at the numbers:

Identified Democrats: 1
Identified Republicans: 6
Unidentified Democrats: 4 (Spitzer, Clinton, McGreevey, Mills)
Unidentified Republicans: 1 (West)
Unclear: 1 (Tobias is probably a Republican, but not definitively)

Try as I might, I can't come up with a consistent, impartial rationale for why certain people got their affiliation listed, while others did not. Prominence -- i.e., "everyone knows what party they are with" -- doesn't fit, as I'd never heard of James West and had to double-check on Wilbur Mills, who's been out of the public spotlight far longer than Gerry Studds.

Political Scandals Political Groups Media Bias Debate Labeling Liberals & Democrats Conservatives & Republicans Double Standards Eliot Spitzer Prostitution Scandal ABC Online Media Blogs Government & Press Eliot Spitzer