A Political Crook Without a Party?

 

Echoing reporting from Al Jazeera, the Los Angeles Times reports tonight on allegations that California state senator Ronald Calderon accepted more than $60,000 from undercover FBI agents purporting to seek legislation favorable to the film industry.  But if one is curious as to which political party Calderon belongs, nowhere in the 500-word story is this information revealed, an omission that of course tells the astute reader he’s a Democrat.  (In an editorial fig leaf, a caption below the accompanying photograph identifies him with a “D-Montebello.”)  Al Jazeera somehow manages to squeeze Calderon’s party affiliation into the second paragraph of a 360-word piece.

And now my questions to the Ricochetti: If Calderon had been a Republican, how many times would this have been mentioned in the L.A. Times story?  And how is it that the L.A. Times and all the other California media outlets got scooped on this by Al Jazeera?

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  1. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Devereaux

    The scoop by Al Jezeera should be humiliating to the CA media.

    But it won’t be – you have to have some pride to be humiliated.

    • #1
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    @EvanPokroy

    It’s a trick question. A Republican would never be offered bribes to help the film industry. 

    • #2
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    @JackDunphy
    Peter Robinson: The L.A. Times was never–let’s face it–a truly great newspaper.  But there was a time when it displayed a certain vigor, civic pride, and a capacity for righteous indignation that extended to the cravenness and knavery of politicians in both parties.  Now?  The cravenness and knavery takes place in the newsroom. · 6 hours ago

    I remember those days, Peter, like I remember ice cream cones for a dime at the Thrifty drug store at Wilshire and Fairfax.  We won’t see that again, either.

    • #3
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    @JackDunphy
    Carey J.: If Calderon had been a Republican, the number of mentions of his party affiliation would have matched the following formula: a = w/2, where a is his the number of times his party affiliation (Republican) is mentioned, and w is the number of words in the story. For example, if the story had been 10 words long, it would have been something like this: Republican Calderon caught taking bribes. Republican, Republican, Republican, Republican, crook.  · 6 hours ago

    Sounds reasonable.  And don’t forget the headline.

    • #4
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    @Larry3435

    The last reason to read the LA Times (or, as Harry Shearer calls it, the “LA Dog Trainer”) disappeared when Jim Murray died in 1988.  Otis Chandler made a deliberate decision to turn the Times into a leftist rag, because he believed that being a leftist rag was the only way the Times would be taken seriously by the elites as a major national newspaper.  Unfortunately, Chandler was correct about that.  If you actually want to know what’s going on though, and can’t figure out how to turn on a computer, you can still read the Orange County Register.

    • #5
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    @Zafar

    I don’t know about the LA Times, but AJ is excellent.

    Jack Dunphy:

    And how is it that theL.A. Timesand all the other California media outlets got scooped on this by Al Jazeera? 

    (Except, perhaps, when covering Qatar – which is conveniently tiny.)

    • #6
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    @user_19450

    It ain’t just the ” LA Times.” A few years ago, I listened as NPR ran back-to-back stories about two politicians caught in scandals. The Republican politician’s party affiliation was clearly announced. The other’s, a Democrat, was not mentioned at all.

    • #7
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    @DrewInWisconsin
    Songwriter: It ain’t just the ” LA Times.” A few years ago, I listened as NPR ran back-to-back stories about two politicians caught in scandals. The Republican politician’s party affiliation was clearly announced. The other’s, a Democrat, was not mentioned at all.

    Yep. It’s very common for the media to avoid mentioning party affiliation if the crooked politician is a Democrat.

    • #8
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    @Ralphie

    If it was a republican, it would probably add an adjective like “prominent Republican” or “powerful Republican”, not just plain old Republican.  That would make the incident something people should be afraid of.

    • #9
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    @Spin

    If he was a Republican, he wouldn’t be a California State Senator.  So they didn’t feel the need to be redundant, what with the cost of ink and stuff.  

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    @CareyJ
    Zafar: I don’t know about the LA Times, but AJ is excellent.

    Jack Dunphy:

    And how is it that theL.A. Timesand all the other California media outlets got scooped on this by Al Jazeera? 

    (Except, perhaps, when covering Qatar – which is conveniently tiny.) · 1 hour ago

    The best use for Al Jazeera is as an emetic.

    • #11
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    @Roberto

    No one familiar with California politics will be the least bit surprised at these allegations, the Calderon dynasty has long stunk to high heaven.

    The interesting bit is  that Senate President Pro Tem Darell Steinberg (D) might be caught up in this. That would be a big fish and he’s normally too savvy in his influence peddling to get caught up in this sort of more obvious corruption.

    “Just the fact that (Steinberg) is behind pushing lowering the threshold, is huge. It’ huge. And he did it because of our relationship. And, I helped him, he helped me.”

    At a meeting in September, Calderon told the agent about purchasing two VIP tickets to a Giants baseball game for Steinberg the week before. He said he also gave two tickets to oil industry executives so they could meet Steinberg at the game and support his campaign.

    A Steinberg spokesman said he was not yet prepared to respond to that section of the affidavit.

    • #12
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    @ShaneMcGuire

    Republican would appear in the headline:

    “Republican Lawmaker Accepted Bribe.”

    Then the first sentence:

    “Scandal has shaken Republican . . . . ”

    Then in the next paragraph, where reaction from the party is discussed:

    “Republican consultants say the GOP cannot withstand any more scandals, given the public furor at the Ted Cruz led government shutdown, and now Republican obstructionism on the Obamacare rollout.”

    • #13
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    @CareyJ

    If Calderon had been a Republican, the number of mentions of his party affiliation would have matched the following formula: a = w/2, where a is his the number of times his party affiliation (Republican) is mentioned, and w is the number of words in the story. For example, if the story had been 10 words long, it would have been something like this: Republican Calderon caught taking bribes. Republican, Republican, Republican, Republican, crook. 

    • #14
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    @Zafar

    Life sends you what you need I guess.

    Carey J.

    The best use for Al Jazeera is as an emetic. · 2 hours ago

    • #15
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    @PeterRobinson

    The L.A. Times was never–let’s face it–a truly great newspaper.  But there was a time when it displayed a certain vigor and civic pride, and a capacity for righteous indignation that extended to the cravenness and knavery of politicians in both parties.  Now?  The cravenness and knavery takes place in the newsroom.

    • #16
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    @Valiuth
    Peter Robinson: The L.A. Times was never–let’s face it–a truly great newspaper.  But there was a time when it displayed a certain vigor, civic pride, and a capacity for righteous indignation that extended to the cravenness and knavery of politicians in both parties.  Now?  The cravenness and knavery takes place in the newsroom. · 46 minutes ago

    That is why the government must subsides them. If journalists like collage professors could get tenure then they would have the time and job security to bravely stand against moneyed interests.  Now they are just being pressured by their evil corporate overlords. How can you stand there and not weep for the dwindling forth estate, beset by belligerent bloggers and an illiterate public. Without professional journalists telling you what the left thinks is right democracy dies. You don’t want to kill Democracy do you? Give them your money. Now! Before it’s too late. 

    • #17
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    @CareyJ
    Zafar: Life sends you what you need I guess.

    Carey J.

    The best use for Al Jazeera is as an emetic. · 2 hours ago

    8 hours ago

    Yep, whenever I feel a need to barf and want to get it over with, I just tune in Al Jazeera. Better than ipecac.

    • #18

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