Unlike NBC, MSNBC Continues to Fail To Identify Jesse Jackson Jr. as Democrat

Sadly, MSNBC cannot follow sister network NBC’s lead in reporting the story of disgraced Democrat Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill) and his impending prison sentence for illegally using campaign funds for personal usage. 

On the February 20 edition of NBC Nightly News as well as on the February 21 edition of Today, both shows correctly identify Jesse Jackson Jr. as a Democrat, but their MSNBC morning show Morning Joe skipped the important detail.  [See video after jump.  MP3 audio here.]

In fact, Morning Joe ran an identical story with NBC News justice correspondent Pete Williams, with one difference.  Morning Joe left out the Democrat label prior to Williams’ report.  Morning Joe’s Joe Scarborough introduced the story as such:

Former Congressman Jesse Jackson's facing jail time after pleading guilty to misusing hundreds of thousands of dollars of campaign funds. With his famous father in the courtroom, a tearful Jackson apologized to his family and friends and the people of Chicago.

In contrast, on Nightly News, Brian Williams introduced the story as:

Former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. was for years considered a rising bright light among Democrats in Congress with a famous family name. But today he and his wife were in tears in a federal courtroom, pleading guilty to serious crimes involving campaign money. Both of them now face possible prison time.

Even in its 30-second brief, Today mentioned Jackson's Democratic affiliation: 

A guilty plea from former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. The Illinois Democrat waived his right to trial admitting in court that he had used some $750,000 in campaign funds for personal use.

Sadly, Morning Joe couldn’t follow the lead of NBC in accurately informing its audience that Jesse Jackson Jr. is a Democrat, joining the growing list of liberal media outlets to selectively identify politicians by their party ID.

 

See relevant transcripts below. 


MSNBC

Morning Joe

February 21, 2013

6:30 a.m. EST

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Former Congressman Jesse Jackson's facing jail time after pleading guilty to misusing hundreds of thousands of dollars of campaign funds. With his famous father in the courtroom, a tearful Jackson apologized to his family and friends and the people of Chicago. NBC's justice correspondent Pete Williams takes us through this sad case.

PETE WILLIAMS: For Jesse Jackson Jr., the walk into the courthouse was the end of a slow-motion fall from grace. He told a federal judge, for years I have lived off my campaign, admitting that he took money received in political contributions and used it to make more than 3,000 separate purchases for himself and his wife over the past seven years. A $43,000 gold watch, $19,000 for one of Michael Jackson's guitars, $16,000 for a pair of elk heads. Tens of thousands more in furnishings for their homes in Washington and Chicago. Total value, $750,000.

RONALD MACHEN: Jesse Jackson Jr. had the drive, the ability and the talent to be the voice of a new generation. But he squandered that talent.

WILLIAMS: Reporter: As he left, Jackson was apologetic.

JESSE JACKSON JR: It's not a proud day. I'm sorry I let everybody down.

WILLIAMS: But his lawyer says at age 47, he still has a promising future.

REID WEINGARTEN: A man that talented, a man that devoted to public service, a man who has done so much for so many has another day. There will be another chapter in Jesse Jackson's life.

WILLIAMS: His wife, Sandra, a former Chicago alderman, was at the same courthouse tearfully pleading guilty to a related charge. Jesse Jackson Jr. will be sentenced in june and will almost certainly face prison time, perhaps as much as four years.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: That was NBC's Pete Williams reporting.

SCARBOROUGH: It's a sad story. Harold, you served with Jesse. As did I.

HAROLD FORD JR.: I know Jesse. It's sad. I know the family well. My prayers go out to his kids and to the entire family. And I hope there is another chapter in his life.

BRZEZINSKI: I hope they can turn it around.

 

NBC

NBC Nightly News

February 20, 2013

7:10 p.m. EST

BRIAN WILLIAMS: Former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. was for years considered a rising bright light among Democrats in Congress with a famous family name. But today he and his wife were in tears in a federal courtroom, pleading guilty to serious crimes involving campaign money. Both of them now face possible prison time. Our report from our justice correspondent, Pete Williams.

PETE WILLIAMS: For Jesse Jackson Jr., the walk into the courthouse was the end of a slow-motion fall from grace. He told a federal judge, for years I have lived off my campaign, admitting that he took money received in political contributions and used it to make more than 3,000 separate purchases for himself and his wife over the past seven years. A $43,000 gold watch, $19,000 for one of Michael Jackson's guitars, $16,000 for a pair of elk heads. Tens of thousands more in furnishings for their homes in Washington and Chicago. Total value, $750,000.

RONALD MACHEN: Jesse Jackson Jr. had the drive, the ability and the talent to be the voice of a new generation. But he squandered that talent.

WILLIAMS: Reporter: As he left, Jackson was apologetic.

JESSE JACKSON JR: It's not a proud day. I'm sorry I let everybody down.

WILLIAMS: But his lawyer says at age 47, he still has a promising future.

REID WEINGARTEN: A man that talented, a man that devoted to public service, a man who has done so much for so many has another day. There will be another chapter in Jesse Jackson's life.

WILLIAMS: His wife, Sandra, a former Chicago alderman, was at the same courthouse tearfully pleading guilty to a related charge. Jesse Jackson Jr. will be sentenced in june and will almost certainly face prison time, perhaps as much as four years.


NBC

Today

February 21, 2013

9:10 a.m. EST

NATALIE MORALES: A guilty plea from former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. The Illinois Democrat waived his right to trial admitting in court that he had used some $750,000 in campaign funds for personal use. His wife also pleaded guilty. Jackson will be sentenced in June but he faces up to 57 months in prison and a fine. His wife faces up to two years in prison and a fine.

Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center.