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Rahm Emanuel 'Bedeviling' News Organizations With His Name

First Posted: 03/18/10 06:12 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 03:45 PM ET

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NPR Ombudsman Alicia Shepard makes note of the curious way that news organizations choose to identify White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, whose very name is like a dead fish mailed to everyone's style guide:

...when he's quoted or mentioned on radio, TV, or print, reporters and anchors generally identify him on first reference as Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.


But for some reason -- most likely his unusual first name -- news organizations are conflicted on how to identify Emanuel on the second reference. Standard news editorial practice across the board is to give a person's full name on first reference and only the last name on second reference.

But not for Emanuel.

Oddly, several news organizations refer to him on a second reference as "Rahm Emanuel." NPR has just decided to make that a policy after correspondent Nina Totenberg referred to Emanuel three times by his first name only on-air.

Naturally, I feel compelled to point out that in the vast majority of news reports, Rahm Emanuel is most often referred to as "senior White House adviser, who spoke on the condition of anonymity."

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