Understanding HCR and Reconciliation: Not So Difficult

It might not be the most charitable reading of the situation, but I’m starting to think that it’s impossible to understand how so much political news could be so badly misreported unless you just taken as a given that large swaths of the DC media apparatus are not very smart. Case in point, Bob Schieffer and Mike Allen getting horrendously confused over a relatively straightforward plan for passing health care reform. Despite having it explained to them multiple times.

To be clear, I don’t think that Schieffer and Allen are naturally dumb. This is a different kind of stupid, which I’m not sure is all that better. In the above link, Chait links to Allen writing:

When Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) made this confusing argument last week on “Face the Nation,” we weren’t sure he was being deliberately disingenuous. It was, in fact, spin. Now, he’s made the same case in a similarly obtuse WashPost op-ed, “Reconciliation is not an option for health-care reform.” Don’t misread it: It’s an Alice-in-Wonderland argument FOR the use of reconciliation as part of the recipe for getting comprehensive health reform to the president’s desk

Maybe if Allen took two minutes to think hard about Kent Conrad’s explanation, he would get it. But we’ll never know, because the Politico chief political correspondent has so little evident interest in the subject he’s getting paid the big bucks to cover that he can’t be bothered to evince the slightest shred of intellectual curiosity. He’s like the kid in geography class who’s too cool to learn the capital of his own home state.

For all the talk about how endangered journalism is, the biggest threat it faces usually goes unacknowledged: there are simply too many influential journalists who lack the basic curiosity, integrity and writing ability that their profession is supposed to require. And they can kvetch about Daily Kos all they want, but that’s a self-inflicted wound.

One Response

  1. […] take a page from Ned Resnikoff, I think it will serve me well if I just assume that large swaths of the DC media apparatus are […]

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