The Baltimore Sun has no trouble noting for readers the political affiliation of politicians who face an ethical scandal and/or official investigation. That is, of course, if the pol in question is a Republican.

Last Wednesday, I noted how the Sun's Julie Scharper failed to note Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's Democratic party affiliation in a story about her voting on city contracts where her husband's company had a competing bid.

The very next day, however, Scharper's colleague Nicole Fuller promptly noted the Republican affiliation of two-term Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold. Here's how Fuller opened her story:



"Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has voted to approve more than $900,000 in deals with Johns Hopkins since her husband began working for one of its divisions late last year — a possible violation of the city ethics code."

That's how the Baltimore Sun's Julie Scharper began her March 16 story -- published last night online here -- about the Democratic mayor's votes on the city's board that authorizes spending for public contracts.

Yet Scharper failed to note Rawlings-Blake's Democratic Party affiliation.



Three weeks ago, the Washington Post reported on the front page of its November 10 Metro section that a "Nebraska doctor who is one of the few in the country to perform abortions late in a pregnancy said Wednesday that he would open new clinics in Iowa and the Washington area."

At the time, Carhart refused to disclose where he would open his D.C.-area clinic, but said that it would be in a jurisdiction that was favorable to abortion.

"The laws are more favorable in these other jurisdictions, and we're going to do the maximum the law allows," Carhart told the Washington Post.

Stein filed an 8-paragraph follow-up story in today's Post, having received new information from an abortion clinic official that Carhart would be joining that clinic, based in Germantown, Md. That follow-up story, however, was buried at the bottom of page 10 of the paper's December 1 Metro section.



In Maryland, Prince George's County's top elected official, County Executive Jack B. Johnson (pictured at right on NB's home page) was arrested yesterday, and "is accused of accepting cash in return for helping a developer secure federal funding."

Johnson's wife, a recently elected councilperson, was also arrested yesterday. The couple are both accused of "tampering with a witness and evidence relating to the commission of a federal offense, and destruction, alteration, and falsification of records in a federal investigation."

The linked article at Gazette.net does not identify the Johnsons' political party affiliation. When this failure to identify occurs, it typically means that the politicians involved are Democrats. As expected, the Johnson are indeed Dems (Jack; Leslie).

Sadly, it is not at all surprising that there is a virtual blackout on the Johnsons' party affiliation:



The Baltimore Sun's media critic is still fuming about MSNBC's pathetic coverage on election night.

In his piece published Saturday, David Zurawik called the cable news network a "liberal prep school" while claiming the behavior of folks like Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, Lawrence O'Donnell, and Keith Olbermann was "so egregious" that the "entire realm of TV journalism was diminished in the public mind":



Fired NPR news analyst Juan Williams is firing back at critics of Fox News Channel. In an interview with the Baltimore Sun, Williams said Fox management is "much more enlightened" than executives at other news outlets, from NPR to CNN:

"At NPR they don't know this: A third of the audience for Bill O'Reilly's show is made up of people of color," Williams said. "At NPR, they think, `Oh, these people who watch Fox don't appreciate diversity of opinion, they're not smart people. They're not informed people. Oh, yeah? I'll tell you what: They're informed."

...Williams said NPR "just doesn't understand the Fox audience" -- or have any idea how much more enlightened Fox News management is in some ways compared with news outlets like NPR, CNBC or CNN.



When it comes to so-called Super PACs spending money on TV ads targeting swing House districts, the Baltimore Sun seems to care a lot more about who's behind Republican ones than Democratic operations.

Yesterday I noted how Sun staffer Paul West wrote about a PAC running ads against freshman Democratic Rep. Frank Kratovil (Md.).

West portrayed the PAC's ads as a clever end-run around campaign contribution limits for Baltimore-area businessman Daniel Schuster.

Yet in a blog post yesterday afternoon entitled "Democratic 'Super PAC' dropping $400K hit on Andy Harris,"  West was decidedly uncurious about the motives animating donors behind America's Families First Action Fund, which is running ads opposing Kratovil's Republican opponent, Dr. Andy Harris.



Opening his October 18 article on a tight House race in Maryland that's garnered national attention, Baltimore Sun's Paul West trotted out the typical liberal lament about corporate money in politics (emphasis mine):



Baltimore Sun TV critic David Zurawik on Friday used the ultimate liberal insult when he compared Keith Olbermann to Joe McCarthy. Writing about the left-wing cable host's role in the suspension of MSNBC anchor Donny Deutsch, Zurawik mocked, "Olbermann tries to talk like he's Edward R. Murrow, but he operates in the dirty tradition of Joe McCarthy." [Emphasis added.]

Zurawik has also hammered conservatives, calling Robert Novak "a very dark force" in cable news less than two hours after Novak passed away in August 2009, so it's saying something that he's unleashed on Olbermann.

MSNBC suspended Deutsch on Wednesday, after he included Olbermann in a segment on angry cable hosts. Zurawik didn't hold back as he derided, "...Here I come to write once again about what a reckless TV figure Keith Olbermann is -- and how irresponsible MSNBC and NBC News management are for giving him a national platform and the network's credibility to spread his innuendo, invective and smears."



In a 15-paragraph story filed yesterday afternoon, Baltimore Sun's Justin Fenton reported how a police cruiser was dispatched at all times during the recent snowstorms to watch over the house of the city's disgraced ex-Mayor Sheila Dixon (D).

You'll recall Dixon was convicted of misappropriating donated gift cards intended for distribution to needy constituents. Instead, Dixon used them on her own personal shopping spree.

Pursuant to a plea deal on another criminal charge, Dixon resigned from her mayoral post on February 4. 

Fenton did an excellent job reporting the story and noting the controversy engendered by the city devoting resources for a felonious ex-politician. Yet nowhere in his story did he note that Dixon is a Democrat.



NewsBusters.org - Name That PartyDespite being convicted of stealing gift cards intended for poor Baltimore residents and using them for her own personal shopping spree, outgoing Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon (D) will still be able to collect a mayoral pension after she resigns from office early next month.

Reported Baltimore Sun's Julie Scharper:

Dixon pleaded guilty last week to one count of perjury for failing to disclose on city ethics forms the gifts she received from a developer. As part of a plea deal, she will keep her $83,000 pension. She will receive probation before judgment for the perjury count and the embezzlement conviction. She also must donate $45,000 to charity and is banned from seeking city funds to pay her legal bills or working for the city or state during her probationary period.

This development, understandably, has quite a few Baltimoreans outraged, so Sun editors gave Scharper 25 paragraphs to report on incoming interim mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's pledge to look into the pension system and sew up loopholes that allow for convicts like Dixon to benefit from taxpayers in their retirement from public service. 

Yet nowhere in Scharper's January 12 article was Dixon's Democratic Party affiliation mentioned, nor the fact that Council President Rawlings-Blake and the rest of the city council are likewise all Democrats.



Criminally-challenged Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon (D) today announced her resignation from office effective February 4.

Nowhere in their 9-paragraph breaking news article filed at 3:44 p.m. EST today did Baltimore Sun reporters Liz F. Kay and Liz Bowie note Dixon is a Democrat, even though her party has a monopoly on the city's elected officials and has for decades.

Dixon, you may recall, was convicted in December for misappopriating gift cards donated to her office and intended for distribution to needy Baltimore residents. Instead, Dixon used some of the cards for a personal shopping spree. In effect, she was convicted of robbing from the poor to benefit herself.