Wires Virtually Ignore Corzine's Dem Party ID, Rarely Associate Him With Obama Fundraising

November 2nd, 2011 12:19 AM

Consider this post the print and online follow-up to the report early Tuesday evening by Matthew Balan at NewsBusters on the failure of the Big Three TV networks to note the Democratic Party/Obama fundraising affiliation of former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, whose now-bankrupt MF Global financial firm has apparently admitted to diverting client money in a futile attempt to battle its financial free-fall.

Balan found that the Big Three's morning shows "omitted the party affiliation of Jon Corzine as they reported on the federal investigation into his brokerage firm," and that ABC didn't even mention Corzine's name. This is not surprising, as the wire services which provide much of the raw material for these shows for the most part similarly failed, and have continued to do so. A rundown of much of what the wires have produced, along with a look at several New York Times items, follows the jump:

  • Reuters, as carried at the New York Times ("U.S. Court OKs Trustee for MF Global Brokerage"; Oct. 31, 6:24 p.m.) -- No party affiliation, no mention of ties to Obama. The report points out that MF Global's bankruptcy is the seventh-largest in U.S. history.
  • Reuters, again as carried at the Times ("MF Global Accounts Shock Leaves Clients Scrambling"; Nov. 1, 3:51 p.m.) -- No party affiliation, no mention of ties to Obama.
  • At the New York Times's Dealbook blog ("MF Global Files for Bankruptcy"; Oct. 31, 10:21 a.m.) -- Michael de la Merced and Ben Protess failed to mention Corzine's party or Obama ties. As Balan noted in his NewsBusters post, a 6:57 p.m. report by the same two Times reporters and Suzanne Craig did tag Corzine as a Dem.
  • Also at the Times, via Joe Nocera ("Corzine Crashes Like It’s 2008"; Oct. 31) -- The op-ed writer did succeed in tagging Corzine as a "liberal" but not as a Dem, and failed to mention his Obama ties. Because of the bankruptcy, Corzine failed to extract a $12 million severance from the firm he would have received if it had been sold, leading Nocera to assert that "The idea that Corzine, who single-handedly destroyed MF Global Holdings, was in a position to command so much as a penny in severance is horrifying. It suggests two things."
  • In a late morning report at the Associated Press yesterday ("MF Global files for bankruptcy protection"; Oct. 31, 11:50 a.m.), Business Writers Daniel Wagner and Chris Kahn broke the ice on the Obama tie-in, but failed to mention the Democratic Party -- "Corzine is also a top fundraiser for President Barack Obama. Corzine has helped raised at least $500,000 for Obama's re-election campaign since April, according to records released by the campaign."
  • A search at the Associated Press's main site on "Corzine Democrat" (not in quotes) returns no results.
  • To its credit, Bloomberg ("MF Global Failed to Separate Client Collateral From Own Accounts, CME Says"; Nov. 1, 3:15 p.m.) mentioned Corzine's Democratic Party affiliation in Paragraph 21 while reciting his bio (appropriate, in my opinion, given the other bombshell news contained therein). However, the piece did not note Corzine's fundraising ties to Obama. According to the report, "about $700 million" in client accounts may have been raided.

Given the mostly light treatment of Corzine's party ID and of his Obama fundraising involvement at the New York Times and in the wires, it's hardly surprising, though still disappointing, that the Big Three networks followed their lead.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.