NYT Early to Party ID When GOP's in Trouble - Democrat Labels Often Never Arrive

The Times let its readers know in the headline and first sentence that politician Mark Kirk, caught exaggerating about his military service, was a Republican. Yet profiles on prominent Democrats in trouble have often lacked party identification entirely.

Monica Davey in Chicago reported on a controversy over Illinois politician Mark Kirk, the Republican candidate to fill Obama's seat in the U.S. Senate.

Mark S. Kirk, the Republican candidate seeking the United States Senate seat once held by President Obama, has acknowledged that his official biography incorrectly listed a prestigious military award that he never received.

Mr. Kirk, a five-term congressman from the northern suburbs of this city who is also an intelligence officer in the Naval Reserve, conceded the discrepancy on his campaign blog.

Davey quickly informed her readers that Kirk was a Republican in "G.O.P. Senate Candidate from Illinois Acknowledges Incorrect Reference to Award."

The Times eagerly identifies misbehaving Republicans while often completely skipping the party identification of Democrats in trouble, like Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut. Even the paper's good front-page expose of Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and his Vietnam lies suffered from hesitation. The story's headline, "Candidate's Words Differ From His History," provided no clue as to Blumenthal's Democratic affiliation, while the report did not identify Blumenthal's party until paragraph three.