Speed Reads

Say it ain't so

Leland Yee isn't a household name: But why not?

It's a common conservative lament: When a Republican gets in trouble, his party affiliation is shouted from the rooftops; when a Democrat becomes embroiled in scandal, however, partisan status becomes less noteworthy.

These media bias tropes are always with us. But are they true? Based on recent examples, I'm starting to wonder. Take for example, a March 26 AP story, titled: Big city mayors caught up in recent scandals. The report chronicles the crimes, alleged crimes, and various sins of former mayors Ray Nagin (New Orleans), Tony Mack (Trenton), Bob Filner (San Diego), Kwame Kilpatrick (Detroit), and Larry Langford (Birmingham).

Aside from being "big city mayors caught up in recent scandals," these men all happen to be Democrats — not that you would know it from reading the AP's story.

... But hey — at least these stories got media attention, right? That's not always the case. Take for example, Glenn Harlan Reynolds' account of a recent story the media should have found utterly irresistible about a California Democrat:

California State senator (and, until last week, candidate for secretary of state) Leland Yee was well-known as an anti-gun activist. Then, last week, he was indicted for, yes, conspiring to smuggle guns and rocket launchers between mobsters and terrorists in exchange for massive bribes. [Bold mine.]

Covering this story should have been a no-brainer for a cable news network, right? According to Reynolds, however: "CNN, home (also until last week) of Piers Morgan, whom Yee had praised for his anti-gun activism, didn't report the story at all."

In this case, Reynolds might be a tad too rough on them. I mean, they only have 24 hours to cover the news, and Flight 370 is still missing.