The Associated Press's Ed White used almost 700 words in his story (link is dynamic; story in form found at 5:04 p.m. is also here) about the latest developments relating to Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick of Detroit, and failed to name his party affiliation even once.
Even beyond that, though he did tell readers that Kilpatrick faces a criminal trial for perjury, misconduct, and obstruction of justice, White failed to note that calls for Kilpatrick's resignation, which began in earnest with City Council's 7-1 vote in March, continue to mount.
According to White's report, Kilpatrick:
AP's 2000 Stylebook (I would be grateful if anyone with access to a more recent version could e-mail me a link) says the following about reporting party affiliation:
Let relevance be the guide in determining whether to include a political figure’s party affiliation in a story.
Party affiliation is pointless in some stories, such as an account of a governor accepting a button from a poster child.
It will occur naturally in many political stories.
For stories between these extremes, include party affiliation if readers need it for understanding or are likely to be curious about what it is.
I would suggest that the "relevance" and "curiosity" tests are slam dunks.
It's not like all reporters are allergic to reporting the party affiliation of Democratic malfeasants. This Newark Star-Ledger story from this morning by Josh Margolin and Robert Schwaneberg ("Assemblyman Neil Cohen under child porn investigation") names the Democratic Party affiliation of two of Cohen's colleagues in the first paragraph, and identifies Cohen as "D-Union" in the second. The word "Democrat" or "Democratic" actually appears five times, and the "D" label three times.
So what's Ed White's excuse?
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.