Fox's Napolitano accused DA prosecuting DeLay of political motivations, ignored his prosecution record

››› ››› JOE BROWN

Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano accused Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle, a Democrat, of being "openly and notoriously political," repeating his suggestion that Earle's prosecution of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) on conspiracy charges is politically motivated. But in making the accusation, Napolitano once again ignored Earle's record, which includes the prosecution of significantly more Democratic officials than Republicans, as Media Matters for America has previously noted.

On May 15, the Los Angeles Times Magazine reported: "Over the years his [Earle's] Public Integrity Unit has prosecuted 15 elected officials, including 12 Democrats."

Media Matters has previously documented other allegations of partisanship directed at Earle by Fox News personalities -- including Napolitano, who claimed on the November 16, 2004, edition of The Big Story with John Gibson that Earle is "a sort of renegade prosecutor in Texas" and that "there is a basis" for calling Earle a "political crackpot" -- without noting Earle's record of prosecuting more Democrats than Republicans.

Napolitano also described Earle as "a little bit of a nut" during the 2 p.m. ET hour of Fox News Live.

From the 12 p.m. ET hour of the September 28 edition of Fox News Live:

BILL HEMMER (anchor): Back here with the judge in New York City. The DA in Travis County, a Democrat by the name of Ronnie Earle, DeLay is on record as saying essentially he thinks he's pursuing this case for political reasons. What do you know about this DA, judge?

NAPOLITANO: There's a couple of things I can tell you. One is, the DA is openly and notoriously political. Most DAs, though they run for office, sort of take a step back from the rough and tumble of Republican versus Democrat politics once in office. This DA has not. He stayed very active in the Democratic party and, unusual in Texas, in the liberal wing of the Democratic party.

Posted In
Government, Ethics
Tom DeLay Scandal
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