By L. Brent Bozell III
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It is such common sense as to be undeniable that basic journalism requires a party label to be affixed to a story about an elected public official, the president excepted. It is the DNA of the “who” in a news report. “Senator Robert Byrd, the Democratic senator from West Virginia, died today.” Take out “Democratic” and try that sentence. It doesn’t work. “Mike Lee, GOP senator from Utah and God’s gift to mankind, coasted to reelection last night.” Ditto.
It follows that the rule applies to stories about political scandal, precisely because it’s just that — politics. But what happens when that cardinal rule is applied to one party but ignored for the other? Favoritism? Bias? No, it’s far worse than just that. It is a commitment to abide by the rules of journalism with one party and then a deliberate attempt to protect the other, even if it means violating the most basic rules of news reporting.