An Associated Press story by Chris Talbott on the indictment of Mississippi judge Bobby DeLaughter waited until the end of the second paragraph to even name him, and never identified his party:
Miss. Justices Suspend Embattled Judge
The Mississippi Supreme Court suspended a prominent judge Friday who is being investigated for his role in a dispute over fees involving attorney Richard “Dickie” Scruggs.
The court sided with the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance, which was concerned that Hinds County Circuit Judge Bobby DeLaughter might have accepted a bribe.
DeLaughter had said this week that he would not fight the action. He is suspended indefinitely.
The hold-off on even using the judge’s name is more than a little noteworthy, as the judge is at least semi-famous:
DeLaughter, a former assistant district attorney, rose to national attention for prosecuting Byron De La Beckwith in the early 1990s for the 1963 murder of NAACP field secretary Medgar Evers. The case was portrayed in the 1996 movie “Ghosts of Mississippi,” with Alec Baldwin playing DeLaughter.
As to DeLaughter’s party, I know we don’t even have to ask. But we’ll eventually get to the proof in this AP story from February 22:
Lott could be potential witness in Scruggs trial
Oxford â€” Both the defense and prosecution in the federal bribery case against famed plaintiffs attorney Richard â€œDickieâ€ Scruggs and his associates plan to call retired Sen. Trent Lott to the stand if a judge allows testimony about Scruggsâ€™ â€œprior bad actsâ€ in the upcoming trial.
U.S. District Judge Neal Biggers Jr. is considering whether to allow testimony about what a federal witness called a bribery attempt of Hinds County Circuit Judge Bobby DeLaughter in an unrelated case.
It was the second time during a two-day hearing to deal with several motions that the former Republican senatorâ€™s name was brought up in connection with Scruggs, his brother-in-law.
No, we’re not there yet in that February AP story. In fact, we’re nowhere near there, though, as you can see above, Trent Lott was identified as a Republican in the third paragraph.
It is in Paragraph 15 of the AP report where DeLaughter’s party is finally revealed:
Keker argued that testimony about the alleged bribe attempt should be excluded because there is nothing illegal about a lawyer suggesting a judge for a federal post. He also noted that DeLaughter is a Democrat, making it unlikely that he would be appointed by a Republican administration even if Lott used his considerable influence for his cause.
Par for the course.
Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.