ABC and NBC Refuse to Identify Corrupt Rostenkowski as a Democrat
Published: 8/11/2010 7:52 PM ET
Dan Rostenkowski (?-Ill), 1928-2010. Reporting the passing of Dan Rostenkowski, the ABC and NBC anchors on Wednesday night managed to gently note his ignominious departure from public life while also including a humanizing anecdote about his life (NBC: He "went back to live in the same house he grew up in in Chicago's north side," ABC: "In 1985, he famously asked Americans fed up with the tax system to write him"), but neither identified him as a Democrat. Nor did any on-screen graphic mark his party.
In contrast, filling in as anchor of the CBS Evening News, Erica Hill managed to accurately describe the late Congressman as "a product of Chicago's Democratic political machine."
Handling the anchor duties on ABC's World News, George Stephanopoulos, a Democratic House staff member when Rostenkowski was at the zenith of his power, announced:
We have a high profile political death to note tonight. Dan Rostenkowski was steeped in Chicago politics from the start. Elected to Congress at the age of 30, he served there 36 years, 13 of them as Chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee before a scandal that saw him serve time on fraud charges. In 1985, he famously asked Americans fed up with the tax system to write him.