Consider this post the print and online follow-up to the report early Tuesday evening by Matthew Balan at NewsBusters on the failure of the Big Three TV networks to note the Democratic Party/Obama fundraising affiliation of former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, whose now-bankrupt MF Global financial firm has apparently admitted to diverting client money in a futile attempt to battle its financial free-fall.
Balan found that the Big Three's morning shows "omitted the party affiliation of Jon Corzine as they reported on the federal investigation into his brokerage firm," and that ABC didn't even mention Corzine's name. This is not surprising, as the wire services which provide much of the raw material for these shows for the most part similarly failed, and have continued to do so. A rundown of much of what the wires have produced, along with a look at several New York Times items, follows the jump:
On Tuesday, the morning shows of the Big Three networks omitted the party affiliation of Jon Corzine as they reported on the federal investigation into his brokerage firm, something that even the liberal New York Times gave in their coverage of the story. ABC's Good Morning America also failed to include Corzine's name during their news brief on the investigation.
News anchor Josh Elliott noted in a 13-second brief that "a Wall Street brokerage firm run by New Jersey's former governoris filing for bankruptcy. Regulators say some $700 million belonging to MF Global's customers is apparently missing." Apparently, the name of the Democrat's firm is newsworthy at ABC, but his name and his party ID isn't.
Sometimes it's really hard to understand why certain events get heavy national press coverage while others which are arguably at least as significant and serious get little if any notice. This is one of them. Scott Walker, who solved a $3 billion projected deficit in Wisconsin, is a media and leftist (but I repeat myself) arch-villain because much of the balancing was done by adjusting public-sector employee contributions towards health and pension benefits to more closely but still more generously resemble what's seen in the private sector, and by reducing public-sector employees' ability to restore them to their formerly out-of-control levels through collective bargaining. Ditto for John Kasich in Ohio, where the projected deficit was $8 billion.
Meanwhile, the state of Illinois defers billions of dollars of payments to vendors by four or more months because, despite 67% and 46% increases in personal and business income taxes, respectively, it still doesn't have the money to come even close to staying current. Yet virtually all we've seen from the national press on the problem is one Associated Press story conveniently filed on a Saturday. Here are key paragraphs from the report by Christopher Wills (bolds are mine throughout this post):
If you only read Thursday's coverage of Bank of America's decision to impose a $5 monthly debit card fee by Associated Press Personal Finance Writer Candice Choi, you would have no idea that last year's "Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act" triggered BofA's decision. The legislation gave the Federal Reserve the power to limit debit card interchange fees. The Fed's limit -- 21 cents plus 0.5% of each purchase transaction -- basically cut the banks' fees by about half from their pre-Dodd-Frank level. CardHub.com estimates that the cap will reduce banks' fee income by $9.4 billion annually.
Ms. Choi only cited the existence of "a new rule" in her opening paragraph. She then waited until the ninth paragraph to vaguely cite the existence of "a regulation." It hardly seems accidental that most news consumers who didn't follow the fee fight a year ago will probably have the impression that banks are driving the fee increases, as the following excerpt will demonstrate (bolds are mine):
It appears that it's not news anywhere but at the Hartford Courant, where "Little Pink House" author Jeff Benedict reported the development on Saturday, and at Reason.com (HT to commenter dscott), which linked to the Courant story earlier today. I suspect it won't get much coverage at other establishment press outlets.
The development is that one of the four Connecticut Supreme Court justices in the 4-3 majority which ruled against Susette Kelo and the New London, Connecticut eminent-domain holdouts, ultimately sending the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled 5-4 against the plaintiffs in Kelo vs. New London, has apologized -- quite emptily, as it turns out -- to Ms. Kelo, face to face:
Even by the non-standards of the Associated Press, its treatment of the resignation in New Jersey of a state Assembly member is remarkable.
Twice in the space of the wire service's headline and reporter Angela Delli Santi's first three words, Pat Delany was tagged as a Republican, followed during the first two paragraphs by two descriptions of Republican Party reaction (bolds are mine):
About the only "good" thing you can say about the Associated Press's coverage of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania judge Mark Ciavarella is that they have been consistent. That is, the wire service, led by reporter Michael Rubinkam, up to and including today, has consistently and disgracefully failed to tag the infamous "Kids for Cash" jurist and his judicial colleague in crime Michael Conahan as a Democrat.
