Republican Accused of Gay Sex? AP Will Be Sure to Mention in Lede

In the same vein as NewsBusters Warner Todd Huston's earlier blog today about labeling bias, the Associated Press found a Republican politician's alleged episode of gay sex worthy not only of mentioning his party affiliation, but of doing so in the lede.

SPOKANE -- A Republican state legislator from southwest Washington had sex with a man he met at an erotic video store and then told police he had been targeted in an extortion attempt, according to police documents released Tuesday.State Rep. Richard Curtis, R-La Center, who on Monday declared, "I have not had sex with a guy," told police he was the victim in an extortion attempt by Cody Castagna at the posh Davenport Tower hotel Friday, search warrant documents said.

Curtis' party was also mentioned in the subhead for the article, although that may have been the work of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, where I found the article from a link in the paper's Big Blog.The headline to the October 31 Nicholas K. Geranios article reads: "State lawmaker says he's a victim of extortion: Republican denies having sex with man."In an October 31 post, NewsBusters contributor Huston wrote an item dealing with an open-and-shut case of double standards by AP writer Chet Brokaw, who in early October omitted the Democratic party label of a South Dakota state senator accused of a sex crime months earlier. Huston noted the Republican Party affiliation of a former South Dakota state senator Ted Klaudt, accused of molesting foster daughters entrusted to his care. By contrast, the Democratic state senator, Dan Sutton, was alleged to have groped a male legislative page.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters