Media bias, lousy reporting or nothing at all?

A friend sent me an AP story about Charlie Rangel that did not mention he is a Dem.  The sender saw that as media bias — the media trying to protect a Democrat.

I saw it as nothing at all. Just about every story I’ve seen about Rangel labels him as a Democrat. If one story did not for whatever reason, it means nothing really other than maybe lousy reporting.

Some on the right go overboard to look for media bias that simply does not exist.


About fsnowflack
Fred Snowflack was editorial page editor and a political columnist for the Daily Record of Morristown for almost 12 years. He has won numerous awards for editorial and column writing from the New Jersey Press Association and has written a blog on county and state politics for the last three years. He lives in Ledgewood in Morris County.

10 Responses to Media bias, lousy reporting or nothing at all?

  1. Unintentional Smell says:
  2. Yes, bias is lousy reporting, but that does not mean lousy reporting is bias

  3. P says:

    Just reading the story, even if you didn’t know Rangel was D-NY, you’d have to be pretty certain of his party affiliation given who was opposing him, and who was providing support.

  4. Unintentional Smell says:

    Is it mere coincidence that the AP story didn’t mention that felon Jim Traficant is a Democrat too?

  5. Mark in Rockaway says:

    I’m going to think positive and assume it’s just incompetence. How sad that “incompetence” is the positive choice here.

    But if you use google or bing to search the phrase “media omits party affiliation” there certainly is a lot of examples of said incompetence.

  6. Unintentional Smell says:


    Blake Chisam was not only opposing Rangel, he was prosecuting him. And Chisam is a Democrat (assistant to Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)).

    No reason for readers to have to know these back stories. Just publishing the affiliations, regardless of party, would be accurate reporting.

    Mark is right. Just a simple search reveals that usually when the party is omitted it’s a Democrat. It happens way too often to be a coincidence.

  7. Unintentional Smell says:

    Here’s another perfect example, this time involving a Republican:

    Notice Van Pelt’s party affiliation is mentioned right in the very beginning.

  8. Frank Maddaloni says:

    Anyone interested enough to follow the Rangel hearings knows he is a Democrat so I don’t think it was some big plot or even incompetence not to reference it in the article. The readers who do are probably Fox News fans where the fairness and balance is principally directed at Democratic offenders.

  9. Ed France says:

    Fred for years Mr.Rangel has been given a pass by many in the press. He serves on many powerful and important boards. He is not a man that the left leaning will bother. It is wrong, but his supporters see him as being right on more issues then not.
    The right thing for him to do would be retire.But after all he marched for civil rights in the 1960’s ,so that means he is HANDS OFF to any negative reporting. Just the way your business works in 2010.
    Many of your cohorts see him as one who helps the underdog. Therefore he can do no wrong. End of story I assume.

  10. Unintentional Smell says:

    Fred, more lousy reporting from AP? Why do they always seem to forget to mention party affiliation when the crook is a Democrat?

    NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Former New Jersey Assemblyman L. Harvey Smith is testifying at his federal bribery and extortion trial.

    Under questioning from his lawyer Friday, Smith said he was unaware that meetings he held with colleagues from Jersey City and a man who said he was a developer were being secretly recorded.

    Smith also insisted that he returned at least $5,000 of the $15,000 in bribes that prosecutors have accused him of accepting from Solomon Dwek. Dwek was an undercover witness who cooperated with the government in its investigation into political corruption and money laundering.

    Smith was among 46 people arrested last year in the state’s largest corruption sting.

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