AP Did Not Identify Indicted Congressman William Jefferson as a Democrat
Update I & II at bottom:
In this June 4 article, the AP worked hard to leave out something very important but very basic in an article about Democratic US Representative William Jefferson’s 16-count bribery indictment. What the AP left out was any identification of Jefferson’s party affiliation. In almost 30 paragraphs, no where is there any hint of what party Jefferson belongs to, not even a “(D-LA).”
When a politician is in trouble and the party is not identified, it a safe bet to assume that the missing letter is a Big “D,” as in this AP piece.
How were other politicians identified? Nancy Pelosi is identified as “Pelosi, D-Calif.” John Boehner is identified as “House Republican Leader John Boehner of Ohio.” But Jefferson is not a Democrat, just “Louisiana congressman William Jefferson.” Strange how that works, huh?
Since party is usually identified in the first paragraphs, the AP had many opportunities to note that Jefferson is a Democrat and simply did not (emphasis mine):
Louisiana congressman William Jefferson received more than $500,000 in bribes and sought millions more in nearly a dozen separate schemes to enrich himself by using his office to broker business deals in Africa, according to a federal indictment Monday.
The charges came almost two years after investigators raided Jefferson's home in Washington and found $90,000 in cash stuffed in his freezer.
The indictment lists 16 counts, including racketeering, soliciting bribes, wire fraud, money laundering, obstruction of justice and conspiracy. He faces a possible maximum sentence of 235 years.
He is the first U.S. official to face charges under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits corporate bribery ovdrseas.
Jefferson, through his lawyer, claimed innocence. He will be arraigned Friday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria.
Not only did the AP leave out the embarrassing fact that a group that is touted as the most ethical Congress ever just had a Democrat indicted for bribing foreign governmental officials, the AP also failed to mention that even as recently as February 17 of this year, long after the investigation was made public, Pelosi appointed Jefferson to the security-sensitive House Homeland Security Committee, where members have access to vital national secrets and make policy for national defense.
The AP is supposed to be the objective wire service that just dishes out the facts. Are they so biased that the AP can’t even include party affiliation when it makes the Democratic party look bad? Shouldn’t the AP be above this kind of partisan reporting?
Update 06/05 12:55
*One of the reporters who wrote the article, Lara Jakes Jordan is married to Jim Jordan, long-time Democratic operative. Jordan is a former John Kerry presidential campaign manager, former executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, a former John Kerry presidential campaign manager and staffer of America Coming Together, a 527 funded by George Soros and labor unions which was a pro-Kerry organization which focused on defeating Bush.
*CNN no longer has this on the front page and has moved it to the politics section. Some current front page stories: “Libby to find out soon if he’ll go to jail,” “Sen. Clinton: God got me through marital strife” and “How Paris Hilton spent last hours of freedom.”
In the politics section, Jefferson’s indictment is not displayed at the top with the important stories like, “Libby gets 30 months in CIA leak case.” It is at the bottom in the “In Other News” section.
Update II 06/05 16:10 EST:
Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., was indicted Monday on federal charges of racketeering, soliciting bribes and money-laundering in a long- running bribery investigation into business deals he tried to broker in Africa.
Potentially, portions of her earlier article were used to compile the second one that has both Jordan's name and Matthew Barakat's. In Jordan’s first article, she followed the AP’s guidelines of identifying political affiliation, although that was the only mention of his party. Too bad that whoever was involved in compiling the later article did not follow that precedent.
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