The week after it took the NBC Nightly News until the fourth day of coverage to inform viewers that disgraced then-New York Governor Eliot Spitzer is a Democrat, Friday's NBC Nightly News ran a full story on the scandalous behavior surrounding Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, but never identified his political party. Naturally, given the lack of a party identification by the mainstream media journalists, he's a Democrat. Anchor Brian Williams set up the story:
The city of Detroit is in a crisis over government and leadership. The current Mayor is just the latest Detroit Mayor elected on a promise to clean up and revitalize the city. Now he's been caught in a sex scandal, a trail of electronic messages reportedly provides the evidence, it threatens his career and then some.
Reporter Kevin Tibbles, also sans any mention of a party affiliation, outlined:
The Detroit city council votes overwhelmingly to ask the Mayor to resign. 37-year-old Kwame Kilpatrick, in his second term of the Mayor of the Motor City, is mired in financial, political, and personal scandal, but refuses to budge.
When is a terrorist simply an aged "radical" to the Los Angeles Times? When the terrorist is Kathleen Soliah, who in her glory days was a "fetching high school pep-squad member turned fugitive." Soliah was a member of the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), a group that plotted to blow up Los Angeles Police Department cruisers in the 1970s.
Here's how Times staff writer Joel Rubin opened his March 21 story on Soliah's recent release from prison:
Kathleen Soliah, a former member of the radical Symbionese Liberation Army, was released on parole this week from a California women's prison after serving about six years behind bars for her role in a plot to kill Los Angeles police officers by blowing up their patrol cars.
The white-haired convict, who has changed her name to Sara Jane Olson, had been sentenced to 12 years in prison. Like most California inmates, Soliah earned credit against her sentence for working while in prison. She served on a maintenance crew that swept and cleaned the main yard of the Central California Women's Facility in Chowchilla, prison officials said.
The media just won't identify Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's party or his high-powered political connections, now that he is knee-deep in scandals. This March 19 New York Times article is no different. Recently, 14,000 text messages were discovered that indicate he lied under oath in a whistleblower trial to avoid admitting he used his police security detail to cover up an affair with his female chief of staff.
The NYT also didn't mention that, as the son of Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Rep. Carolyn Kilpatrick (D-MI), the mayor was a Democratic rising star. He spoke at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, and more importantly, as Vice President of the Conference of the Democratic Mayors, Kilpatrick will be a Barack Obama* [Update: Kilpatrick has not committed to Obama] superdelegate at the 2008 convention. Resigning as mayor could affect his superdelegate status. Considering the tight race, isn't this news?
There was recently a brief flurry of a few incorrect labels of [former] NY Governor Eliot Spitzer -- noting him as a Republican. Perhaps the most inventive excuse for that mistake comes from Reuters via Newsbusters reader Doug M. Doug had sent an e-mail inquiring as to why Spitzer was mislabeled in this story. Here's the response from Reuters' Vincent Baldino:
Sorry for the delay in getting back to you but I wanted to look into this. Our online photo editor just got back to me and confirmed that the (R) means that he is the person on the right side of the photo. It has nothing to do with democrat or republican.
Take a look at the picture and corresponding caption again. Being that onlySpitzer and his wife are in the photo, why is it even necessary to indicate that the former governor is "on the right"? Doesn't "wife" denote "female?" Where else could Eliot Spitzer possibly be but on the right? In addition, wouldn't "(at right)" be the common method of indicating direction in a photograph?
You be the judge on whether Reuters' excuse holds any water.
As the ongoing Tony Rezko trial yields more news of corruption, once again the mainstream media aren't identifying the party affiliation of the Democratic perpetrators. This time, the culprit is the Chicago Tribune in an article regarding a witness testimony that Alderman Richard Mell, father-in-law of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, hoped to receive kickbacks from an insider deal at a state pension fund. The article goes on to describe this new information along with the details of the deal for which Mell hoped.
The Tribune also noted that this finding adds to the "Mell-Blagojevich relationship that has devolved to downright dysfunctional in recent years."
Yet despite running a thirty paragraph article over two pages, the Tribune failed to recognize either Mell or Blagojevich are Democrats.
Like Colored and MindedThis is past a bit ridiculous, is it not?
