'Today' Refuses to Label Kwame Kilpatrick a Democrat

Picking up where the broadcast network evening news shows of last night and yesterday's ABC's Good Morning America left off, Tuesday's "Today" show failed to note the party affiliation of Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. NBC News' Natalie Morales had a total of three opportunities to mention that Kilpatrick was a Democrat but failed to do so in two news briefs and one introduction to a Michelle Kosinski story about the mayor's indictment. The show's graphic department also failed to slap a (D) next to Kilpatrick's name simply labeling Kilpatrick as "Detroit Mayor."

The following segment, as it occurred on the March 25 "Today", was typical of the show's Kilpatrick coverage:

NATALIE MORALES: Today Detroit's mayor is facing arraignment on 12 felony charges including perjury. The charges come amid allegations of sex, lies and text messages. More now from NBC's Michelle Kosinski.

[On screen headline: "Indicted, Detroit Mayor Facing Felony Charges"]

MICHELLE KOSINSKI: The mayor in a mug shot. Kwame Kilpatrick was the youngest mayor Detroit ever elected. He once talked about turning the Motor City around. Now the storm of allegations against him of corruption, cover-ups and sexually explicit text-messages has swirled into an indictment.

KYM WORTHY, WAYNE COUNTY PROSECUTOR: People's lives were ruined. The justice system was severely mocked and the public trust trampled on.

KOSINSKI: Twelve felony counts against the mayor and his then chief-of-staff and alleged lover Kristine Beatty, including obstruction of justice, misconduct an perjury. This all started when police officers claimed they were fired for investigating the mayor. Allegations like wild parties in his official residence. Under oath Kilpatrick and Beatty denied the improper firings and having an affair. But spicy text messages exposed in the press, seem to scream otherwise.

KWAME KILPATRICK, DETROIT MAYOR: And I believe that there will be a full airing of all the facts in this case that result in my full and complete vindication.

KOSINSKI: His attorney says those seemingly damning text messages were obtained illegally and that this investigation is tainted not the mayor, who is still holding on. Michelle Kosinski, NBC News, Chicago.

Incidentally this isn't the first time "Today" has ignored Kilpatrick's party. Co-anchor Ann Curry established the trend back on the January 31 edition of "Today."

Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens is the Deputy Research Director at the Media Research Center.