March 11, 2008

From ABC: A Comprehensive History Lesson in ‘Name That Party’

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:46 am

NewsBusters posters have already given Old Media deserved grief about its reluctance to pin the Democratic Party label on Eliot Spitzer, who, as of this moment, is still governor of New York (Brent Baker on evening news show coverage; Ken Shepherd on the BBC; Shepherd on the AP).

But, as blogger Ace noted last night (warning: some profanity at Ace’s link), ABC has outdone the other outlets one better.

ABC’s “Political Sex Scandals Redux” popup slideshow has a series of 13 slides relating to current and past politicians. If Republicans are or were involved, the network, with one rare and minor exception, consistently applies the “R” label almost immediately. With Democrats, with one very old exception, the party label isn’t there.

Here are the specifics:


  • Six Republicans immediately identified; one relatively obscure GOP member not ID’d.
  • Four Democratic affiliations not noted; one, involving a matter dating back a quarter-century, immediately identified.
  • One party affiliation not clear, and apparently not known.

Ace’s key comments:

This is all in our minds, huh, MSM?

It’s all accidental, right?

Then why does it keep happening, and why do you stubbornly refuse to make a simple style guide change — requiring the party ID of any and all politicians caught in scandals upon first mention, in the first paragraph?

It’s because you want to preserve your freedom to continue doing this. Only Republican scandals are, in fact, Republican scandals. Democratic scandals are never identified as such, and instead are, in your “nuanced” telling, either scandals of a particular man alone or of “The System” generally.


Cross-posted at


UPDATE: At the Corner, Mark Hemingway notes that ABC “somehow” overlooked former Democratic Congressman Mel Reynolds. It makes you wonder who else is absent who should be there.

UPDATE 2, 10 P.M.: Aw, this is getting ridiculous —

  • From NewsBusters’ Brent Baker — “For Second Night, ABC and NBC Refuse to Utter Spitzer’s Party ID”
  • Another from Baker — “USA Today Never Labels Spitzer as Dem, But Tags Craig and Vitter”
  • From NB’s Geoffrey Dickens — “‘Today’ Spends 4 Hours Ignoring the ‘D’ Next to Spitzer’s Name”

At this point, they’re just pulling this crap to keep us busy.


1 Comment

  1. No surprises here.


    Comment by Publius — March 12, 2008 @ 11:15 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.