Couric IDs Stevens as 'Senior Republican,' Didn't Cite Rangel's Party

On Thursday night, CBS anchor Katie Couric began a short news update on Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska by immediately highlighting his party affiliation: “The senior Republican in the U.S. Senate went on trial today for corruption...” Stevens was appointed to his seat in 1968.

But the night before, in an item on ethical questions surrounding Congressman Charles Rangel of New York, a House veteran elected in 1970 who is Chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, Couric failed to inform viewers he's a Democrat. Though, as his bio recites, he's “Chairman of the Board of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee,” sans any party ID Couric announced on Wednesday's CBS Evening News:

The House also plans to investigate one of its own: New York Congressman Charles Rangel. He's come under fire for, among other things, failure to pay taxes on a luxury villa he owns in the Dominican Republic. Rangel has rejected calls that he step down as Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Couric on Stevens on Thursday night, September 25, as she also brought in Alaska's Governor, Sarah Palin:

The senior Republican in the U.S. Senate went on trial today for corruption -- Ted Stevens of Alaska. Prosecutors say a contractor renovated Stevens' home for free, but the Senator failed to report it as a gift. The defense told the court Stevens paid every bill he received for the project and had no idea the contractor wasn't billing him for all the work. Here in New York today, reporters asked Alaska Governor Sarah Palin if she supports Stevens' re-election. She replied, “we'll see where his trial goes.”

Last week, however, ABC anchor Charles Gibson noted Rangel's party affiliation, reading this short update on the Thursday, September 18 World News:

The House ethics committee will meet next week to consider an investigation into Congressman Charles Rangel's personal finances. Rangel, a Democrat from New York, is Chairman of the powerful House committee which writes the tax laws. He's under pressure to step down over questions about unreported income and unpaid taxes on a beach house that he owns in the Dominican Republic.
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center