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Thursday, August 16, 2007
(10:20 AM) | Stephen:
How To Be A Journalist

Ezra interviewed Bill Richardson recently, and he's got the transcript and a short article about it up now.

I'd like to think that I could add some insightful commentary, but Ezra - as usual - covers all the bases. This, however, is worth highlighting (from the transcript):

You said something there that I've heard you say before, that I've always wanted to ask you about -- you said you're a pro-growth Democrat. Can you name some anti-growth Democrats for me?

No, I'm not going to do that. But I know some.

But you use that term frequently, and I'm always curious what you're actually contrasting yourself to. What part of the party, or what strain of economic thinking, do you count as anti-growth?

I'm not going to specify. I just believe that it's important that we not preclude options to incentive the economy in the right way -- to give tax cuts to the middle class, to give incentives to renewable energy companies to make them grow. I'm not for the Bush tax cuts, I'm not for the 2 percent.

These are the questions that hardly anyone asks. In fact, besides Ezra himself, I'm not aware of a journalist asking any politician to simply explain what they mean by what they say. Most of the time we're just given their words: "Richardson, a self-described "pro-growth Democrat," said in an interview with Writey McWriterson today that Democrats should be pro-growth." And that's the end of it, with no question about just what he means.

Imagine the difference in our national discourse if journalists actually took it upon themselves to ask questions of these people instead of merely repeating what they say. Here's hoping and praying that Ezra is but the vanguard of a new, and much better, class of journalist.

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