If you, like me, are just catching up on Powerline’s Paul Mirengoff’s posing tough but very fair questions to Senators Kennedy and Durbin, take the time to go and read up on the background.
Now that you are back, here’s the key to understanding what Paul has done, and it isn’t just exposing Durbin as an insecure blowhard.
Paul has illuminated the fact that much of the D.C. press corps that allegedly dogs the heels of the powerful are either (1)tame or (2)lightweights.
There are members of the press in both categories, but more often than not, the lamesness of the questions put to the powerful is because the “reporter” is simply unprepared to ask hard, complicated questions and to be ready with follow-ups. Look at Paul’s questions: Do you think there are five reporters on the Hill who could have framed those questions? How much easier to ask: “Were you satsified with Attorney General Gonzales’ candor today, Senator” and leave it at that.
Durbin et al are not used to tough questions because they are accustomed to lightweight reporters.
It should be a badge of honor among Hill reporters if a Senator or Representative bristles at a question that, while put respectfully, obliges the elected to actually pause and think.
Would that every reporter pulled a Mirengoff on a daily basis.