Name That Party
On Thursday, the journalists at CNN's New Day accussed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his fellow Republicans of "sexism" for silencing Massachussetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, during debate on the floor over confirming then-Attorney General nominee Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions.
Liberal NBC finally dedicated a serious amount of time to the “political terrorism” committed against the North Carolina Republican Party over the weekend, in the form of a firebombing of an HQ office. But instead of focusing on the heinous act, they decided to paint Republicans as the ones stoking the violence. “Tensions have been rising all year in a campaign that's seen undertones of violence,” reported NBC’s Peter Alexander, while playing clips of fights at Donald Trump rallies on Monday’s NBC Nightly News.
Horrible news broke Sunday afternoon as details emerged of the vicious firebombing of the Orange County GOP Head Quarters in North Carolina. Nobody was killed in the attack, which is being described as a “political terrorism,” although the office itself was lost. According to authorities “Nazi Republicans get out of town or else” was spray-painted on a building close to the attack, but that didn’t stop CNN’s Brian Stelter from concluding Donald Trump’s “over heated the rhetoric” was what caused the attack.
On Sunday NBC’s Meet the Press pondered the possibility of a new “realignment” of America’s two party system following the 2016 election. Moderator Chuck Todd and his panel fretted that the realignment would be based on education, with Republicans getting the short end of the stick. “And I can just point you to this break down of our New Hampshire poll, among college educated voters, she's up 20,” reported Todd, “Among non-college educated voters, he's up 20. There’s your realignment.”
According to a statement at the city's web site, Fairfax, Virginia Mayor Richard "Scott" Silverthorne's resignation took effect at noon on Thursday. The resignation occurs a week after Silverthorne was arrested "for allegedly trying to exchange methamphetamine to undercover detectives in exchange for sex, city officials said Monday."
The press, as has so often been the case in situations involving Democrats, has been very reluctant to report Silverthorne's party affiliation, either avoiding the tag entirely or delaying it until their stories' very late paragraphs.
On this, all can agree -- when Rachel Maddow stumbles, it's not for lack of intelligence. Through relentless branding, MSNBC has convinced its viewers and many others who should know better that Maddow is the smartest person in television, or at least on MSNBC at any given moment.
Which leads to an awkward conclusion -- when Maddow commits not one but two egregious errors of omission in the same report, it is not through stupidity. That is simply not possible. Such are the pitfalls of embodying her specific brand.
Breaking the news to CNBC viewers early Monday evening about Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe being investigated by the FBI, chief Washington correspondent John Harwood slipped and referred to McAuliffe as “the second consecutive Republican Governor to face a corruption investigation” following predecessor and actual Republican Bob McDonnell.
Forner New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a Democrat, was sentenced to 12 years in prison Monday after being convicted last year "in a $5 million corruption case alleging he traded favors to enrich himself and then lied about it."
Perhaps cognizant of the fact that media watchers are looking over their shoulders, the primary dispatch and several other news stories at the Associated Press, as well as the primary story on Silver's sentencing at the New York Times, tagged him as a Democrat within the first two or three paragraphs. That's progress, but if Silver was Republican or conservative, his party affiliation would likely have made it into the headline and/or first paragraph. However, CNN, which has fancied itself as a wire service competing with AP for the past six years, failed to mention Silver's party at all in its story on his sentencing (bolds representing missed opportunites to include a party tag are mine):
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").