When is a Democratic politician not a “Democrat”? All too often, as NewsBusters has carefully documented, the liberal networks fail to mention the party identification of an official enmeshed in embarrassment or wrongdoing — if they’re a Democrat, that is.
It happened just last month, when New Jersey Democratic Senator Bob Menendez was indicted for corruptly acting as a foreign agent for the government of Egypt. Last year, MSNBC’s Morning Joe would only refer to a Nevada Democrat who murdered an investigative reporter as a “politician” (how helpfully vague).
And now that the Democratic Mayor of New York City has been hit with a $5 million sexual assault suit, ABC and CBS hid Eric Adams’ party identification in their Thursday evening and Friday morning coverage. For its part, NBC just skipped the story entirely on Nightly News and Today, which is perhaps an even better way to insulate the Democratic Party from the bad news.
On the Thanksgiving edition of World News Tonight, ABC fill-in anchor Linsey Davis told viewers that “New York City Mayor Eric Adams is accused of sexually assaulting a woman 30 years ago,” without saying he was a Democrat. Correspondent Aaron Katersky was equally delicate, announcing that “tonight, the Mayor of New York is accused of sexually assaulting a woman 30 years ago….”
On the CBS Evening News (pre-empted in much of the country by football), fill-in anchor Nancy Cordes read a short (30-second) item that merely relayed how “New York City Mayor Eric Adams is fighting off an accusation of sexual assault going back 30 years….”
On Friday’s Good Morning America, co-host Juju Chang referred to Adams only as “the latest high-profile man being sued under a New York law about to expire….”
On CBS Mornings, co-host Dana Jacobson similarly omitted Adams’s party ID: “Here in New York, we are seeing a series of sexual abuse complaints filed just before a landmark state law ran out. One of the targets is New York City Mayor Eric Adams….”
It wasn’t a complete shutout, though. Eagle-eyed viewers of ABC’s World News Tonight and Good Morning America, however, would have spotted a microscopic (D) in a very brief, on-screen tag shown when the network shows ran a clip of Adams denying the charges. “I don’t even recall ever meeting the person who made the, this allegation,” Adams was shown saying. If you blinked, however, you might have missed the whole thing.
And that was it. It’s hard to imagine the Republican Party being so well-insulated if similar allegations were leveled against one of its highest-profile office-holders.
Here’s a little more of how ABC and CBS covered the Adams story last night and this morning. (Click expand to read the transcripts.)
# ABC’s World News Tonight
November 23, 2023
LINSEY DAVIS: Next tonight, New York City Mayor Eric Adams is accused of sexually assaulting a woman 30 years ago. The woman is making the accusation in a court filing under a New York state law which gave victims of sexual violence a one-year window to sue over attacks that took place decades ago. Adams is vigorously denying the accusation. Here’s ABC’s senior investigative reporter Aaron Katersky.
AARON KATERSKY: Tonight, the Mayor of New York is accused of sexually assaulting a woman 30 years ago. In a new court filing, the woman alleges she “was sexually assaulted by defendant Eric Adams in 1993 while they both worked for the city of New York.” Today, Adams said he doesn’t know the woman, calling the allegation “absolutely not true.”
ERIC ADAMS: Something absolutely that has never happened. And I don’t even recall ever meeting the person who made the, this allegation….
# ABC’s Good Morning America
November 24, 2023
JUJU CHANG: Now to New York Mayor Eric Adams facing a lawsuit by a woman claiming he sexually assaulted her in 1993. It’s the latest high-profile man being sued under a New York law about to expire….
# CBS Evening News
November 23, 2023
NANCY CORDES: Tonight, New York City Mayor Eric Adams is fighting off an accusation of sexual assault going back 30 years. An unidentified woman filed the $5 million lawsuit on Wednesday under the Adult Survivors Act. That New York law is set to expire today. Adams was a New York City police officer at the time of the alleged incident. Today, he denied assaulting anyone. Adams is also facing an FBI investigation into his campaign’s fund raising.
# CBS Mornings
November 24, 2023
DANA JACOBSON: Here in New York, we are seeing a series of sexual abuse complaints filed just before a landmark state law ran out. One of the targets is New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who denies a reported assault from 30 years ago. As Elaine Quijano reports, Adams is not the only big name facing a lawsuit….
As noted earlier, NBC didn’t mentioned the allegations on Nightly News or Today. But Friday’s Today did have time for Dolly Parton’s halftime show, a Manhattan pop-up bar with a Christmas theme, as well as multiple stories on Black Friday shopping. They have their priorities, of course.