Agence France-Presse (AFP) yesterday disseminated to its client list a headline and photograph caption labeling sex scandalized and self-ousted New York Governor Eliot Spitzer an (R), when he is in fact a (D) -- emocrat.
They then responded -- to correspondence on the subject of their error and the error itself -- rather meekly.
AFP having only corrected their copy -- leaving myriad errors strewn throughout the print and web worlds -- left wide open the possibility that others would follow their poor suit.
Not Minding Their Ps & QsWe on Thursday brought you the Agence France-Presse (AFP)'s ludicrous labeling of self-ousted New York Governor Eliot Spitzer as an (R). This after a week's worth of the Gong Show Media's failure or utter refusal to ascribe any Party affiliation to the man.
Well, we have heard word from the horse's ... mouth.
DScott, an intrepid NewsBusters participant, contacted AFPto point out their inanity. And in the wee small hours of Friday morning -- they wrote back.
DScott was generous enough to share it with us, and we now, in turn, share it with you:
Contemplating the SwitchThose of us who have been participating in the Eliot Spitzer Media Waiting Game -- halting our respitory activity in anticipation of the Jurassic Press actually ascribing Party affiliation to the recently resigned Big Apple Governor -- can finally breathe easy.
The Agence-France Presse and Yahoo! have teamed up to finally do what's right.
Democrats dialing for damsels don't get labeled with the big "D"
Changing His MindRonald Reagan often said "I did not leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left me."
For floundering and foundering New York Governor Eliot Spitzer -- a twist on the Gipper's words. Spitzer didn't leave the Democratic Party: the Media just didn't see the need to mention the fact that Spitzer was - at least until noon Wednesday -- one of the most powerful Democrats in the nation.
On Monday afternoon, the Big Three Networks (NBC, ABC and CBS) and the Associated Press led the charge of the wall-to-wall coverage of the breaking news that Spitzer was involved with an interstate prostitution ring. And with near unanimity they failed to mention that Spitzer is a Democrat.
Spitzer - who since his years as the Big Apple's swashbuckling anti-capitalist Attorney General the Press has glowingly called the Champion of the Everyman -- was caught on one or more wiretaps dialing for damsels to the tune of $5,500 an hour.
Only the press can fail to see the irony of calling someone who inherited $500 million - and who hires ladies of the evening at hourly rates equal to a semester's tuition at a state university - a champion of the everyman.
Finally: a news network that made Gov. Eliot Spitzer's party affiliation clear. Chances are you've never heard of it, however.
During live coverage of Spitzer's resignation announcement, Washington, D.C.-area News Channel 8 informed viewers of Spitzer's party affiliation in an on-screen graphic reading "Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D) NEW YORK." (see screen grab at right)
NewsChannel 8 is carried on D.C.-area cable systems and is owned along with ABC affiliate WJLA by the Allbritton Communications Company.
MRC President and NewsBusters Publisher Brent Bozell appeared on today's "Fox & Friends" to discuss findings by MRC analysts that Gov. Eliot Spitzer's (D-NY) party affiliation (and Hillary Clinton superdelegate status) has been persistently overlooked in broadcast and print media outlets.:
BOZELL: ABC and then NBC "Nightly News" two days ago, not once mentioned that he was a Democrat. "Good Morning America," not once mentioned that he was a Democrat. ABC nightly news, not once mentioned that he was a Democrat. CBS, one mention on the nightly news, no mention on the morning news. AP did a three-paragraph breaking story, never mentioned that he was a Democrat, then they came out with a full story, never mentioned that he was a Democrat. Last night, NBC, never mentioned he was a Democrat. Last night, ABC never mentioned that he was a Democrat. It is unbelievable.
Co-host Steve Doocy noted that this is not new for the news media, recalling the 2001 Gary Condit saga. Condit, you will recall was suspected in the disappearance of former intern Chandra Levy:
We've written at NewsBusters at how reticent the Associated Press is to note the Democratic Party affiliation of controversial or disgraced politicians, the latest of which is New York Governor Eliot Spitzer. But right off the bat the AP yesterday disclosed the party affiliation of an Oklahoma state legislator strongly critical of gay rights activists.
OKLAHOMA CITY – A Republican member of the Oklahoma Legislature has received death threats since telling a political group that "the homosexual agenda is just destroying this nation" and poses a bigger threat to the U.S. than terrorism or Islam.
