During a March 3 report on the sentencing of former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham for corruption, Fox News correspondent Anita Vogel did not once mention that Cunningham is a Republican.
Reporting on the sentencing of disgraced former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-CA) during the March 3 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume, Fox News correspondent Anita Vogel did not once mention that Cunningham was a Republican. During the course of the report, Vogel instead referred to Cunningham as "the former Vietnam war hero," "U.S. congressman," and "representative."
Cunningham resigned his seat in Congress in November 2005 shortly after pleading guilty to accepting nearly $2.4 million in bribes in exchange for helping to award friends and campaign contributors with lucrative defense contracts. On March 3, a federal court in San Diego sentenced Cunningham to eight years and four months in prison, the longest sentence ever given to a member or former member of Congress in any federal corruption case.
As Media Matters for America documented (here, here, here and here), many media outlets have either given scant attention to the Cunningham story, failed to mention his party affiliation, or downplayed the partisan nature of recent congressional scandals involving Republicans.
From the March 3 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume:
VOGEL: Well, hi, Jim [Angle, Special Report guest host]. The former Vietnam war hero was said to have teared up during testimony to the judge today, saying, "Your honor, I have ripped my life to shreds due to my actions, my actions that I did to myself." Now, the judge ended up giving Cunningham eight years and four months as a sentence, and that is the longest sentence for a U.S. congressman. Randy "Duke" Cunningham arrived here at the federal courthouse in San Diego today swamped by cameras. He appeared much thinner than he did last November when he resigned from office. He had admitting to accepting $2.4 million in bribes for steering lucrative government contracts to two defense companies over the last five years. Federal officials have called this an unprecedented act of corruption for a sitting congressman. Here's the prosecutor from just minutes ago.
VOGEL: Prosecutors have said one of the most important pieces of evidence they had was what they considered to be a bribe menu written in Cunningham's handwriting on congressional stationery. It apparently listed how much he would charge to provide government contracts. The left column representing the millions of dollars in contracts, and the right column the amount of cash in thousands he would demand in exchange. Then there are the piles of gifts contractors showered Cunningham with: antique furniture, envelopes of cash, expensive dinners, travel, a Rolls-Royce, and use of a private yacht. His dealings finally became public when details of a suspicious real estate deal were revealed in a local newspaper article, news that he had sold his San Diego area home to a defense contractor for $700,000 more than it was worth. Representative Cunningham is being remanded into custody today. From here, the judge is recommending that he be evaluated at a federal medical facility, and then a recommendation will be made as to what federal prison he should go to. One last request Cunningham did make was to see his 91-year-old mother for the very last time. Jim, back to you.