Whenever you have Fox News condemning other news channels for inaccurate reporting, it's worth a little attention. Coverage of former mayor Ray Nagin, they say, was grossly inaccurate because they failed to point out he was a Democrat. But how could so many upstanding journalists have simply forgotten Nagin's party affiliation? Here's why.
As you might have heard, former New Orleans mayor during the Katrina fiasco Ray Nagin has run into a bit of trouble with a capital "T" He has been found guilty guilty of 20 of the 21 counts of federal corruption charges after a two-week trial. Nagin, according to the verdict, took hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and other favors from businessmen looking for a break from his administration.
And this wasn't small potatoes.
A January 2013 indictment detailed more than $200,000 in bribes to the mayor, and his family members allegedly received a vacation in Hawaii; first-class airfare to Jamaica; private jet travel and a limousine for New York City; and cellular phone service. In exchange, businesses that coughed up for Nagin and his family won more than $5 million in city contracts, according to the .. indictment.That wasn't the story that outraged Fox Nation. It was the reporting of the story.
CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News and ABC World News broadcasts gave brief mention to the conviction of former New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin Wednesday on 20 federal counts, including bribery and conspiracy, but all three omitted the fact that he was a Democrat.In fact, journalists repeatedly called Nagin a "Republican." Fox News points out:
The mainstream-media has made a point of pointing out a 'Republican' party affiliation in various past scandals...
Let us skip over the rather hard to ignore fact that on any given day, Fox News does exactly what they are now castigating other news channels. Even given the shoddy state of journalism today, how could this mistake had been made?
Back in 2005, it was quite a different story. Back then Fox News was attacking Nagin for his rather public feud with the Bush administration over its handling of the Katrina Hurricane relief. The fact that Nagin was Democrat was very well reported back then.
So much so that One conservative blogger rose to Nagin's defense,
Well if you listened to Hannity or Limbaugh today and yesterday you would have heard him lumped in with the 'Democrats' and/or 'black leaders'. This is just appalling to me because the first thing I noticed about the guy was that he is not a career politician. He was a business executive at Cox Communications and a Republican in his life before becoming mayor of New Orleans. This seems to have escaped everyone's notice but mine in the tirades against him.
Essentially, the facts are correct.
Nagin's Sudden Switch
In 2002, days before the New Orleans mayoral election, Nagin switched to the Democratic party. Prior to this, Nagin was a registered Republican. While a business executive, he gave donations to both parties. Although he claimed to be a Democrat, Nagin was not much of one. For instance, he campaigned for a Republican candidate for Governor, Bobby Jindal.
- While he listed himself as a Dem on the ballot, as a candidate, his platform was nearly the same as that of his GOP rivals.
- In 2008, Nagin’s close connections with Karl Rove were exposed in the book “Machiavelli’s Shadow: The Rise and Fall of Karl Rove,” by Paul Alexander.
The article implies that Nagin's Democratic credentials were as shallow as his his ambition was high. He chose to be Democrat not out of any profound principles but to win elections.
The problem, in a nutshell, is that a Republican, calling himself a Republican, would not get elected in New Orleans. Between 2002 -2004 less than 15 percent of voters in the city of New Orleans claimed to support the GOP.
But the most ironic part is what the conservative blogger in 2005 quoted with ill-founded pride:
Shortly after he was elected, Mayor Nagin revealed that he would not tolerate the atmosphere of political corruption that had pervaded city government. He instituted a criminal and administrative probe with the help of the New Orleans Police Department and the Metropolitan Crime Commission – an area watchdog group - that resulted in the arrest of 84 city workers and the restructuring of the New Orleans utilities department. Mayor Nagin is resolved to erase the image of New Orleans as a place where graft is part of the old-world charm.Ouch. That stings like alcohol on a razor burn.
According to the evidence in the corruption case, the illegal bribes date back before Katrina and a few years after he was elected. So it didn't take too long to recall his Republican roots, we can assume.
If the mainstream news channels dropped the ball in not reporting Nagin as a Democrat, then it is only fair. A Republican, as it has been pointed out, by any other name, is still a Republican.
It's doubtful whether many Democrats- the real ones- are going to lose much sleep or shed many tears about the Nagin's guilty verdict.
Ray Nagin, Democrat in his fashion, is now facing up to 20 years. But the good news for the former mayor of the Big Easy, he is more likely to spend 14 to 17 years in the Big House.