"I'm not gay-bashing. But according to God's word that is not the right kind of lifestyle," Rep. Sally Kern of Oklahoma City said during an appearance before a group of Republicans. Her comments were recorded and posted on the video sharing Web site YouTube on Friday by the Washington, D.C.-based Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund.
The AP made certain to stack the article with critics of Kern, one of whom called Kern's comments "hate speech":
NewsBusters Associate Editor Noel Sheppard appeared on the March 10 "Glenn Beck" program on CNN Headline News to discuss the left-wing Web's recent smear of the radio host. Beck was taken out of context for comments he made about Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.). [See Sheppard's related March 8 blog entry here.]
GLENN BECK, host: Noel Sheppard is the associate editor of newsbusters.org, a conservative watchdog of the liberal blogs. Noel, you apparently did a Google search on this story. How out there is my bigotry?
NOEL SHEPPARD, Associate Editor, NewsBusters.org: Well, I Googled "Glenn Beck," "Obama" and "Anti-Christ," and I got 744,000 hits. Now, that doesn't mean that there's been 744,000 articles already written about this. That`s a little bit nuts.
ABC News has a photo montage of political sex scandals, featuring both Republicans and Democrats. But a few bloggers have noted that the captions for these photos often ignore the Democratic Party affiliation of Democrats while highlighting the GOP affiliation of Republican.
Out of 13 pols featured, there were five Democrats, four of whom (80 percent) were unidentified by party. Of the eight Republicans, only two (25 percent) were unidentified by party. Jay Tea at Wizbang has the breakdown here:
Here's a rundown of the disgraced pols, with party affiliations as ABC notes:
A few days before Eliot Spitzer went down in flames, a highly-connected Barack Obama* [Update: Kilpatrick has not committed to Obama] superdelegate was mired in accusations of corruption, bid-rigging and a dead-stripper sex scandal. Usually the media love to report the downfall of party bigwigs, but not in the case of Detroit's youngest mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. Much of the media downplayed the mayor's scandals and did not report his party, let alone his status as a Democratic power player who can influence the election.
Kwame, who is the son of Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (D-MI), is not just any mayor. He was a Democratic rising star, who spoke at the 2004 Democratic National Convention and is the superdelegate to the 2008 convention thanks to his position as Vice President of the Conference of Democratic Mayors.
But now “The First Hip Hop Mayor” is in serious trouble, with members of the city council calling for his resignation. Controversy has engulfed his two terms, and the latest bout involves a report that his wife assaulted a now-dead stripper whose shooting is still unsolved. At the same time, the mayor's longtime pal Bobby Ferguson won at least $45 million in city contracts while reportedly receiving inside information from Kilpatrick and his chief of staff.
Incredibly, in lead stories Monday night about New York Governor Eliot Spitzer being linked to a prostitution ring, neither ABC's World News nor the NBC Nightly News verbally identified Spitzer's political party. Must mean he's a liberal Democrat -- and he is. CBS anchor Katie Couric, however, managed to squeeze in a mention of his party. Last August when news of Larry Craig's arrest broke, both ABC and NBC stressed his GOP affiliation.
On ABC, the only hints as to Spitzer's party were a few seconds of video of Spitzer beside Hillary Clinton as they walked down some steps and a (D) on screen by Spitzer's name over part of one soundbite. NBC didn't even do that.
While ABC and NBC failed to cite Spitzer's political affiliation in the four minutes or so each network dedicated to the revelations, both managed to find time to applaud his reputation and effectiveness as the Empire State's Attorney General before becoming Governor. Fill-in ABC anchor Elizabeth Vargas hailed how “he gained a reputation around the country for aggressively cracking down on corporate corruption. He was elected Governor with a reputation for fighting crime.” ABC reporter Dan Harris maintained “Governor Spitzer is known as a straight arrow, an ambitious overachiever...” Substitute NBC anchor Ann Curry pointed to how Spitzer's “reputation for righteously prosecuting wrongdoing gave him the nickname Eliot Ness.”
Update (18:18 EDT): BBC has updated their article to note the Democratic party affiliation in the 3rd graf (link). Our tipster DB informs us that the BBC's North America editor Justin Webb replied to his e-mail with a promise to "try to get it changed."
