AP Joins the Kwame Kilpatrick 'Name That Party' Parade

Here at NewsBusters yesterday, Brent Baker, Ken Shepherd, and Scott Whitlock noted now the TV networks, with rare exception, avoided calling indicted Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick a Democrat.

On the print and online side of Old Media, the Associated Press also avoided identifying Kilpatrick's party (HT to an anonymous e-mailer). This follows on the heels of another such example almost a week ago.

AP writer Corey Williams, in a 400-plus word article carried at Breitbart and posted just before noon yesterday, missed clear opportunities in at least the first, second, and sixth paragraphs of his report to tell readers that Kilpatrick is a Democrat:

Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, a one-time rising star and Detroit's youngest elected leader, was charged Monday with perjury and other counts after sexually explicit text messages contradicted his sworn denials of an affair with a top aide.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy also charged the popular yet polarizing 37-year-old mayor with obstruction of justice and misconduct in office.

Former Chief of Staff Christine Beatty, 37, who also denied under oath that she and Kilpatrick had a romantic relationship in 2002 and 2003, was charged with perjury and obstruction of justice.

"Some have suggested that the issues in this case are personal or private," Worthy said.

"The justice system has been severely mocked and the public trust trampled on. ... This case is about as far from being a private matter as one can get," she said.

The charges could signal the end of Kilpatrick's six-year career as mayor of one of America's largest cities.

This party-label avoidance by Williams follows a similar effort by AP in an unbylined report carried in the Toledo Blade on March 18. That report is also noteworthy for its failure to note the party of two other prominent Democrats (bolded in excerpt):

Detroit city council calls on mayor to resign

DETROIT — A nearly unified City Council voiced its displeasure with Kwame Kilpatrick on Tuesday, calling on the scandal-tainted mayor to resign.

A resolution, which passed on a 7-1 vote in the early afternoon, was more of a "no-confidence" vote. The council doesn't have the power to force Kilpatrick to step down.

Kilpatrick Chief of Staff Kandia Milton said after the vote that the mayor has no intention of quitting despite the council's resolution.

The lone vote against the resolution came from Monica Conyers, the council's president pro tem and the wife of U.S. Rep. John Conyers. Councilwoman Martha Reeves was absent due to an illness.

Prediction: Years from now, historians who search through newspaper and video archives will attempt to claim that the early part of this century was one of Republican and conservative corruption and malfeasance, and will point to LexisNexis-type search engine results as "proof" of that.

Thanks to what I believe are conscious efforts by wire services like AP, and by the TV networks, to prominently label Republicans and conservatives, while avoiding party labels of Democrats and liberals, the Republican/conservative narrative will have undeserved currency -- and will require that's era's NewsBusters equivalent to refute it.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.