Oh, the stupid– it hurts!!
March 1, 2010 Leave a comment
I like to argue in my Intro to American Government class is that one of the major problems in American journalism is flat-out laziness, i.e., avoiding the hard-work of actually understanding issues and instead relying on a facile "he said, she said" approach that does almost nothing to enlighten readers. To go along with that, though, sometimes it's just flat out stupidity. Jon Chait highlights this exchange about budget Reconciliation on Meet the Press with Senator Kent Conrad and shows that neither Bob Schieffer or The Politico possesses the requisite intelligence to understand what Conrad is talking about. And it's not that complicated. The Senate already approved a bill! Any vote now is simply to amend purely budgetary aspects of that earlier vote and would only require 51 votes through reconciliation. Not exactly rocket science. Chait, as always, is eminently quotable:
Look, it would be okay for reporters and pundits to be obsessed with
what legislative method is employed to pass health care reform if they
boned up on the issue. Alternatively, it would be okay for them not to
understand it at all if they deemed it an irrelevant issue. (Which, in
my opinion, it is.) But obsessed and ignorant makes for a bad combination.
And, if I hadn't made it clear before, the Politico is evil and stupid. Essentially the epitome of everything that is wrong with political journalism.