Political Journalism or Pro Wrestling Commentary
by Matt Stoller, Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 01:52:18 PM EST
I've been picking on The Hotline quite a bit recently, mostly because I love their Hotline on Call blog. One thing I don't like is the focus on horserace journalism at the expense of clarity. For instance, there's this post by Reid Wilson:
During today's Sen Rules Cmte markup of Cmte chair Trent Lott's (R-MS) lobbying overhaul bill, Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) may have helped his re-election chances while not irritating his colleagues too much.
Santorum offered four amendments to the bill, reports CongressDailyPM. Amendments to require senators to disclose with whom they are negotiating future employment deals and to restrict family members of senators from lobbying their relatives passed, but two amendments that would have given the bill some serious teeth -- measures to extend the lobbying moratorium from one year to two years and to require disclosure of flights taken on corporate jets, as well as sharing a portion of the costs of those flights -- failed by voice votes.
Santorum's effort is smart politics. With the current less-than-stellar reputation of lobbyists in DC and a minor buzz about the ethics surrounding both Santorum's and Bob Casey's (D) mortgages, being able to brag about his efforts at "real" lobbying reform in a debate -- even if the Senate fails to act on any of his amendments -- will put some much-needed distance between him and the troubled GOP caucus in DC.
Reid Wilson, are you commentator for pro wrestling or are you a political journalist? Because pro wrestling commenters create drama around meaningless posturing, whereas political journalists explain context, history, and substance. And I can't tell which of these you are doing here.
I guess it's just a blog post. Still though...