Archive for February 28th, 2010

“Welcome to Washington.”

Feb 28, 2010 in Journamalism

Steve Benen delivers a perfect anecdote describing Paul Krugman’s frustration on as the other guests prattled on about D.C. gossip for most of the show.

Look, I realize that not every discussion on a show like this is going to be substantive, sophisticated, and policy focused. Not every post I write for this site is going to highlight critically important issues, either. There’s nothing wrong with including heavier and lighter subjects in the same public affairs forum.

But this panel discussion covered exactly four subjects this morning: health care reform, Charlie Rangel’s ethics problem, David Paterson’s latest troubles, and the fate of the former White House social secretary (and where she’s from, what her clothes looked like, what her next job is likely to be, etc.), which hardly seems relevant to anyone who doesn’t actually attend social events at the White House.

In this same discussion, there was nothing about the jobs bill that passed the Senate this week, nothing about the incredibly important Zazi guilty plea this week (and the fact that it makes Republican talking points look ridiculous), nothing about Jim Bunning single-handedly delaying unemployment insurance for those who need it.

You know, at least with Huffington Post and the rest of the internet, you have so many stories to print and endless pages on which to print them. On televised politics shows meant to bring the talk of the capital to American living rooms, the three or four topics that get talked about in an hour take up a lot of broadcasting real estate. Devoting it to cocktail circuit irrelevancies does Americans interested in good government a disservice.