Broadcast Networks Ignore Kwame Kilpatrick Conviction; PBS Fails to Report Party Label

Former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick (D) was convicted yesterday on 24 separate federal corruption charges, which could cost him up to 20 years in prison. However, ABC, CBS, and NBC could not be bothered to even mention the conviction of this disgraced ex-mayor of a major, blighted American city on their nightly news programs.

Perhaps they were busy with what are clearly weightier matters. Monday’s NBC Nightly News, for example, found time to mention Justin Timberlake’s recent appearance on Saturday Night Live, the ten worst places to retire in America, and the plight of penguins in Antarctica.

The CBS Evening News and ABC World News both broadcasted from the Vatican and focused most of their attention on the pending election of the next pope. But even when they got around to other news, there was not a peep about Detroit’s ex-mayor.

PBS, to their credit, did mention Kilpatrick on the NewsHour. However, the story was condensed into a 25-second blurb and stuffed into the “Other News of the Day” segment. What’s more, PBS failed to mention that Kilpatrick is a Democrat. Here is the news brief, narrated by Hari Sreenivasan:

 

"Former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was convicted today on 24 counts of racketeering and other federal corruption charges. Witnesses in the five-month trial said Kilpatrick steered city contracts toward a friend for a share of the spoils. He also used political donations and a non-profit fund for personal spending. Kilpatrick could get 20 years in prison. He already served 14 months in an unrelated obstruction of justice case."

Kilpatrick’s political career has been a mess of corruption, scandal, indictments, and prison time. One would think he would be a national laughingstock by now -- especially given that he's the son of a former congresswoman -- and if he were a Republican, he may very well have become one of the most ridiculed men in America. But because of the “D” that follows his name, the liberal media hold back on the venom, opting instead for either the kid gloves treatment or complete silence.

Paul Bremmer
Paul Bremmer is a Media Research Center News Analysis Division intern.