-By Warner Todd Huston
Every now and again I like to play “name that party.” This is the fun parlor game where you read a story about a politician that has either been indicted, arrested, or imprisoned and try to guess by the story from which party he hails. If you read the story and no political party affiliation is mentioned, 99 out of 100 times you can be sure that the troubled pol is a Democrat. However, if it is a Republican that is going to jail or to court his party usually makes the first paragraph if not the headline itself.
Well, today we have yet another edition of “name that party” going on in the Old Line State where Prince George’s County Executive Jack B. Johnson and his wife Leslie have been arrested and charged with tampering with a witness in connection with a criminal offense and destruction of evidence in a federal investigation. Johnson is a Democrat, not that the news helps you learn that little factoid.
As this is breaking news, the story has popped up on the AP, the Washington Post, Reuters, and several other sources. The stories are filled with all sorts of details about the case, what the charges are, the particulars of the crime, the names and offices of those accused, their ages, where they live… all these things fill the various stories that announce the arrest. But one tiny little detail seems to have escaped many of the news stories: the fact that Johnson is a Democrat. It seems like they just plum forgot to mention his political party.
You are shocked, I am sure.
First off, the Washington Post featured the story on its Breaking News Blog. Lots of details of the story are reported there but that one little ol’ detail concerning Johnson’s party seems to have missed the editor’s attention. That bit was mysteriously absent from the tale. The Post has another posting of updates on the story, too. It also does not mention the man’s party.
Not surprisingly, Reuters also somehow forgot to mention that Johnson is a Democrat.
Similarly, the Maryland Gazette seemed to have a small slip in its coverage by not mentioning that Johnson is a Democrat.
So what about CNN? You guessed it. They forgot, too.
WUSA Channel 9 also forgot to mention that old “D” word.
Finally, even though its several shorter stories did not contain the dreaded “D” word, the Associated Press did have a full length story that mentioned Johnson’s party. Naturally, the AP employed that well known method of burying it at the end of the piece where fewer readers will see it instead of putting it at the top like they do when they are reporting on troubled Republicans.
I am sure there are others, but this was my little perusal of the media’s treatment of this story.
In any case, you can be sure that if Jack B. Johnson was “Republican Jack B. Johnson” his party affiliation would have led as the first fact of every story you’d have read on his plight.
And there you have the “name that party” game.
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com, BigHollywood.com, and BigJournalism.com, as well as RightWingNews.com, CanadaFreePress.com, StoptheACLU.com, AmericanDaily.com, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.
For a full bio, please CLICK HERE.
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