Note: These odd omissions have ceased after a few days, or they are at least not going to serve any purpose any longer (for those who even slightly pay attention, that is, now know that Blago is a Dem), but it is always odd to see such things as this. Read on.
Dem Label AWOL for Blagojevich in ChiTrib, Sun-Times Coverage | NewsBusters.org
Gov. Rod Blagojevich's (D-Ill.) name has cropped up quite a few times in the ongoing trial of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) benefactor Tony Rezko. Yet in their latest coverage, both the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times left out Blagojevich's party affiliation. The Sun-Times, however, did take note of the Republican party affiliation of another politico caught up in the maelstrom, William Cellini [note: see photos via AP/Sun-Times at the linked story].
The caption for a photo montage accompanying the April 3 article "Levine: Blagojevich knew", reads, "Clockwise from left: Gov. Rod Blagojevich; Tony Rezko; Stuart Levine; Chicago businessman-turned-Hollywood producer Tom Rosenberg; longtime Illinois Republican Party power William Cellini."
Tribune staffers Bob Secter and Jeff Coen also covered the development in a story filed shortly after midnight Eastern time on April 3.
Noting a GOP guy's party while altogether ignoring the party of the central figure in an image (see the linked story, its image showing this gaff) is a bit weird! Since this is home ground for Obama, I am a bit astounded by the lack of ties to Blagojovich, too. Obama moved quickly from community organizer to state senate to U.S. Senate. His own caretakers in his state senate days have stated they wanted to protect him from anything controversial -- like abortion, making a yay or nay vote on most things (sarcasm: check!). And it would seem they kept him away from Blago? Hmmm.
I was wondering what the deal was with this, as I had to do a search of the gov's name and the word "party" to find his affiliation noted somewhere, just because I was trying to figure it out -- it is odd, blatantly odd, that the affiliation was omitted. (Go ahead, say I should find the state web site; I don't live in Illinois, don't have that handy, thanks. Get over that.) Blagojevich's party is not mentioned until it is deep into one article, from the Tribune, that I noted just today.
What a stupid, petty way to exacerbate bias and division, and a lack of one-country-feeling. Great job, Trib. The strangest thing about this effort to omit his party is that the Chicago Tribune -- which was being directly attacked in a variety of ways by this governor, please note -- was the one breaking this story along the way.
The road was a bit tougher to get to the White House than to the guv's office in Illinois. Thank goodness. It is such a failure of politics, news media and clued-in leaders of every kind that so many are able to believe that people such as this crooked governor are not bad folks until they make it so blatantly obvious -- and leave proof, no less -- that they get hauled away by the FBI. Amazing.
This constant omission is laughable, really. Is it a broad problem, though? An in, a full-blown media bias issue? I suspect not. I think NewsBusters.org is wise to not call this a broad habit. They didn't. And the fact is, if you looked up old stories in a variety of locations (CNN.com, for instance) on GOP or Dem folks involved in scandals, and you'll find mention of party way down near the bottom of articles. At least, in some instances. It tends to be a policy. (Of course, CNN is among those guilty of assuming that most scandals are by the GOP's folks, not pretty even-handed. Gary Hart? Kwame Fitzpatrick? Bill Clinton's cigars? Hello?)
NewsBusters.org points out holes in stories -- odd omissions, bias, etc. NewsBusters.org is clearly a conservative site. However, not a rabid one. The site does a darn good job pointing out hypocrisy -- namely liberal and/or Dem bias -- in media. I am impressed with how they keep it to useful specifics, unlike many similar operations on either side of the political fence (far-left-leaning or far-right-leaning). This is worthy for many reasons, but here's one: Sites so broad in their range (that is, not apparently politically or ideologically motivated, covering a wide range of subjects) such as Salon.com pan the White House as being censors -- yes, they used that word -- for not choosing to hang a Christmas tree ball that states, among other uncheery things, "Impeach Bush." Wow. Idiots.
Being a bit cynical is one thing, but being outright unabashedly one-sided and proudly hateful of GW Bush and friends -- that's entirely another thing. Being that simplistic and ignorant is stunning for those who claim to be reflecting some sort of narrative of our lives. Our lives are very rarely one-sided. Salon.com and one Christmas decoration artist have proven themselves -- jointly, in one story, keeping it simple to present the case -- to be so shallow. I hope the Tribune and Sun-Times and other such doddering media can control themselves and find some road to balanced reporting in the future. I hope it won't take an outright assualt on a paper's board of directors to get a large or small media org to to the right thing -- and by right, I mean the correct thing.
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