NY Times Allergic to The D-Word At Corruption Trial of Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin

Friday’s New York Times led off the National section on A-11 with Campbell Robertson’s story “Taking Stand, Nagin Defends Acts as Mayor of New Orleans.” But the entire article on the Democrat’s corruption trial unspooled for 931 words without the word “Democrat.” Jurors have heard how Nagin enriched himself from contractors rebuilding the city after Hurricane Katrina.

The Times also couldn’t manage the party ID on January 31 in a 787-word Robertson story headlined “Prosecutors Lay Out List of Ex-Mayor’s Schemes.” There was no party ID for Nagin as his corruption trial discussed in a February 2 Robertson story on current Mayor Mitch Landrieu being re-elected.

On January 27, Robertson withheld the “D” word until paragraph 17, but pitched him as a pro-business centrist:

He won in 2002 as the candidate of the business community -- his opponents called him ''Ray Reagan'' though he was a Democrat -- pledging to root out corruption and drawing the votes of the city's whites and many affluent black residents.

In a racially charged election in 2006, Mr. Nagin ran as a champion for the thousands of mostly black residents scattered by the hurricane but trying to return. He beat Mr. Landrieu with a combination of black voters and white conservatives who could not stomach voting for anyone named Landrieu -- a Democratic dynasty in Louisiana politics.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis