May 25, 2012

Yahoo News Item on N.J. Mayor’s Arrest Avoids Party ID; Short AP Item Waits Until Final Paragraph

If for no other reason than the uniqueness of the alleged crimes involved, the story of the arrests of West New York, New Jersey Mayor Felix Roque and his son deserves attention. It is getting some, complete with the predictable downplaying and omission of the Mayor’s political party affiliation, which “just so happens” to be as a Democrat.

Since it’s currently appearing at Yahoo News, which is the Internet’s most popular news site, with an estimated 110 million unique monthly visitors, Alex Fitzpatrick’s Thursday report on the mayor’s arrest which originated at Mashable.com is worth calling out, especially because in almost 300 words, Fitzpatrick failed to identify Roque’s party. Get a load of what this guy and his son allegedly did to protect their jobs:

A New Jersey mayor and his son were arrested Thursday by the FBIfor allegedly infiltrating and sabotaging a website tied to an effort to recall him.

The story gives a new and troubling definition to the term “political hack.”

The FBI has accused Felix Roque, mayor of West New York, N.J., and his 22-year-old son of illegally canceling the domain name registration of Recallroque.com, a site that wanted Roque taken out of office in a recall election earlier this year, according to Politico.

… Roque’s 22-year-old son Joseph was the mastermind behind the hack. According to a criminal complaint made public this afternoon, he learned how to penetrate email accounts and Recallroque’s host, GoDaddy.com, by searching for instructions on the web.

Roque, however, didn’t stop there. After taking down the site, he called the owner of the site, who was identified only as a government official in Hudson County, N.J., to intimidate him. Roque told the owner that the site was removed by “high government officials” and that “everyone would pay for getting involved against Mayor Roque.”

He also said he had a friend at the CIA, which is how he “got information” …

These guys are real pieces of work. They should have been ID’d as Dems.

Over at the Associated Press, things were a little better. Roque got identified as a Democrat in the final paragraph of an unbylined five-paragraph story on Friday afternoon. Readers can be quite confident that if Roque were a Republican, his political affiliation would have been mentioned far earlier, in the story’s headline — or both.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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