March 11, 2010

Name That Party: AP Avoids Headlining ‘Conyers,’ But Does Headline Former Rep. Shays

The wife of Democratic Congressman John Conyers of Michigan was sentenced yesterday for bribery.

Here is how the Associated Press presented its headline and first few paragraphs in the matter:


The headline is pretty pathetic considering who the “councilperson” is related to, but at least the AP’s Ed White got Conyers’s party affiliation into his second paragraph.

So, overall, you might be tempted to think that the AP might be improving a bit. Not really.

The treatment of the Conyers clan is markedly different from the way the wire service (mis)handled another story, this one involving a former Congressman:


It’s interesting how the unbylined item found room for “Rep. Shays” in its story headline, even though he’s no longer a congressman, and couldn’t find space for the name of current congressman “Conyers.” And though AP waited until the fourth paragraph to identify Shays’s party, it did so with the full name and not a single letter as White did with Conyers (perhaps to avoid search engine detection?).

Double standards, anyone?

Oh, and here’s a Name That Party bonus:


The AP report never bothers to inform us that the judge is a Clinton appointee.

Cross-posted at


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