Name That Party, Congressional Scandal Edition

The Times uses double standards when it comes to labeling congressmen in potential legal trouble. Just see how the paper treated the case of former New York Republican Vito Fossella with how it treated current Illinois Democrat Jesse Jackson Jr., son of theleft-wing activist.

In a tough story by Susan Saulny and Christopher Drew on Tuesday about Rep. Jackson being caught up in the Illinois Senate seat scandal, Jackson was nevertheless not identified as a Democrat until the ninth paragraph. It had to be inferred from the text:

Representative Jesse L. Jackson Jr. went to see the Illinois governor in December to press for an appointment to the United States Senate seat being vacated by Barack Obama. Mr. Jackson took along a black binder filled with letters of support, poll numbers and lists of his accomplishments over 13 years in Congress.

By dawn the next morning, the governor, Rod R. Blagojevich, was under arrest and accused of trying to sell his appointment to the seat. And Mr. Jackson landed in his own political hot seat as federal prosecutors revealed wiretap evidence that one of his fund-raisers had promised to raise $1.5 million for Mr. Blagojevich in exchange for the appointment.

Meanwhile, Vito Fossella, who represented Staten Island until abandoning his re-election run after a drunken driving arrest, is readily identified in the lead sentence of Raymond Hernandez's Tuesday story as a "once-rising star in the New York Republican party".

Previously, the paper completely left off the partyaffiliation of besieged Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd in a March 20 story.