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AP Bias: Name That Party Blasts Repubs, Leaves Dems Unnamed in Stories

Written By : Warner Todd Huston
June 17, 2010

One of the many ways that the Associated Press lends its support to Democrats and leftists in its political reporting is often evident in its stories on political scandals. The most common assist the AP gives to Democrats is to somehow forget to mention that a politician in the news because of criminal activity or other scandals is a Democrat. Yet when any pol in the news for scandal is a Republican his party affiliation often leads the story, if it isn’t in the headline, even. Oh, it’s all accidental I’m sure, but it happens so often as to give the suspicion of a concerted effort. And today we have a great example of the AP’s penchant for covering for Democrats.

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The writer is AP’s Colleen Long and on June 14 she penned two stories on separate political scandals, both of them occurring in New York. These criminal cases concern political operatives and how Long treated them is telling.

The first of Colleen Long’s stories concerns Hank Morris, a former advisor to Democrat NY State Comptroller Alan Hevesi — a scandalous figure in his own right. Morris is a long-time Democrat operative who faces 123 charges, “including enterprise corruption, securities fraud, grand larceny, bribery and money laundering, according to an indictment.” The feds are also charging him.

Here is how Long’s AP article describe Morris in its second paragraph:

Hank Morris, a once-adviser to former state comptroller Alan Hevesi, has been accused of taking kickbacks and other payments to steer billions of dollars in pension fund investments to favored companies in a “pay-to-play” scheme.

Notice how neither Morris nor Hevesi’s party is identified. This holds true for the entire story. The word Democrat does not appear.

The second story details the travails of one John Haggerty, a Republican operative accused of stealing one million dollars of state funds. Haggerty apparently conceived some scheme to “dupe” Mayor Michael Bloomberg into diverting funds to the state Independence Party, cash that eventually ended up in Haggerty’s pockets.

Here is Long’s very first paragraph.

A Republican operative was indicted Monday on charges he exploited his political reputation to swindle $1.1 million from Mayor Michael Bloomberg, claiming he would use funds to help guard against election fraud but instead buying a house, prosecutors said.

Now, going back to the first story, the one on Democrat Morris, one looks in vain for the word “Democrat” anywhere in the story. Colleen Long never once identifies criminal Morris as a long-time Democrat operative. Yet in the Haggerty story, Long calls out his party affiliation with the very first words of the story. In fact, the headline ids the party; “Republican operative in NY accused of stealing $1M.”

So, the trick is one of party amnesia when it is a Democrat involved in a scandal, but if it happens to be a troubled Republican, why the AP makes darn sure that readers are aware that he is a member of the GOP. This is what we call the “Name that Party” game. Take a story about any troubled pol in which party affiliation is wholly missing and you can be sure that the criminal pol is a Democrat.

The Associated Press covers for Democrats quite well, indeed.

(Originally posted at BigJournalism.com)
(H/T Federal Review)

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