In a "newsbreak" report on the indictment of Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher on charges of conspiracy, official misconduct, and violating a prohibition against political discrimination, Fox News anchor Shepard Smith failed to identify Fletcher as a Republican.
During a "newsbreak" on the May 11 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume, Fox News anchor Shepard Smith failed to identify indicted Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher as a Republican. Fletcher has been indicted on charges of conspiracy, official misconduct, and violating a prohibition against political discrimination by allegedly rewarding political supporters with jobs.
As Media Matters for America has documented, Fox News has frequently failed to identify Republicans and conservatives:
- Fox News failed to note that former Illinois Gov. George Ryan is a Republican while reporting Ryan's conviction on corruption charges.
- Fox News featured comments from Barbara Comstock, former director of the Justice Department's Office of Public Affairs under former Attorney General John Ashcroft, about the controversy over a NARAL Pro-Choice America ad that criticized then-Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr., but failed to identify Comstock as a strategic adviser to Progress for America (PFA), a right-wing group that was actively campaigning for Roberts's confirmation.
- Fox News interviewed former deputy assistant attorney general John C. Yoo about a federal court challenge to the Bush administration's handling of so-called "enemy combatants," without revealing that Yoo was a primary architect of the exact policy under review in the case.
- Fox News featured multiple interviews with representatives of Republican front-group USA Next, without identifying the group as conservative, let alone partisan.
From the May 11 edition of Fox's News' Special Report with Brit Hume:
SMITH: The Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher is indicted on corruption charges. A grand jury investigating Fletcher for close to a year now. Fletcher was charged with conspiracy, official misconduct, and political discrimination. The same grand jury handed down 14 other indictments on current and former Fletcher administration staffers.