The BBC initially noted Gov. Eliot Spitzer is a Democrat, in an early draft of an online news article. The mention was in the 6th paragraph. But that stuck for all of 37 minutes as NewsBusters reader DB informs us (screengrabs shown below page break):
A prostitution scandal strikes the Democrats? When Sen. David Vitter admitted he’d used the services of the "DC Madam," thanks to probing by ABC News, the major media saw harm for the entire Republican Party nationwide. Will Governor Spitzer become a national problem for the entire Democratic party? Or will the media suddenly keep the scandal as localized as they can make it?
NBC and MSNBC were especially aggressive in describing conservatives and Republicans "in crisis." The standout quote on the Vitter scandal (along with the Mark Foley internet-messages-to-pages scandal) came from MSNBC reporter David Shuster on August 29, 2007, who blurred the ethical embarrassments into Hurricane Katrina:
Update (16:50 EDT): Clay Waters of MRC's TimesWatch informs me the 3rd paragraph reference in a NYT article to Spitzer's Democratic Party affiliation has been removed. Only an oblique reference to his party remains in the 15th paragraph, notes Waters.
It's the first major political sex scandal of 2008 (aside from Detroit's Kwame Kilpatrick) and it involves a Democrat. So of course the Associated Press failed to note Gov. Eliot Spitzer's (D-NY) party affiliation. Via the LATimes.com Web site, published at 2:28 p.m. EDT:
The New York Times is reporting that Gov. Eliot Spitzer has told senior advisers that he had been involved in a prostitution ring.
On its Web site, the newspaper cites an anonymous administration official as the source and says Spitzer was meeting with his top aides.
Spitzer officials wouldn't immediately comment on the story to The Associated Press. An announcement was scheduled for 2:15 p.m. at his Manhattan office.
The New York Times has more here, and that paper notes Spitzer's party affiliation in the third graf:
In the lede, the Times described McLaughlin as the “former head of the nation’s biggest municipal labor council,” without noting his political office.
Continuing the whitewash, the NYT buried and downplayed the story's juicy details. While in office, McLaughlin stole a total of $2.2 million from little leaguers, labor unions, his political club and the state of New York. He used the funds to buy cars for his wife and mistress and, bizarrely, forced union members to kill rats in his basement, dog sit and hang Christmas lights without pay. The only mention of the Dem's political career was an unclear second paragraph (all bold mine):
Employing children in military units, much less terrorist outfits, is a slam dunk case of human rights abuse. But not to Reuters, Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs notes:
Just when you think the mainstream wire services can’t possibly debase themselves any further, they release a photograph like this one, taken by Reuters Palestinian propagandist Ibraheem Abu Mustafa, with an unbelievably sick and distorted caption:
The Media, as Sisyphus, Unwinding its Terror TaleThere is a push by the Jurassic Press -- in two directions at once -- to frame just-so their presentation of the murder and murderers engaged in the attempted global implementation of political Islam.
One such shove was again demonstrated by the New York Times this past February 13th. The Media attempt to present these bits of human flotsam -- and their family members and friends -- in the most sympathetic of possible lights. The Times portrayal of the mourning father and grandfather of recently rubbed out Hezbollah serial assassin Imad Mugniyah -- responsible for amongst many other atrocities the 1983 bombing of the Marine Corps barracks in Beirut (American death count 241) is nothing more than another attempt to humanize these inhuman creatures.
The other Press effort underway is the minimization of the evil of these acts and actors. There is even a feel to some of these reports that those delivering them almost do not wish to have to do so, but are forced to by circumstances and forces (the Internet, anyone?) beyond their control.
Key facts that would exhibit the depths of barbarism mined by these men (and women and, sadly, their bloodletting-by-proxy children) are left out.
Just days after the Street of Dreams arsons suspected to be at the hands of the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), a federal jury found one Briana Waters guilty for her role in a 2001 ELF arson that destroyed the University of Washington's Center for Urban Horticulture.
NewsBusters has noted that the Seattle Times has avoided calling ELF a terrorist or eco-terrorist organization, preferring to call the group simply a "radical environmentalist" organization. Today the paper made some progress as staff writer Mike Carter slapped Waters and her co-conspirators with the label "ecosaboteurs."
