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ABC Ignores Democratic Affiliation of San Diego Mayor Accused of Sexual Harrassment

For the third time in a week, ABC's Good Morning America failed to identify a politician involved in sex scandal as a Democrat. Amy Robach reported on Friday that "accusations of sexual harassment have been swirling around Mayor Bob Filner for weeks" and that the San Diego politician "apologized for what he called inappropriate behavior", but didn't include his party ID.

By contrast, Gayle King explicitly mentioned Filner's political affiliation on Friday's CBS This Morning: "The Democrat spent ten terms in Congress before becoming mayor less than a year ago. "

Robach also noted during her news brief that "the mayor of San Diego now says he needs help after admitting he's been disrespectful to women who work for him and even intimidating them. But he's not stepping down." She didn't include clips of Filner's statement where he acknowledged his misconduct, something that CBS This Morning also included in their coverage.

The ABC morning show previously avoided mentioning former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer's Democratic affiliation as they reported on his run for New York City comptroller on Monday. More egregiously, correspondent Claire Shipman didn't include this detail on Tuesday's Good Morning America as she reported on Spitzer's possible return to political office, but identified South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford as a Republican.

Earlier in 2013, the MRC's Geoff Dickens documented the Big Three's overall double standard on clearly identifying Republicans caught in political scandals, but failing to do the same for Democrats.

[Update, Friday, 4:30 pm Eastern: An on-screen graphic during ABC's news brief incorrectly displayed a picture of former San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, a Republican, instead of current Mayor Filner (see graphic at right).]

The transcripts for Amy Robach's news brief from Friday's Good Morning America on ABC and Gayle King's news brief from Friday's CBS This Morning:

07/12/2013
07:13 am EDT
ABC – Good Morning America

[ABC News Graphic: "Mayor: 'I Need Help' Admits 'Inappropriate' Behavior"]

AMY ROBACH: Well, the mayor of San Diego now says he needs help after admitting he's been disrespectful to women who work for him and even intimidating them. But he's not stepping down. Accusations of sexual harassment have been swirling around Mayor Bob Filner for weeks. He's apologized for what he called inappropriate behavior. Just this week, Filner's fiancee broke off their engagement.


07/12/2013
08:04 am EDT
CBS This Morning

GAYLE KING: The mayor of San Diego is rejecting calls to step down amid allegations of sexual harassment. On Thursday, Bob Filner admits (sic) he failed to respect women in the past, but he did not speak directly to the accusations.

[CBS News Graphic: "Mayor's Apology: Filner Says He Didn't Respect Women And Needs Help"]

BOB FILNER, SAN DIEGO MAYOR: I begin today by apologizing to you. I have diminished the office to which you elected me. And I've reached into my heart and soul, and realized I must and will change my behavior. I am also humble to admit that I need help. I have begun to work with professionals to make changes in my behavior and approach.

KING: The Democrat spent ten terms in Congress before becoming mayor less than a year ago.

— Matthew Balan is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here.