NewsBusters posters have already given Old Media deserved grief about its reluctance to pin the Democratic Party label on Eliot Spitzer, who, as of this moment, is still governor of New York (Brent Baker on evening news show coverage; Ken Shepherd on the BBC; Shepherd on the AP).
But, as blogger Ace noted last night (warning: some profanity at Ace's link), ABC has outdone the other outlets one better.
ABC's "Political Sex Scandals Redux" popup slideshow has a series of 13 slides relating to current and past politicians. If Republicans are or were involved, the network, with one rare and minor exception, consistently applies the "R" label almost immediately. With Democrats, with one very old exception, the party label isn't there.
Here are the specifics:
Update (18:18 EDT): BBC has updated their article to note the Democratic party affiliation in the 3rd graf (link). Our tipster DB informs us that the BBC's North America editor Justin Webb replied to his e-mail with a promise to "try to get it changed."
The BBC initially noted Gov. Eliot Spitzer is a Democrat, in an early draft of an online news article. The mention was in the 6th paragraph. But that stuck for all of 37 minutes as NewsBusters reader DB informs us (screengrabs shown below page break):
DB also noted that the BBC has placed Republican Party affiliation in the lede paragraph in political scandal stories where the offenders (Sens. Vitter and Craig) are members of the GOP.:
Last year's most bizarre and famously icky sex scandal was, of course, Senator Larry Craig's airport bathroom incident, in which the Idaho Republican was alleged to have been soliciting homosexual sex from an undercover cop. Suffice it to say no one who came across the story could walk away without knowing Craig's party affiliation, and in some cases his record as a conservative with some libertarian-friendly stances.
So how did the Associated Press's Bill Poovey treat a former Democratic Tennessee judge with an arguably nastier, kinkier, more disturbing sexual predilection? Not one mention of John B. Hagler's Democratic Party affiliation in Poovey's 23-paragraph January 2 story, even though the judge's sex fantasy recording sure spooked at least one veteran police officer (emphasis mine, h/t NB reader Chris Mario):
Four of the cartoons were not explicitly political [sex habits of the elderly, contaminated products from China, VA Tech shootings, Barry Bonds steroids scandal].
But of those that satirized political figures, all were Republicans or conservatives:
File this one under "Mental Images We Could Do Without."
Discussing her attempt to straddle the Iran issue, Chris Matthews has accused Hillary Clinton of a "wide stance." For some time, the "Hardball" host has been making the point that while Hillary now claims she voted for the 2002 Iraq resolution only for purposes of authorizing more diplomacy, at the time everyone and his uncle knew that it was a war authorization.
For example, interviewing Hillary advisor Howard Wolfson on "Hardball" back in July, Matthews stated: "Anybody who didn't think we were going to war in the months leading up to the war in Iraq wasn't paying attention."
Today, Matthews employed the infelicitous metaphor for purposes of accusing Hillary of pulling a similar stunt on Iran.
View video here.
After the "Today" show aired yet another portion of Matt Lauer's prime time interview with Larry Craig and his wife, NBC's Meredith Vieira asked Tim Russert to analyze the ramifications the Craig scandal could have on Republicans in '08 and noted that the Democrats had "been quiet so far." The "Meet the Press" host responded by highlighting the obvious harm the Craig scandal could have on the GOP but observed t
MATT LAUER: The fact that these motions seemed to replicate a well-established sequence of signals for soliciting anonymous sex, it's a coincidence?View video here.
TV Newser reports "NBC News has released details of Matt Lauer's weekend interview with Sen. Larry Craig. The interview will air in a Matt Lauer Reports special tomorrow night at 8pmET on NBC and on the Today show Wednesday morning." The airport bathroom sting, worthy of prime time? (UPDATE: It was promoted in Monday's prime time, as the picture shows.)
Did NBC take Patrick Kennedy's Ambien Driving Tour into prime time? Will NBC have a prime-time interview with Rep. William Jefferson on his bribe money in the freezer? Lauer doesn't usually show up in prime time unless he's interviewing Britney Spears. How can the NBC News folks not look partisan in putting this in prime time?
A quick Nexis shows the Today show has never aired more than a brief anchor-read story on May 27, 2006 on William Jefferson’s bribery scandal….but they’re hounding Craig. By contrast, in August 2007, in the first seven days of the Craig scandal, Today mentioned Craig in the show’s opening six of seven days (every day from Tuesday through Sunday), and aired ten reports or interviews and another six anchor briefs.
Democratic mayor Robert Levy, accused of being a phony soldier of sorts, went AWOL on September 26, failing to report to work on behalf of the citizens of Atlantic City, New Jersey. Reported the AP in an October 9 article:
Levy has been mired in scandal for nearly a year.
Last fall, the Press of Atlantic City reported that the Vietnam veteran's claims that he was a member of the Green Berets were untrue. He apologized.
Were you aware that embattled Idaho Senator Larry Craig has been inducted into the Idaho Hall of Fame? If you journeyed over to MSNBC.com, you couldn't miss [this AP] story; their 8:30am EDT update highlights it not once, not twice, not three times, but four times in different sections of their main page. Here's one from the "Inside MSNBC.com" segment:
Jack Cafferty opened his CNN "Situation Room" shtick today at 4:07 p.m. EDT by asking about Larry Craig:
Which was worse? Making sexual advances toward a police officer or lying to the whole world by saying you're going to resign your Senate seat and then announcing you're not going to resign?
Answer: saying you don't want Craig to resign because you "can't wait" for televised hearings describing all the lurid details of what happened in that stall.
Which is exactly what Cafferty went on to do.
Mimicking NBC's Matt Lauer on "Today" with Tom DeLay a few weeks ago, the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz chose Monday to address a number of political scandals in America, all of them of course dealing with Republicans.
Yet, there was a brewing campaign finance scandal conspicuously absent from Kurtz's list. Need a hint what it might be?
Maybe Glenn Reynolds' comical quip will help: "Hsoot, it's on the tip of my tongue..."
Yep. Nowhere was Norman Hsu to be found. Instead, here's what concerned Kurtz (emphasis added):