But the term sabotage, however, lends the impression of activity engaged in to thwart the military or any commercial enterprise essential to equipping national defense. UW academics studying urban agriculture are fundamentally civilian in nature. Here are some definitions of sabotage available at Answers.com.:
At their 2001 convention, the SPJ urged “tak[ing] steps against racial profiling in [the]coverage of the war on terrorism." It reminded journalists to stopusing "inflammatory" language and condescendingly said to “help audiences understand the complexities of the events in Pennsylvania, New York City and Washington, D.C.” Story guidelines are (all bold mine):
— Cover the victims of harassment, murder and other hate crimes as thoroughly as you cover the victims of overt terrorist attacks.
— When writing about terrorism, remember to include white supremacist, radical anti-abortionists and other groups with a history of such activity.
Once again, the mainstream media displays their party preference, as it is yet another edition of Name That Party! In this instance, as reported by CBS television station KDKA Channel 2, Pennsylvania State Representative Frank LaGrotta stands accused of two criminal counts of conflict of interst. Strangely, though the story discusses LaGrotta's purported transgressions in detail, his party affiliation is somehow neglected!
Former Navy signalman Hassan Abu-Jihaad was convicted today on charges "of leaking information about the movements and vulnerabilities of ships in his battle group to suspected terrorism supporters" in spring 2001, months before 9/11. These secrets were sent via e-mail to a pro-Taliban Web site.
But in reporting the story, MSNBC.com ran an Associated Press story that failed to note Abu-Jihaad is an American born convert to Islam, arguably germane to his terror conviction given the recipient of the classified material he leaked in 2001. By contrast, CBSNews.com ran an AP story that mentioned Abu-Jihaad's convert status:
The American-born Muslim convert formerly known as Paul R. Hall faces up to 25 years in federal prison when he is sentenced May 23. His attorneys said they were disappointed, and that an appeal was likely.
Microsoft is taking all of that unnecessary thinking out of the process by pre-chewing your news and spitting it on your plate.
The software giant is developing a new kind of news-aggregator that doesn't just collect news; it determines news stories' ideological bias and “emotional charge.” No longer will you need to wonder if Maureen Dowd has a liberal bias or if NPR injects “emotional charge” into a story about gun control. BLEWS figures it out, so you don't have to!
While typical news-aggregation sites do a good job of clustering news stories according to topic, they leave the reader without information about which stories figure prominently in political discourse. BLEWS uses political blogs to categorize news stories according to their reception in the conservative and liberal blogospheres.
It's time for yet another edition of Name That Party! Disgraced Newark, New Jersey mayor Sharpe James' trial for abusing his powers for favoritism and corruption began today in federal court. According to the prosecutor, the former mayor,
...abused his office by steering discounted city property to a girlfriend who then sold the parcels for large profits, a prosecutor told jurors Monday at James' fraud trial. Former Newark, New Jersey, mayor Sharpe James going on trial for federal corruption charges. "This case is about fraud, favoritism and concealment," Assistant U.S. Attorney Phillip Kwon said in his opening statement. James got romance while co-defendant Tamika Riley made profits by quickly selling the land instead of redeveloping it as required, Kwon said. "The only people who didn't benefit from these land deals were the people of Newark," Kwon told the jury.
Neither the Seattle Times nor the Seattle Post-Intelligencer are high on your average conservative's daily to-read list, but at least the latter is not gun-shy about calling recent suspected Earth Liberation Front (ELF) arsons acts of eco-terrorism.
The Times opted for "radical environmentalists" to tag ELF even though it's pretty clear that investigators clearly think the Street of Dreams fires in Snohomish County, Wash., are terroristic in nature. As reporter Steve Miletich noted in paragraph seven of his March 4 article, "Hunt is on: Who torched the Street of Dreams?":
Working with few clues, federal investigators face a daunting task as they try to determine whether a shadowy group of radical environmentalists torched three multimillion-dollar homes along a Street of Dreams in Snohomish County on Monday.
A pricey Seattle suburb appears to be the recent target of arson at the hands of the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), a radical environmentalist group that destroys property in the name of protecting the earth. In other words, ELF is an eco-terrorist organization.
Yet when covering the story, Seattle Times reporter Peyton Whitely refused to use any such label for the ELF. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer did, at least in a photo caption and headline for a story running on the paper's Web site today:
Street of Dreams homes burned, eco-terrorists suspected
Photo caption: "Eco-terrorists are suspected in using explosive devises to destroy or damage several Street of Dreams show homes, which burned in Woodinville."