Name That Party
It has been nine days since Ingham County, Michigan prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III, a Democrat, was arrested and charged with "15 criminal counts" in three different counties involving engaging prostitutes, pandering prostitution, and willful neglect of duty by a public officer.
The press has been reluctant to identify Dunnings as a Democrat in its news coverage, either avoiding the tag completely or saving it for very late paragraphs.
The political career of California State Senator Leland Yee, a Democrat who had been running for Secretary of State, came to an abrupt end in March 2014 when the strident gun-control advocate was arrested and charged with "six counts of depriving the public of honest services and one count of conspiracy to traffic in guns without a license."
Last week, Yee, who pled guilty last year to "one count of conspiracy to engage in racketeering," begged for a relatively lenient sentence of five years and three months. Yesterday, he got sentenced to five years. Separate Associated Press stories in these two instances each failed to identify Yee as a Democrat.
Yesterday, Matt Balan at NewsBusters noted that only two of the Big 3 broadcast news networks covered "the assault allegation against former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer that emerged over the weekend," and that only NBC mentioned Spitzer's Democratic Party affiliation.
A broader look at news coverage of Spitzer's latest encounter with law enforcement indicates that omitting his party affiliation has been a quite common practice, and that those noting it have delayed its recognition until later paragraphs in their reports.
The Associated Press's report yesterday on the law license suspension of indicted Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane, a Democrat, apparently bore too much resemblance to how the wire service typically reports on troubled Republicans and conservatives. The Monday afternoon report by Marc Levy and Mark Scolforo identified her position in its headline ("Court suspends Pennsylvania attorney general's law license"), named her in its opening sentence, and tagged her as a "first-term Democrat" in its second.
As will be seen after the jump, today's AP report on how Kane's office is trying to cope with not having someone allowed to practice law at the helm reverted to predictable form: running an incredibly vague and almost incoherent headline, saving Kane's name for Paragraph 2, and holding the identification of her Democratic Party affiliation until Paragraph 9 (even then, referring only to a "fellow Democrat").
The top law-enforcement officer in the Keystone State, Democrat Kathleen Kane, is in trouble for allegedly abusing the powers of her office. Yet in briefly noting the story in their Cheat Sheet digest on Thursday, the Daily Beast omitted any reference to her party affiliation.
A terse, five-paragraph June 14 Associated Press report on the results of San Antonio's mayoral election the previous day gave no indication of the party affiliation or political outlook of the winner or loser.
Readers could only determine that the winner, Ivy Taylor, became "the first African-American elected to the post," which of course had to mean that the handpicked candidate to succeed Julian Castro, who left to the post to become President Obama's Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, had triumphed. But it didn't. The AP report gave no indication that the Democrats' handpicked Hispanic candidate had lost a race they thought they were on track to win six weeks earlier.
Former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was indicted on Thursday on charges of "honest services mail fraud, honest services wire fraud and extortion" involving almost $4 million in alleged bribes and kickbacks.
It took Larry Neumeister and Jennifer Peltz at the Associated Press nine paragraphs to tag Silver as a Democrat. It also seems likely, based on this unbylined shorter WGY/AP story time-stamped at 1 p.m., almost six hours before the time stamp on the two reporters' evening story, that the wire service kept Silver's party affiliation completely out of its early breaking news stories, i.e., the ones which would have quickly made it to the airwaves.
Friday's CBS Evening News and ABC's World News Tonight both devoted less than half a minute each of air time to the resignation of the Democratic governor of Oregon, John Kitzhaber. CBS's Scott Pelley failed to provide Kitzhaber's party ID during his 20-second news brief. By contrast, ABC's David Muir gave the outgoing politician's political affiliation during his 17-second brief.
On Friday, Joe Nocera at the New York Times, in the words of a February 4 Times correction, premised his op-ed column "about the indictment of the longtime New York State Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver ... on several factual errors."
The correction failed to correct yet another factual error, namely that Silver, who was arrested, as the Times itself reported, on January 22, has not yet been formally indicted. Here is the full text of that correction (HT Instapundit; bolds are mine throughout this post):
Mexican-American comedian George Lopez recently offered some telling commentary about his politics. During an interview with Univision’s Jorge Ramos, Lopez said he does not publicly identify as either a Democrat or Republican. However, he acknowledged he faces a quandary.
CBS Evening News's liberal bias was blatant on Friday, as their "young adults" panel discussing the issue of "the excessive use of force by police – especially against minorities" was made up entirely of people who have participated in the protests decrying the grand jury decisions in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases. Correspondent Elaine Quijano asked, "How many of you have been involved with the protests that have taken place in the wake of Ferguson?" All six panelists raised their hand or nodded their head.
A number of center-right and New Media outlets have noted Politico Magazine's disingenuousness in the opening photograph in its "Race and the Modern GOP" article.
At the item's top is the iconic "Stand in the Schoolhouse Door" photo showing onetime segregationist Alabama Governor George Wallace "try(ing) to block the entry of two black students" into the University of Alabama. The aforementioned article title appears beneath the words "History Dept." The magazine is clearly trying to lead anyone not old enough to remember or anyone unfamiliar with U.S. history to believe that Wallace, who ran for president as a Democrat in 1964 and 1976 and as an Independent in 1968 and 1972, was a Republican. The writeup by Doug McAdam and Karen Kloos waits a dozen mostly long paragraphs before finally tagging Wallace as a Democrat.