Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Meals, races and a question

OK, so I had breakfast with Nader, lunch with Rumsfeld and free taco dinner at the National Press Club last week. But this week hasn't been so full of celebrity and free meals, and instead I've been chasing the same story down dead ends and dark alleys. The New York Times beat me to the story today on their front page, which is never good news. Someone told me, "If you're in a position to be scooped by the Times, that's great."
Im not sure if it's great, but it's Washington journalism. We look at the same datebook and run with it in a race to see who gets to the story first.

Today I went to a seminar at the Federal Election Commission and learned how to use its resources to check campaign contribution information. The most interesting part of the seminar was when we were shown a list of contributors in this year's presidential election -- beginning with the primary -- who listed "journalist" as their occupation. Of the 13 pages, 12.5 contributed to the Kerry campaign; 10 individuals made contributions to Bush. Any thoughts on whether journalists, in their off time, should be so politically active as to make campaign contributions that can be accessed as public information by a public that trusts them to be unbiased?

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