Tuesday, June 7, 2011

What To Talk About When There's Nothing To Talk About

A conversation with a friend of mine helped me put a finger on just why it is that DC news coverage has felt like it's had zero redeeming social value of late. The basic problem of the current situation is that nothing is getting done, and nothing probably will get done, until at least the next election, if not longer. But reporters still have to fill the same number of column inches, and the same amount of air time, as they did when the much more energetic 111th Congress was actually trying to pass bills. So we spend about a week talking about the sexting habits of a New York Congressman who's not in the Democratic leadership, just to have something to talk about.

Obviously DC gossip stories were with us before, and they'll always be with us, but at the moment there's no meat-and-potatoes news to counterbalance the stuff that's bad for your health.

In this sort of legislative stalemate, I think it's worth thinking hard about what sort of newsgathering would lead to informative stories. Clearly we're not getting it today.
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