Networks Won't Call Convicted Ex-New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin a Democrat
None of the network evening newscasts identified ex-New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin as a Democrat when reporting on his conviction of 20 counts of corruption on Wednesday.
The ABC World News called him "the face and voice of a city in ruins" post-Katrina, and joined CBS in simply labeling him the "former mayor" of New Orleans without the Democratic label. As NewsBusters reported last year, all the same evening newscasts dropped the Democratic label at Nagin's indictment.
And back in January, NBC showed a complete double standard by ignoring Nagin's Democratic affiliation while reporting a GOP congressman's resignation amidst scandal. The January 27 NBC Nightly News made sure to label Trey Radel a Republican as he resigned from Congress after pleading guilty to cocaine possession, but simply called Nagin "mayor of the city during Katrina."
>> MRC Media Reality Check from January 28 of this year: “Don’t Know the Party of a Politician Caught in a Scandal? He’s Probably a Democrat” <<
The networks joined the USA Today on Wednesday in omitting the party affiliation; last week, the New York Times ran an entire article on Nagin's trial without mentioning Nagin's party.
Below are transcripts of the February 12 segments:
ABC's World News:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: And back home, down in New Orleans today, a conviction for the former mayor Ray Nagin. He became a household name in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The face and voice of a city in ruins. But today, Nagin was found guilty of corruption for accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and a family vacation to Hawaii in exchange for lucrative city contracts.
CBS Evening News:
SCOTT PELLEY: Today the former mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin, was found guilty of 20 of 21 counts in his corruption trial. Outside court today, Nagin said he's innocent, but he was convicted of taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and truckloads of granite for his family business from contractors seeking work after Hurricane Katrina. Each count carries a possible penalty of three to 20 years in prison.
NBC Nightly News:
BRIAN WILLIAMS: Ray Nagin, the controversial former mayor of New Orleans who rose to public attention during Hurricane Katrina has been convicted on federal charges of corruption and bribery. Found guilty today of accepting payoffs for city contracts, guilty of 20 of the 21 counts against him, he faces decades in prison now, sentencing date has not yet been announced.
— Matt Hadro is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Matt Hadro on Twitter.