Name That Party, Confuse-the-Reader Division: AP Refers to 'Also a Democrat,' Never Having ID'd One
In a 12:35 p.m. story at the Associated Press's main site (pictured here, here, and here for future reference, fair use, and discussion purposes), reporter Jim Fitzgerald covers the conviction of White Plains Mayor Adam Bradley ("Suburban NY mayor convicted of attempted assault").
At Paragraph 12, Fitzgerald writes:
Westchester District Attorney Janet DiFiore, also a Democrat, praised Fumiko Bradley's "courage and credibility." She said Adam Bradley's position as mayor "demonstrates that we will support victims of domestic violence no matter who the abuser may be."
There's only one problem. No one has been specifically identified as a Democrat in the story up to that point, and it's not at all clear who may or may not be a Democrat:
- It could of course be the convicted Bradley. His name or references to him appear roughly seven times up to that point. But in the first eleven paragraphs, Fitzgerald never refers to Adam Bradley's political party.
- It could be Bradley's wife Fumiko, the only person whose name appears in the preceding paragraph.
- It could also be "Acting state Supreme Court Justice Susan Capeci" (Paragraph 9) or Neal Comer, Fumiko Bradley's divorce lawyer (Paragraph 8).
Fitzgerald finally gets around to tagging Adam Bradley as the Democrat he is in Paragraph 16, likely well past the point where many AP subscribers will cut the story short:
Bradley, 49, was in just his second month as mayor of White Plains, a major office and retail center 22 miles north of Manhattan, when he was arrested in February. The former state assemblyman, a Democrat, had been considered a politician on the rise.
My guess: Previous versions of the story had Bradley's party identification noted earlier in the story, but then either got removed or a whole sentence or paragraph containing the party ID got demoted to near the story's end. The just-excerpted paragraph looks like one that might have and might have appeared earlier. If so, it should have stayed there.
Oh, the games the AP plays.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.