According to its website, the Associated Press is one of the “…most trusted sources of independent news gathering.” AP journalists operate “…in more than 280 locations worldwide, including every statehouse in the U.S.” AP employees have won 51 Pulitzer prizes. The AP proudly announces that its journalists “…have gone to great lengths, overcome obstacles and, too often, sacrificed to ensure that the news has been reported quickly, accurately and honestly.”
Most importantly, the AP claims that the organization “…fights for freedom of the press and the public’s right to know.” (my italics)
On March 26th, the Washington Post published an AP article titled “Big city mayors caught up in recent scandals.” In it, the criminal activities of five former mayors and 1 current mayor of large American cities are reported, including:
“Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon is facing public corruption charges after prosecutors said he solicited $48,000 in cash, airline tickets, a hotel room and the use of a luxury apartment as bribes from undercover FBI agents posing as developers.”
Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagan, in 2005, was so vehemently and publicly critical of then president George Bush for his “slow response” in aiding victims of Hurricane Katrina. In the midst of his expressions of moral outrage, however, Nagan still found time to accept bribes by “…taking money to help business owners get millions of dollars in city work…in the wake of [the] hurricane.” Right now, Nagan is awaiting sentencing for his February conviction on 20 counts.
Former Trenton, New Jersey Mayor Tony Mack is awaiting sentencing for accepting a bribe in 2012 to give his permission for the building of a downtown parking garage. Unfortunately for Mayor Mack, the garage existed only in the minds of FBI agents running the sting.
Former San Diego Mayor Bob [Filthy} Filner plead guilty to false imprisonment and battery charges connected with sexual harrassment allegations that resulted in his August 2013 resignation from office.
Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was sentenced to 28 years in prison last October after being convicted on charges of extortion, bribery, and conspiracy.
Former Birmingham, Alabama Mayor Larry Langford took “…$235,000 in cash, loans and gifts while he was president of the Jefferson County Commission in the early- and mid-2000s.” He is serving 15 years in prison after a 2009 conviction.
But one piece of vital information was not provided by AP journalists, even though they go to “great lengths to…ensure that the news has been reported…accurately and honestly.” Nowhere in the article is party affiliation mentioned. Either the AP doesn’t believe the public has the “right to know” that each of these corrupt politicians is a Democrat, or the organization’s journalists had a massive, simultaneous memory lapse.
As one of the “most trusted sources of independent news” I guess they just forgot.
Photo credit: Derek K. Miller (Flickr)
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom