Associated Press and The Oregonian in Portland both completely flunked the party-ID test on Portland's brand-new openly gay Democratic mayor having a sexual relationship with an 18-year-old man and lying about it. The Oregonian story began:
Portland Mayor Sam Adams acknowledged Monday that he had a sexual relationship with an 18-year-old in summer 2005 and, on the eve of his campaign for the city's highest office, lied about it and urged the young man to lie as well.
Readers who weren't familiar with Adams could have been confused, since a Republican label later surfaced in the story:
Adams met Beau Breedlove in April 2005. Breedlove, then 17, was an intern at the Oregon Legislature for then-Rep. Kim Thatcher, R-Keizer. Adams, 42 and a city of Portland commissioner, was in Salem on a lobbying trip. They struck up a conversation, and Breedlove called Adams soon after, hoping for both professional and personal advice on coming out of the closet in the political world.
Beyond the traditional drop-the-D reporting, there is the question if the national media will find this newsworthy. The easy guess is that if the politician is openly gay and the teenager is consenting, they will find it's not. In 2005, when the mayor of Spokane, Washington was a conservative "anti-gay" Republican and a teenager said he was unwilling, it was a big national story, including an NBC interview on Today and an entire Frontline documentary on PBS. James West was ousted in a recall months later. The FBI cleared him of any criminal charges in February 2006, and he died of cancer that July. Even when he died, the AP found the Republican label. (HT: Dan Gainor)