Name That Party
MSNBC's Rachel Maddow pulled off a dubious trifecta Wednesday night. Not only did she fail to mention that a Nashville mayor forced to resign in March was a Democrat, Maddow most assuredly did mention the Republican affiliation of not one but two Republican governors swept up in scandal. She did this in all of a minute and a half. And some still wonder why she's a rock star on the left.
“Rising star in the Republican Party.” “Up and coming star in Republican politics.” Once again, the networks are hyping the fall of a GOP politician, making sure to highlight the party status of Missouri Governor Eric Greitens. This is a habit not usually followed when the offending politician is a Democrat.
ABC’s legal drama For The People has covered a lot of social justice topics in its short run on television, quite a few of them based on real-life events. However, the Shondaland series may have hit a new low by rewriting history to suit their liberal needs. The May 15 episode “Extraordinary Circumstances” resembles that of an infamous case against a Democrat governor but with a significant party twist.
It took former Democratic New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman three hours to resign Monday night after accusations arose alleging he would violently strike his girlfriends without their consent. But throughout ABC World News Tonight’s two minutes and 21 seconds report on the situation, there was not a single mention of the fact that he was an elected Democrat. In contrast, both CBS and NBC noted that important detail.
Despite relatively recent Associated Press Stylebook changes mandating that elected officials' political party "should be routinely included" in stories about them, the wire service appears to be backsliding. On Saturday, I noted the wire service's failure – before being shamed into a partial remedy — to tag DC politicians engaged in public anti-Semitic outbursts and conspiracy theories as Democrats. Now it turns out that the AP's Scott Bauer, in a Saturday dispatch, failed to apply the Democratic Party tag to Lena Taylor, a Wisconsin State Senator charged with disorderly conduct in a racially-charged incident at a Milwaukee bank. Is the AP Stylebook genuine guidance, or a $22-per-copy exercise in pretense?
The Associated Press apparently was shamed by a Washington Examiner reporter Wednesday when it revised a story on District of Columbia Councilman Trayon White to include his Democratic Party affiliation. White has been sharply criticized and ridiculed for anti-Semitic remarks, including claiming that Jews control the climate. The Democratic Party tag didn't arrive in the AP's revision until Paragraph 5, even though White was named twice in previous paragraphs. Violating its own Stylebook rules, the AP also didn't specifically tag other DC Democrats who have made incendiary anti-Semitic remarks.
The Boston Globe has published at least three reports about Bryon Hefner, the husband of now-former Massachusetts State Senate President Stanley Rosenberg, culminating today in coverage of Hefner's indictment on "multiple charges of sexual assault, criminal lewdness, and distributing nude photographs without consent." None of the stories reviewed directly tagged Rosenberg as a Democrat.
The former mayor of Nashville, Tennessee Megan Barry was arraigned Tuesday on charges of felony theft for using taxpayer funds to support her affair with her bodyguard. It was one of the big stories of the day with all three of the evening network news broadcasts giving it airtime. The only problem was with NBC Nightly News not reporting Barry’s Democratic Party affiliation. Between anchor Lester Holt and reporter Kerry Sanders, neither of them mentioned the “(D)” at the end of Barry’s name.
On January 31, Nashville's Mayor Megan Barry announced that she had ended an extramarital affair with city policeman and bodyguard Rob Forrest. Since then, except for the Associated Press, the national media showed little interest in covering a whirlwind of subsequent troubling revelations. Even last week's call by the left-leaning Nashville Tennessean for Barry's resignation has been virtually ignored. During that time, the AP failed to tag Barry, who resigned on Tuesday, as a Democrat in 9 of 10 stories.
NPR couldn't be bothered to include pro-gun rights talking heads in their Monday coverage of boycotts targeting the National Rifle Association and gun manufacturers. Morning Edition featured pro-gun control activist Shannon Watts during their report on the "more than a dozen companies...cutting ties with the National Rifle Association." However, the program merely read an excerpt from a NRA statement responding to the corporate moves. Hours later, All Things Considered turned to two gun control supporters — California state treasurer John Chiang and Avery Gardiner of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence — during a segment on the anti-gun manufacturers campaign. The evening newscast followed its sister program's lead in leaving out gun rights suppporters from the report.
Wednesday afternoon, the Tennessean reported that Nashville Mayor Megan Barry disclosed that "she had an extramarital affair with the police officer in charge of her security detail." The paper's story tagged Barry as a Democrat (in their fourth paragraph), but national stories seen at the Associated Press and ABC News have not.
Mayor Joy Cooper of Hallandale Beach, Florida, was forced to resign by Sunshine State Governor Rick Scott on Friday after her Thursday arrest on three felony charges: campaign finance violations, official misconduct and money laundering. At least four Florida news outlets have run reports failing to tag Cooper, who is accused of accepted illegal campaign finance checks from Russians, as a Democrat.