September 29, 2004
First, we must acknowledge that the blogs have truly arrived. It is hard for journalists who have led a sheltered life without public accountability to acknowledge that those days are over. . . .
There’s then an acknowledgment that their “swing voter” wasn’t quite as swinging as advertised
“We should have known about his political contributions and we should have been tougher when we set out to do this story. We’ll ask him those questions on the air when he comes on the program this week.” Feeney adds that they quizzed Ridley intensively prior to the first interview. He was open about his previous voting record (he has voted for both parties) and that he is now a registered independent. The donations, it seems, never came up.
Part of the problem is describing Ridley as a “swing-voter” — a term that means someone who is waiting to be persuaded, according to NPR’s political editor, Ken Rudin. Ridley has made up his mind enough to give money to political causes in the past. Perhaps a more accurate term (Morning Edition’s gadfly? fence-sitter? wry observer?) might have been coined for the occasion.
UPDATE: Jim Geraghty is less impressed with NPR’s admission: “Ladies and gentleman, in the long and varied history of lame excuses and spin, this may just be the lamest.” You’ve got to walk before you can run, Jim.