The New York Times ran a 1,300-word story about U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, who is facing 12 corruption charges, without ever mentioning his party affiliation. The Times’ story referred to Menendez 29 times in a Monday story without once mentioning he is a Democrat, the Daily Caller noted on Monday afternoon. The information has since been added to the Times’ story.
The Times hasn’t run a correction, but the story’s author, Nick Coranti tweeted that the omission in the original was “just an oversight,” and said he would add that information into the story.
Menendez’s party affiliation was added to the fourth paragraph in the tome. Before listing his party affiliation, Menendez is mentioned in the first paragraph as a “the senator.” In the second paragraph, the reader learns he is “of New Jersey,” and in the third paragraph, Menendez is called a “sitting United States Senator… facing federal bribery charges.” In paragraph four, he is listed as a “Democrat.”
Compare that to the Times’ coverage in March of two Republican New York state senators accused of corruption.
“A Republican state senator from the Niagara Falls area and his predecessor pleaded not guilty on Thursday in a pair of schemes involving payments to a spouse and a former aide, the latest in a long line of corruption cases to emanate from New York State’s capital,” the March story begins. The reader learns that the person is a Republican before learning the person’s name.
New York state Sen. Robert G. Ortt, pleaded guilty to being part of a plot to pad his income by using a no-show job for his wife. Ortt’s predecessor is also a Republican, the reader learns in the second paragraph of that story.
By the third paragraph, Times readers learn the prosecutor in the case is a Democrat. The party affiliation of every player in the case is named before the fourth paragraph. The Times never discloses the political affiliations of the other players in Menendez’s case.
Menendez is accused of taking more than $700,000 in direct and indirect political contributions from a Florida opthalmologist in the form of private flights and luxury vacations in return for political favors. Times’ readers don’t learn any of the specifics of the charges against Menendez until the 13th paragraph. They learn he faces charges for “corruption-related counts including six counts of bribery and three counts of honest services fraud in the fifth paragraph, but only after Menendez is quoted saying he will be exonerated.
Opening statements in the case are set for Wednesday. Menendez has not resigned from office. He is up for re-election in 2018.