Within the span of 40 seconds, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams reported on two politicians caught in scandals, one a Republican the other a Democrat, but he gave the party affiliation of only one of the troubled politicians. Can you guess which one?
On the January 27 Nightly News, Williams reported that “Florida Republican Congressman Trey Radel has resigned effective tonight. He pleaded guilty to misdemeanor cocaine possession.” In the very next news brief Williams announced: “A name from New Orleans’s recent past went on trial there today. Ray Nagin, mayor of the city during Katrina, in court on bribery charges.” Williams never noted Nagin was a Democrat. (video after the jump)
This morning, Bob Filner (D) was sentenced to "90 days home confinement as punishment for three criminal charges connected to the sexual harassment scandal that ended his term as San Diego mayor," according to NBCSanDiego.com staffers Monica Garske and R. Stickney, who failed to mention Filner's Democratic Party affiliation in their story.
But Garske and Stickney are not alone among their peers in omitting Filner's party affiliation. Besides NBCNews.com -- which linked to the aforementioned NBC San Diego story -- ABCNews.com, and CNN.com all similarly left out reference to the California Democrat's party allegiance. CBSNews.com and FoxNews.com ran an Associated Press story which mentioned Filner's political persuasion in the final paragraph. MSNBC.com also omitted the Democratic label from their story, although, curiously, the story was filed under a "Democrats" topic tag (see screen capture below):
Why should things change now? NBC and ABC on Thursday night and Friday morning yet again refused to identify San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, accused of sexually harassing 18 women, as a Democrat. ABC's Good Morning America devoted two segments to his impending resignation, but mentioned only "Mayor Bob Filner."
In contrast, GMA on Thursday hyped the controversy of the Lieutenant governor of Texas, a "rising Republican star," caught on a 911 call after he attempted to free his niece from jail. On Friday, only CBS This Morning identified Filner as a Democrat. Reporter Bill Whitaker interviewed the ex-fiancee of "Democrat Bob Filner." Whitaker explained, "They already shared a passion for progressive politics, the fight for the homeless, civil rights, immigrants."
The journalists on Good Morning America, Wednesday, again ignored the fact that San Diego's mayor, accused of sexually harassing 18 women, is a Democrat. Yet, on the very same program, reporter John Muller made sure to highlight Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst's scandal, chiding the "rising national Republican star." Dewhurst is under fire for intervening after his step-niece was arrested for shoplifting.
Guest co-host Josh Elliott hyped, "Caught on tape, the rising political star pressing police to let his niece out of jail." Lara Spencer hyperbolically introduced the story as a "stunning 911 call." Underlining the point, Muller informed, "David Dewhurst is one of the most powerful people in Texas politics and a rising national Republican star." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Regarding a prominent Democrat embroiled in a scandal, however, correspondent Amy Robach only noted, "Well, the embattled mayor of San Diego has reached a settlement in the sexual harassment lawsuit against him."
NBC hasn't covered the ongoing Bob Filner sexual harassment scandal an almost a week, despite a fifteenth woman – a 67-year-old great grandmother – coming forward on Thursday, accusing the former congressman of making lurid comments to her. The last time that NBC's morning and evening newscasts covered the Filner story was on August 10, 2013.
On Friday, ABC and CBS's morning newscasts aired news briefs on the latest development in the Filner controversy, but both failed to identify him as a Democrat. Mere seconds before reporting on the San Diego mayor, CBS This Morning pointed out the Democratic party affiliation of Filner's former congressional colleague, Jackie Speier, who blasted the Defense Department on their handling of sexual assaults in the military. [audio available here; video below the jump]
A profound thought occurred to a journalist at ABC News: The high profile sex scandals involving Democrats Anthony Weiner, Eliot Spitzer and San Diego Mayor Bob Filner have taken "a toll" on the liberal war on women message. Too bad the story only appeared on ABCNews.com.
Writer Abby D. Phillip warned, "Turnabout is fair play according to Republicans who are now turning the 'war on women' back on Democrats." She added, "With the help of a few local Democratic politicians with sordid pasts, Republicans have gained new ammunition to counter the narrative pushed by Democrats in the last two elections that Republican policies and politicians have an anti-woman agenda." That sentiment has not shown up on World News, Good Morning America or Nightline.
The one thing we can say safely about liberals is that they lack self-awareness, especially when one of their own acts badly. The Chronicles of Carlos Danger, the exploits of San Diego Mayor Bob “filthy” Filner, and the sexual proclivities of Eliot Spitzer have made the political scene a national joke. Yet, this lack of respect – and creepiness – is not treated by the liberal media as an indictment on the larger Democratic Party in much the same way as the media have helped Democrats use Republican skeezeballs like Mark Foley to lambaste the entire party.
Republicans have been quick to take the trio of Democrats behaving badly to turn the liberal Democratic/liberal media "war on women" meme on its head. Apparently it's having some success as MSNBC's Chris Jansing dutifully took to the air on her August 1 Jansing & Co. program to offer a rebuttal. The "war on women" is about "policy," not inappropriate sexual behavior, Jansing and her guests insisted. Apparently since MSNBC helped write the "war on women" meme, they're pretty defensive about when it's used to bludgeon their friends in the Democratic Party. Here's the relevant exchange between Jansing, TIME magazine's Eliza Gray, and veteran Obama-defender scribe Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times:
If a Republican were ensnared in a sex scandal, do you think MSNBC would have failed to mention his party and instead featured a photo of him with a smiling Nancy Pelosi? But the "Lean Forward" network might well have hoodwinked unwary viewers this morning into thinking that Democrat Bob Filner is a Republican.