The consistent failure is all the more unforgivable because, as shown here, one the earliest AP reports on the topic clearly stated that "Both are Democrats." Shortly thereafter, the sentence disappeared. Since then, to my knowledge (shown here and here), in the 2-1/2 years since the story first broke, no AP report on what the it has described as "one of the most shocking cases of courtroom graft on record" has tagged either judge as a Democrat.
It seems that every time I see something possibly redeeming put forth by the Associated Press, they figure out a way to ruin it.
Take Larry Margasak's report this afternoon on John Boehner's attempts at persuading House Republican members to support his various attempts at debt-ceiling legislation during the few two weeks. (I've made my general unhappiness with the ultimate result pretty plain here, and that is not the topic of this post.)
Maragasak notes Boehner's refusal to engage in "carrot-and-stick" persuasion, observes that it's "a major transformation from the not too distant past," and spends the rest of the report comparing the Republicans under Boehner to the Denny Hastert-Tom Delay regime. It's as if the years from 2007 through 2010, featuring the Nancy Pelosi-Harry Reid regime's Louisiana Purchase of Mary Landrieu, the Cornhusker Kickback to Nebraska's Ben Nelson, the $3.5 billion "clean energy" boondoggle to Ohio Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, and so many, many others, never happened and don't exist. What a journalistic disgrace.
Louis Magazzu, whom I shall nickname "Louis the Lewd," was a Democratic County Freeholder in Cumberland County, New Jersey. A "freeholder" is the Garden State equivalent of a county commissioner.
His position is in the past tense because Louis the Lewd resigned on Tuesday after nude pictures of himself sent to a woman with whom he had online correspondence for several years were published.
Let's compare how the Aliyah Shahid at the New York Daily News and Beth DeFalco at the Associated Press covered Magazzu's resignation. First, from the Daily News, which isn't exactly considered strongly conservative or particularly anti-Democrat:
Saturday night in Cincinnati, Fox 19's Kimberly Holmes Wiggins interviewed Ohio Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown from Washington about the state of the debt-ceiling debate. A full transcript follows.
Contained therein readers will see the untruthful establishment press memes which have dominated their coverage, and all too typical disgraceful and predictable demagoguery by Brown. Similar reports involving other Democrats likely played on stations across the nation this past weekend.
Strap on the duct tape. Here goes (bolds and numbered tags are mine; link is to the station's video home page):
Former Santa Fe County Sheriff Greg Solano, who pleaded guilty Wednesday to five felony counts, is a Democrat.
What follows are the results of three searches demonstrating that every media outlet which can be found by Google News which has tracked the story in the past 30 days has failed to note Solano's party affiliation.
Green Vehicles is no more. The world will somehow have to get by without the lovely vehicle pictured after the jump populating our streets and highways.
Given that its owner put an "I've giving it up" blog post last Tuesday, and even though Drudge just caught it a few hours ago, it's pretty safe to assume that the Green Vehicles debacle won't be a national establishment press story.
It is, however, a fairly hot story in Salinas, California, a city of about 150,000 fifty or so miles south of San Jose.
Yesterday mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger -- captured last month with $800,000 in his possession -- was granted the right to retain taxpayer-funded counsel by a U.S. Magistrate judge Marianne Bowler, who "appointed high-profile Boston criminal-defense lawyer J.W. Carney Jr. as Bulger's public defender," Wall Street Journal's Jennifer Levitz reported in today's paper.
Bulger, you may recall, is the older brother of former Massachusetts State Senate President William "Billy" Bulger. The younger Bulger was once one of the most powerful Democratic Party bosses in the Bay State, having served 18 years as Senate president.
Yet when it came to noting the family dynamic in the Bulger family, Levitz wrote one short paragraph and in it left out any reference to the Democratic Party:
ABC, CBS, and NBC all failed to mention former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's affiliation with the Democratic Party on their Monday evening news broadcasts and the Tuesday morning shows. Blagojevich was convicted by a jury on Monday on 17 out of 20 charges, mainly related to the attempt to sell the Senate seat of President Obama. Only CBS's Early Show noted his party with a "D" on-screen.
NBC devoted the least amount of time to the breaking news, a total of 1 minute and 50 seconds between NBC Nightly News and the Today Show. Brian Williams actually didn't mention the party of the new felon or his predecessor during his report on Monday, but noted that "Blagojevich will become the fourth Illinois governor in recent memory to go to jail. His predecessor, George Ryan, is still in federal prison, also for corruption." The following morning, news anchor Natalie Morales gave three news briefs on Blagojevich, all about 15 seconds long each.
