ABC, CNN, MSNBC and PBS on Wednesday and Thursday all covered the "shocking" corruption involving the Democratic mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina. Yet, while talking about the tens of thousands of dollars in bribes he sought, none of these networks identified Patrick Cannon's political party. Only a Fox News host referred to him as a Democrat.
On ABC's Good Morning America, Amy Robach asserted, "Well, the mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina has resigned after being arrested during an FBI sting." On CNN's New Day, Christine Romans informed that undercover FBI agents "got the mayor to take almost $50,000 in bribes in exchange for favorable treatment by the city." In contrast, Fox News's Jamie Colby revealed, "There's another Democrat in trouble over accusations of corruption." [MP3 audio here.]
On MSNBC, Kristen Welker had some specific details, but not when it came to Cannon's political party: "One hundred and fourteen. That's the number of days Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon served before resigning on Wednesday." PBS's NewsHour avoided identifying the politician's affiliation, too.
On Wednesday's Nightly News, Brian Williams similarly skipped a party label.
When then-South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford admitted to traveling to Argentina for an extra-marital affair, the networks jumped on the fact that he was a Republican.
Transcripts of some of the news briefs on Mayor Cannon are below:
ABC GRAPHIC: "Shocking" Corruption: Mayor Arrested in Bribery Sting
AMY ROBACH: Well, the mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina has resigned after being arrested during an FBI sting. Mayor Patrick Cannon accused of accepting more than $48,000 in bribes and then soliciting another million in bribes.
CHRISTINE ROMANS: Charlotte, North Carolina is minus a mayor this morning. Patrick Cannon resigned shortly after he was arrested on theft and bribery charges. The FBI says undercover agents posing as real estate developers got the mayor to take almost $50,000 in bribes in exchange for favorable treatment by the city. Cannon could face up to 50 years in prison if he's convicted.
KRISTEN WELKER: One hundred and fourteen. That's the number of days Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon served before resigning on Wednesday. Now, Cannon stepped down after he was arrested on federal corruption charges that he alleged accepted thousands of dollars from undercover agents. If convicted, he could face up to 50 years in prison. The FBI began investigating Cannon last August when he was a member of the city council.
JAMIE COLBY: And there's another Democrat in trouble over accusations of corruption. It's Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon who resigned yesterday after the FBI nabbed him in a sting and slapped him with public corruption and bribery charges. Cannon's accused of accepting some $48,000 in bribes from undercover agents who posed as real estate developers wanting to do business in Charlotte.