Saturday, May 28, 2005

What Party Is The Criminal Politician?

Ten years ago, I used to argue that the media was not biased in favor of the Left or Democrats. Because I have a brain and powers of observation, I have of course given up that belief.

I have opined before (I will link it if I can find it) that the media follows one rule when it comes to reporting legal problems with politicians. If the politician is a Republican, the party affiliation will be in the first paragraph, if not the headline. If the politician is a Democrat, however, the party affiliation will be stuck in the middle of the story, if at all.

This article, released today on Yahoo's news site, is a great example.

It discusses the resignation of State Senator John Ford of Tennessee. This guy is a real scum bag. I have written about him before (go to the last story). Here is the beginning of the current news story:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - State Sen. John Ford, a member of one of Tennessee's most powerful political families, has resigned after being placed under house arrest facing charges from a two-year FBI sting, the lieutenant governor said Saturday.

Ford announced his resignation in a letter Lt. Gov. John Wilder read to the Senate.
"I plan to spend the rest of my time with my family clearing my name," he wrote.

A member of the Senate for more than 30 years, Ford was arrested Thursday following the sting operation nicknamed "Tennessee Waltz." He is charged along with four other current and former state lawmakers with taking payoffs, and he is also accused of threatening to kill a witness.

Prosecutors played a videotape Friday of Ford watching an undercover agent count out $10,000 and an audiotape of him allegedly threatening a potential witness. His lawyer suggested the purported threat was meant as a joke.


Did you see any reference to the fact that he was a Democrat? No, me either. Do you think the article would have read "Powerful Republican Indicted" if it had been a Republican?

I have now read the article twice. I can't find his party affiliation at all in the article. To add to the comedy, read this -- the last few paragraphs of the article:

Ford's brother is Harold Ford, who served 11 terms in Congress. His nephew is
Rep. Harold Ford, Jr. [Ed.: nice connections.]

During his tenure in the state Senate, John Ford has lost paternity lawsuits, given a political job to a girlfriend, used campaign money for his daughter's wedding and been successfully sued for sexual harassment. [Ed.: Swell guy.]

Republican Senate leader Ron Ramsey said the Ethics Committee he chairs was getting ready to file a six-count charge against Ford for violating Senate rules stemming from a separate investigation into allegations he was paid by a consulting company with financial ties to the state's Medicaid program.

"I believe we would have had the votes to remove Senator Ford from office," Ramsey said.

Sen. Tim Burchett, a Republican, said he was a little surprised by the resignation, "but I think he realized a cat only has nine lives and he's on about life 10."

Ford, Sens. Kathryn Bowers and Ward Crutchfield, and state Rep. Chris Newton [Ed.: Where is the party identification?] were all sponsors of a bill proposed by E-Cycle that would have given the state the option of getting rid of old computer equipment by selling it to a "qualified electronic recycling company."

According to the indictments, the lawmakers and two other men took $92,000 to usher bills for E-Cycle through the Legislature. Ford is accused of taking $55,000.
Bowers, one of the other lawmakers arrested with Ford this week, said she is not guilty and does not plan to resign. "Everybody that knows me knows I'm a fighter," she said.


The only two people identified by party -- both identified as Republicans -- are not the people accused of the crimes. But no mention is made of Sen. Ford's party affiliation, nor the party affiliation of the others accused.

A responsible journalist would look up these people to see which party they belong to. I am not one of those people. However, since this story was written by the Lame Stream Media, and no party affiliation is identified, I don't have to look it up. They must all be Democrats!

But I'm supposed to believe that this isn't evidence of bias?

UPDATE:

Brad of Unrepentant Individual has advised me that of the four accused, three were Democrats and one was a Republican. Mentioning the party affiliation of one of the four would have been too obvious, so the AP left all affiliations of the accused out, and told us instead the parties of people commenting on Sen. Ford's resignation. My thesis holds.

6 Comments:

At 1:54 AM, Anonymous Rocky Mtn. Lioness said...

KJ,
Whoa! I had similar thoughts earlier today when I found myself doing a search on Sen. Ford, after reading that story on FOX!! (I admit, I didn't know Fords pol. *persuasion*. Because it was TN, I was leaning toward thinking him to be R)

You offer an excellent rule of thumb. No party affiliation mentioned when it's a bad news story, safely assume a "D". If it's good news w/ no D, safely assume an R.

I read the story and didn't care if he was an R or D, before deducing he was SCUM that HAD to go! Good googly moogly, what a friggn' THUG!

KKKarl Rove pulled off another masterful job, didn't he?--- Orchestrating and executing what I found to be QUITE an intriguing and brilliant FBI sting job, though! (~;)

Oooo! and I like the fascist free comment posting capabilities. (~;0

 
At 1:57 AM, Anonymous Rocky Mtn. Lioness said...

BTW--the FOX story on Ford is an AP story. Surprise, surprise---my foot!

 
At 7:15 AM, Blogger spd rdr said...

KJ:
This is worth building a file for, and then send the contents to Media Watch or somebody. Ot not. John Leo had a pretty good piece last week on the culture of the newroom and how its alarming "lack of diversity" leads to a slanted view of the news.
I'll an eye open for more examples.

 
At 7:22 AM, Blogger KJ said...

Not a bad idea, spd. Of course, I would only expect 'not bad' ideas from you.

 
At 11:25 AM, Blogger Brad Warbiany said...

Of the four arrested, 3 were Democrats. Chris Newton is the Republican of the group. Just FYI.

 
At 11:32 AM, Blogger KJ said...

Thanks Brad. I knew someone who came here would be responsible enough to know the facts.

 

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