Thursday, January 24, 2008
many people tell me the style is terrific, it is kinda different but let's get specific:
The two political journalists* you should be reading but might not be: Dave Weigel of Reason and Chris Hayes of The Nation. It occurred to me about an hour ago that I've never read a print/online piece from either of them that didn't impress me with the breadth of their reporting, the depth of their knowledge and the scope of their context. Here's Dave's latest, on a GOP Congressman named Paul Broun:
There are two reasons why Broun’s career is worth examining closely. The first is Broun himself. He compares himself happily to Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), the anti-war libertarian presidential candidate: Both men are physicians who carry pocket Constitutions and often find themselves on the losing side of congressional votes. (Broun likes Paul, but he doesn’t share Paul’s views on Iraq and won’t make a presidential endorsement.) The day he was sworn in, Broun joined just 13 other Republicans (and 150 Democrats) in supporting a bill to call off raids by the Drug Enforcement Administration on medical marijuana distributors. He was one of only four congressmen to oppose the Drug Endangered Children Act, which allocated $20 million to take care of children living among drugs and drug dealers, and one of three to vote against establishing a new registry to keep track of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (“Lou Gehrig’s disease”). ...

And that leads us to the second reason Broun’s career deserves our attention. His victory kicked off a season of angry voting.

And here's Chris, reporting from last week's Nevada caucus:

Three precincts were supposed to be caucusing in the cafeteria, but instead there was chaos. Confused crowds surrounded several large tables strewn with registration sheets and preference cards. A black woman named Violet Dorn sat at the middle table, festooned with Hillary stickers and lording over the official registration papers. Across the table, a black man in a white-collared shirt and suit with an Obama button stood berating her. "Stop telling people this table is only for Hillary!" he shouted. "You cannot do that!" A small wrestling match commenced over the paperwork. Then a white man approached. "What kind of politics is this?" he yelled. "Is this the politics of change?" His shirt featured a picture of Obama and the words He's Black and I'm Proud.

Meanwhile, the caucus attendees circled and paced, looking for some sign of order and finding none. Hobbling behind a walker, one woman explained that she'd come with fellow residents of a nearby senior citizen center looking to vote, but their names hadn't been on the rolls. (That shouldn't have stopped her, since the caucuses offered same-day registration.) Eventually she was allowed to caucus. Some people left; others just watched and steamed, frustrated and powerless. The confusion stretched on, twenty minutes, half an hour...

Plus Chris is from the Bronx. So I think you should refer to him as Chris Hayes, Chris-Chris Hayes.

* OK, "political journalist" gets on my nerves. Doesn't that mean a journalist who is political, rather than one who covers politics? Shouldn't the term be "politics journalist"? Sigh.

--Spencer Ackerman