Reuters Avoids Political ID of Dem Mayor Accused of Taking Bribes From a Strip Club

[UPDATE 16:00: Two and a half hours after posting, Reuters updated and used the word "Democrat."] According to Reuters, the ex-mayor of North Carolina's largest city admitted on Tuesday that he accepted bribes totaling at least $50,000 "in exchange for using his official positions to help people seeking to do business in the city." Yet the article by journalist Emily Harris avoided identifying Patrick Cannon as a Democrat. 

Harris instead used generic terms for Cannon, referring to him as the "the former Charlotte mayor." Cannon is also accused of "taking bribes from the owner of an adult entertainment club and using his influence to help the business stay open despite being in the path of the city's new light-rail line." In contrast, Fox and Friends anchor Steve Doocy highlighted the former mayor's political party, noting, "The Democrat faces a maximum of 20 years in prison." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

On March 26 and 27, ABC, CNN, MSNBC and PBS all refrained from calling Cannon a Democrat. Again, it was Fox News's Jamie Colby that revealed, "There's another Democrat in trouble over accusations of corruption." 

The best NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams could do on March 26 was to explain that the mayor was"busted today by the FBI after a sting operation several years in the making." Viewers were left to wonder about his party ID. 

When then-South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford admitted to traveling to Argentina for an extra-marital affair, the networks immediately noted his Republican status. 

A transcript of the June 3 Fox and Friends brief, which aired at 6:24am ET, is below: 


STEVE DOOCY: And Charlotte's former Mayor Patrick Cannon expected to plead guilty today to a federal corruption charge. The FBI recorded Cannon accepting thousands of dollars in cash and airline tickets for undercover cops. The Democrat faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org