Earlier today, a grand jury convicted former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, a Democrat, on 17 of 20 counts of corruption. 11 of of the guilty verdicts related to attempts to profit from the "sale" of the U.S. Senate seat Barack Obama vacated when he became president.
At USA Today's On Deadline blog (as of its 5:33 p.m. update), Michael Winter failed to identify Blagojevich or any other politician involved as a Democrat. Neither did the video found at Winter's article. This is not surprising, because the video came from the "see no evil Democrat" Associated Press.
In six items all carrying today's date found at the AP's main site in a search on the former governor's last name at 8:15 p.m. ET, the wire service not only failed to tag Blago as a Democrat, it failed to tag anyone as Democrat. Here's the list:
UPDATE: Some hours after the Times's initial filing, the phrase "former senator" in paragraph one was changed to read "former Democratic senator."
Where’s the party? New York Times reporter Katharine Seelye filed an online report early Friday on the breaking story of the indictment on campaign finance violations of John Edwards, the former senator and 2008 Democratic presidential candidate (and John Kerry’s 2004 running mate), on charges he violated campaign finance law to conceal an extramarital affair during his presidential campaign. Only one thing missing: His political party.
CBS's Jeff Glor failed to mention the Democratic Party affiliation of Rod Blagojevich, as well as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., during a news brief on Wednesday's Early Show. Glor's report was the only mention on the Big Three network morning shows of the former Illinois governor's lawyers calling the former Obama aide and the congressman to testify in his retrial for corruption.
The news anchor noted during his brief that "some big names could be on the stand" and specified that Blagojevich's attorneys would call Emanuel and Jackson, Jr. He then explained that the former governor is "accused of trying to sell the seat of then-U.S. Senator Barack Obama. His first trial ended in a hung jury."
UPDATE:As seen here, the very earliest AP reports appear to have identified Edwards as a Democrat (the age of the item may not correspond with when the AP subscriber actually received it), but the latest ones, including this item found at AP's home site (as of 12:59 p.m.), do not. UPDATE 2: A mixed bag -- The 6:55 p.m. report from the same AP reporters (pic here) notes that Edwards was the "2004 Democratic vice-presidential nominee," and waits until Paragraph 4 to note that the possible indictment stems from the 2007-2008 campaign.
In their 11:29 a.m. report (saved here in case it gets updated, and for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes) on the apparently imminent indictment of 2004 and 2008 Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, Associated Press reporters Mike Baker and Gary D. Robertson did not identify Edwards as a Democrat, nor did they identify any of his campaign associates (e.g., Andrew Young, Fred Baron) as Democrats. No form of the word "Democrat" appears in the report as it was posted at 11:29 a.m.
Here are the first seven paragraphs of the AP pair's effort:
UPDATE, May 18: NewsBusters commenter "dreamsincolor" has pointed out that CNN "somehow" forgot Democratic New York Congressman Eric Massa, who resigned in 2009 to avoid "an ethics investigation into alleged misconduct toward a male staff member."
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Chris Ariens filed a report today at MediaBistro's TVNewser that opened with a reader's Tweet, which plaintively asked: "Did CNN really exclude Spitzer from Malveaux package on Sex Scandals & Politics? Hmm.."
Tim McCarthy, a former Secret Service agent who took a bullet intended for President Ronald Reagan, will observe the 30th anniversary of the attempted assassination on Wednesday by going to Springfield to oppose legislation that would repeal Illinois's ban on concealed carrying of firearms.
McCarthy said he's alarmed that an Illinois House Committee approved a concealed carry proposal. The full House could vote soon.
As happens so often, the fact McCarthy, now the police chief of Chicago suburb Orland Park, is a Democrat isn't reported. In 1998, he sought his party's endorsement for Illinois Secretary of State.
The Baltimore Sun has no trouble noting for readers the political affiliation of politicians who face an ethical scandal and/or official investigation. That is, of course, if the pol in question is a Republican.
Last Wednesday, I noted how the Sun's Julie Scharper failed to note Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's Democratic party affiliation in a story about her voting on city contracts where her husband's company had a competing bid.