Not merely did today's Morning Joe failed to identify Filner—the San Diego mayor with the octopus hands—as a Democrat. Instead, the show featured a photo of Filner with a smiling . . . . John Boehner. Guess the MJ staff couldn't find one of former congressman Filner with fellow Californian Pelosi. H/t NB reader Ray R. View the photo and video after the jump.
ABC and CBS both failed to point out San Diego Mayor Bob Filner's Democratic party affiliation on their Wednesday morning newscasts. Good Morning America devoted just one 17-second news brief to the ongoing Filner scandal. CBS This Morning didn't do much better, with two news briefs on the former congressman. NBC's Today didn't set aside any air time to the controversy.
The NBC morning show did one-up its Big Three competitors in identifying Anthony Weiner as a Democrat. Stephanie Gosk underlined the "Democratic drums are beating loudly for Anthony Weiner to step out of race for New York mayor", and noted the scandal-plagued politician's fourth-place standing among "likely Democratic primary voters". CBS This Morning and GMA merely labeled Weiner a "former congressman".
All three major networks ran full-length stories on their Saturday morning shows on the sex scandals involving San Diego Mayor Bob Filner and New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner. However, none of the networks directly identified either politician as a Democrat.
ABC’s Saturday edition of Good Morning America ran separate stories on each of the two men. Their two-and-a-half minute package on Filner made no mention of the mayor’s party affiliation, while the two-and-a-half minute story on Weiner merely hinted that the former congressman was a Democrat. There was a sound bite halfway through the story in which an angry female New Yorker exclaimed, “I’m suggesting wholeheartedly he ought to withdraw, and I am a Democrat.” Yet nobody from ABC ever referred to Weiner as a Democrat.
NPR in general and their legal affairs/Supreme Court correspondent Nina Totenberg in particular want the public to believe that they view sexual harassment charges against public figures as a very important issue that demands immediate and full coverage. The reality: they behave that way only if the accused has a Republican party identification.
The most recent evidence of that: the reporting on the charges of sexual harassment and sexual assault by San Diego’s current Democratic mayor and former 20-year U.S. Congressman Bob Filner. In the two weeks following the initial disclosure of the accusations July 11, which was followed by named accusers coming forward July 22, 23 and 24, NPR has aired a grand total of two pieces on the matter. The first occurred a full five days after the accusations first came out, on July 16 (even The New York Times reported it July 12). And both pieces were done by a public radio journalist in San Diego who doesn’t even work for NPR.
The most powerful female Democrat on Capitol Hill has turned her back on women. Again. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, entrenched 13-term incumbent, refuses to say whether creepster San Diego Mayor Bob Filner should resign amid an avalanche of longstanding sexual harassment allegations, staff resignations and now a lawsuit.
"What goes on in San Diego is up to the people of San Diego. I'm not here to make any judgments," declared the very same feminist crusader who has spearheaded unabashedly judgmental nationwide attacks on the so-called "Republican War on Women."
On Tuesday, neither ABC's Good Morning America nor CBS This Morning mentioned San Diego Mayor Bob Filner's Democratic affiliation, as they reported on the new sexual harassment lawsuit against the former congressman. The CBS morning show devoted a full report to the latest development in the sex scandal, while the ABC broadcast only devoted a news brief to the story.
NBC's Today has yet to devote even a news brief to the ongoing controversy surrounding the liberal politician. The only mention so far on the morning newscast was when correspondent Mike Taibbi made a 13-second reference to Filner during a July 13, 2013 report on Eliot Spitzer's run for New York City comptroller. By contrast, Today devoted a three-plus minute report to the massive Comic Con convention in San Diego on Sunday.
CBS This Morning suddenly discontinued identifying San Diego Mayor Bob Filner as a Democrat on Tuesday, after including his political affiliation in two previous reports on the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around the politician. Bill Whitaker pointed out how Filner "dismissed [the] charges...as coming from anonymous sources" and how that was "in contrast to this contrite video apology from late last week", but omitted his party ID.
Just 24 hours earlier, Whitaker reported on the morning newscast that "the city's first Democratic mayor in twenty years is embroiled in controversy and fighting for his job." On Friday, anchor Gayle King noted during a news brief that "the Democrat spent ten terms in Congress before becoming mayor less than a year ago."
For the third time in a week, ABC's Good Morning America failed to identify a politician involved in sex scandal as a Democrat. Amy Robach reported on Friday that "accusations of sexual harassment have been swirling around Mayor Bob Filner for weeks" and that the San Diego politician "apologized for what he called inappropriate behavior", but didn't include his party ID.
By contrast, Gayle King explicitly mentioned Filner's political affiliation on Friday's CBS This Morning: "The Democrat spent ten terms in Congress before becoming mayor less than a year ago. "
Bob Filner, the San Diego representative who got into an altercation with an airport security official really must have a great press staff. At least he'd have to if he were a Republican since almost no GOPer could ever get CNN to omit his party affiliation from a news report.
Turns out, though, this isn't the first time that Filner has been getting pushy with security staff. That's not exactly a surprise. What is a surprise, and disgrace for that matter, is that the last time Filner had such an altercation, he did so in the presence of two reporters who declined to report on the event:
Rep. Bob Filner's alleged altercation with an airline employee in Virginia on Sunday, which led to an assault-and-battery charge against the San Diego Democrat, wasn't his first such run-in, according to a 2003 Justice Department incident report.
When is it unimportant to the MSM to inform viewers of a congressman's party affiliation?
At 3:51 P.M. EDT today, CNN aired a "Just In" report on filing of assault and battery charges against California Congressman Bob Filner. Anchor Kyra Phillips said the CNN report was in turn based on a report from its Arlington, VA affiliate, WJLA-TV.