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CNN Will Not Identify Filner as Democrat

CNN Will Not Identify Filner as Democrat

CNN reporter Kyung Lah did not mention that San Diego Mayor Bob Filner is a Democrat in her latest article about the him. A search through previous articles shows CNN often leaves out this detail.

Filner was accused of sexual harassment last month. Thirteen women have come forward, and another woman simply said his behavior made her uncomfortable. The first woman, Irene McCormack, filed a lawsuit against him.

A search through CNN’s coverage reveals a general reluctance to identify his party affiliation. The first article on CNN about Filner appeared on July 12, and author Greg Botelho identified Filner as a Democrat in a roundabout way (emphasis mine):

Some of his longtime backers are urging Filner to step down. Among them is former city councilwoman Donna Frye — a Democrat, like Filner, who recently worked in the mayor’s office. She said Thursday that after hearing allegations directly from several women, “I could not not act.” She sent Filner a letter Tuesday asking him to step down.

Then, on July 22, Matt Smith wrote an article after McCormack filed a lawsuit against Filner, and even described his career. He identified Filner as a Democrat only when quoting Representative Susan Davis (emphasis mine):

“Despite his inclusive vision for San Diego, Mayor Filner has lost the confidence of San Diegans to lead,” Davis, a fellow Democrat, said in a written statement. “He has taken advantage of the trust the voters placed in him and lost both the promise and capacity to ignite positive change. His behavior, if not illegal, is reprehensible.”

Apparently, the only time CNN has referred to Filner explicitly as a Democrat in the headline or lede is in a blog from Jake Tapper’s CNN show “The Lead.” 

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