The very next day, however, Scharper's colleague Nicole Fuller promptly noted the Republican affiliation of two-term Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold. Here's how Fuller opened her story:
Possibly Stein's cause was helped by Geraldo Rivera asking the judge for leniency. Or maybe the judge was impressed by Stein's cooperation; the story notes that he "also agreed to pay taxes for the years 2003 to 2008." Whatta guy!
The New York Times did omit at least one salient fact: Stein is a Democrat.
"Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has voted to approve more than $900,000 in deals with Johns Hopkins since her husband began working for one of its divisions late last year — a possible violation of the city ethics code."
That's how the Baltimore Sun's Julie Scharper began her March 16 story -- published last night online here -- about the Democratic mayor's votes on the city's board that authorizes spending for public contracts.
Yet Scharper failed to note Rawlings-Blake's Democratic Party affiliation.
Oregon residents and news followers nationwide can be forgiven for shaking their heads over the Associated Press's latest item on the misadventures of Congressman David Wu. All of a sudden he's apparently not a Democrat -- well, at least he's not identified as such by the wire service's Jonathan J. Cooper.
Wu has gained a degree of infamy over his erratic behavior (to be described shortly for those unfamiliar with the story) leading up to his reelection in 2010.
What's odd about Cooper's failure to tag Wu as a Democrat in his latest report is that he and the AP have done so in several previous dispatches:
When a sitting U.S. congressman's behavior is so erratic and inexplicable that his own staffers want him to get psychiatric care and some of them quit in horror upon his reelection, it's a legitimate news story for national media coverage regardless of the political party of the person involved.
Of course, if the congressman were a Republican, it's difficult to imagine his political affiliation would go unmentioned in any media account.
But the federal legislator in question is Oregon Rep. David Wu, a Democrat.
In a February 23 Swampland blog post for Time.com, Amy Sullivan omitted Wu's political affiliation even as she detailed the troubling behavior he's exhibited over the past few months:
Friday, a jury convicted former Luzerne County, Pennsylvania Judge Mark Ciavarella of "12 counts, including racketeering, money laundering and conspiracy, but acquitted him of 27 counts, including extortion" in connection with "what prosecutors said was a 'kids for cash' scheme that ranks among the biggest courtroom frauds in U.S. history." Ciavarella was "accused of using juvenile delinquents as pawns in a plot to get rich," i.e., that "he incarcerated youths for money."
The quotes in the previous paragraph are from Associated Press reporter Michael Rubinkam's story on the verdict. Rubinkam's report caps two years of the wire service's consistent failure to tell its own readers and viewers, as well readers, listeners, and viewers at subscribing outlets, the political party affiliations of Ciavarella and former judicial colleague Michael Conahan, who separately "pleaded guilty to racketeering last year."
Both former judges are Democrats. From all appearances, the AP said so just once in a report two years ago when the judges were indicted, and quickly pulled the reference, as shown in the graphic that follows:
The fate of former Luzerne County, Pennsylvania Judge Mark Ciavarella is in the hands of a jury tonight.
After an initial media slip-up that occurred and was quickly "corrected" when he and a fellow judge were indicted two years ago ("Un-Name That Party" proof here), Ciavarella's party affiliation (Democrat, natch) has gone virtually unmentioned.
One such non-party-identifying example (overall details to follow) this evening comes from the Associated Press's Michael Rubinkam. Those who are unaware of the outrages allegedly perpetrated by the these judges need to brace themselves:
Back in August and September, Lachlan Markay at NewsBusters did roundups of media infamy in connection with the exposure and subsequent arrests of eight officials and politicians associated with Bell, California. The cases involve abusively excessive salaries and benefits paid and allegedly kept secret from the city's residents.
During the August episode of media malfeasance when the story was first breaking, Markay found that "of the 351 stories (found vis Lexis Nexis) on the then-brewing controversy, 350 had omitted party affiliations, and one had mentioned they were Democrats only in apologizing for not doing so sooner." In September, when eight arrests were made, he further noted that "ABC, CBS, the Los Angeles Times, the Associated Press, Bloomberg, USA Today, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and the San Francisco Chronicle all reported on the arrests today without mentioning party affiliations."
Naturally you would expect, in reporting some of the seamier details found in court documents filed on Monday, that the Associated Press's John Rogers would again fail to tag Bell officials as Dems, and of course he didn't. Too bad -- he could have noted how these donkeys described themselves as pigs (bolds, which should not be missed, are mine):