Friday, January 25, 2008

Name that Party, Motor City Edition

I generally don’t buy into the conspiracy theory that says major news outlets purposefully omit the D next to a public official’s name when reporting a kerfuffle, but a GOP scandal always starts with “REPUBLICAN politician accused of…”

Having said that, I admit that there is something awfully suspicious about the AP reporting on Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s court problems. Short version is this: he allegedly had an affair with a staffer and lost an 8.4 million-dollar wrongful-discharge suit brought by two police officers who investigated its cover-up. This was last year; this week it turns out that thousands of text messages have been recovered which seem to indicate that he perjured himself during the trial.

In addition to being an utter embarrassment to the people of Detroit and to himself, he is mysteriously unaffiliated with any party. At least, it’s not indicated in the AP news stories I can find. It’s not new, either: here’s a report of the settlement from the AP on October 23, 2007 where the mysterious Kilpatrick is also a man without a party.

Turns out he’s a Democrat.

Of course, that’s not germane to the story; it’s not like Democrat executives have a greater propensity to fool around with subordinates and perjure themselves in court about it during trial. I’m sure this is an isolated incident.

Compare this to the accusation by police that Larry Craig lied, from the AP in the NY Daily News. “Idaho Republican” appears in the second paragraph. Or, consider the original story (from the Boston Globe website) where “Republican Senator” doesn’t appear until paragraph 3. Unless, of course, you consider the picture caption, which is “Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, is seen…”

It would be nice to find at least one mention of Kilpatrick’s party in either the wrongful-discharge suit or the text-message recovery story. If they recovered thousands of text messages from Larry Craig to a gay escort, I would guess the first sentence to be something like this:

REPUBLICAN senator Larry Craig’s text messages prove that he was a cock-hunting deviant.”

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