Multiple readers have pointed me to the "Around the Nation" wire briefs on Page A2 of today's print edition. The three items concern:
* Former U.S. Rep Jesse Jackson Jr.'s guilty plea in charges of wrongly spending campaign funds
* Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin's not guilty plea to accepting bribes and gifts for awarding city contracts
* Former U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici's disclosing that he fathered the daughter of a Senate colleague
The readers' objection was the the wire items identified Domenici as a Republican, but neither Jackson nor Nagin as Democrats.
The process of putting together wire items can be fraught with inconsistencies such as this. I tracked down the unedited wire stories, and the phrasing in The Star was unaltered.
But this is a perfect example of how readers can perceive bias.
A solution for some of these situations, recommended by several readers through the years: The Star could (and I'd say should) adopt a consistent style that calls for identifying all U.S. representatives and senators with party and state. Example: "Sen. Claire McCaskill, D, Mo." or "Sen. Pat Roberts, R, Kan."