Cockburn is partial to a murder mystery, but in some cases it seems that the mainstream media are going out of their way to hide relevant facts.
The Associated Press, for example, serves the important function of scribbling up neutral versions of smaller local stories and syndicating them nation- and worldwide. It's intriguing, therefore, that when the wire service reported on the trial of the Clark County public administrator Robert Telles allegedly killing a Las Vegas investigative journalist, they conveniently forgot to mention that he’s a Democrat.
While Cockburn is sure that the AP made an honest...

Cockburn is partial to a murder mystery, but in some cases it seems that the mainstream media are going out of their way to hide relevant facts.

The Associated Press, for example, serves the important function of scribbling up neutral versions of smaller local stories and syndicating them nation- and worldwide. It’s intriguing, therefore, that when the wire service reported on the trial of the Clark County public administrator Robert Telles allegedly killing a Las Vegas investigative journalist, they conveniently forgot to mention that he’s a Democrat.

While Cockburn is sure that the AP made an honest mistake, like every yuppie he has found himself on his fair share of crime scenes. Getting a sense of things is generally pretty easy: Colonel Mustard with the dagger in the library. But if Mustard is the head of the US Air Force, that’s probably a biographical detail worth mentioning.

Instead, AP’s coverage, which amounted to just over 900 words, simply referred to Telles as a “local elected official.” Cockburn wonders what else the wire has forgotten to mention.

Telles’s arraignment on Tuesday saw him formally charged for lethally stabbing Las Vegas Review-Journal staff writer Jeff German. German had written a number of articles critical of Telles. There is speculation that the stabbing was a hit job over hit pieces.

Following a public backlash over the AP’s omission, changes were later made to the article without an editor’s note. These included identifying Telles as a Democrat in the second paragraph and noting that “Telles lost the Democratic party primary in June” towards the middle. But as a news wire service provides stories for multiple outlets, it was too late and the original story was spread far and wide.

Twitter came to the rescue and offered AP some journalism tips. One said: “If he was a republican you’d have that as your first word in your header.” Another added, “I’m sure it was just an oversight, but the @AP forgot to mention that Robert Telles is a Democrat, with a violent past that the party overlooked.”

Cockburn thinks that AP journalists need to have their asses dragged back to J-school if they’ve forgotten the five most important questions that any hack can ask: who, what, when, where and why.