Herman Cain's political affiliation was incorrectly tagged as Democratic in an onscreen graphic during the 10 a.m. Eastern Chris Jansing Reports program today. Jansing was promoting the former Republican presidential contender's appearance on the noon Eastern Now with Alex Wagner program.
It was most certainly an innocent mistake by the graphics designer, but less excusable was yesterday's Hardball with Chris Matthews where former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist appeared as a guest of Matthews's tagged as a Republican. [see screenshots below page break; Update follows at bottom of post]
Crist did indeed serve in the governor's office as a Republican, but he famously chucked aside his party affiliation to run as an independent against Marco Rubio, the Republican Party's Senate nominee, in 2010. In what could be considered a symbolic act of political excommunication, the Florida GOP placed Crist's gubernatorial portrait up for auction on eBay. What's more, when asked by NBC's David Gregory, Crist pointedly refused to rule out caucusing with U.S. Senate Democrats were he to have won the November 2010 election.
Crist may consider himself a Republican and may still be registered as one, but for all intents and purposes, tagging him as one is misleading for a national news outlet. Even host Chris Matthews qualified his characterization of Crist at the start of the interview:
What do you think of this race where, it looks like a four-to-one negative advertising campaign has blown Newt Gingrich out of the running? What's that say about your party, your former party, the Republicans?
Update: Politico is reporting Crist has gone on the record that he'd "consider" voting for President Obama in the fall.