While screedy leftwing dinosaurs like Helen Thomas continue to prowl the halls of power in Washington, bloggers such as Power Line’s Paul Mirengoff, pinch-hitting for Pajamas Media, are shaking things up:
A veteran Senate GOP staffer who requested anonymity offered this observation about the significance of the Durbin-Mirengoff exchange:
“The mainstream news media that covers Congress is tightly controlled by the House and Senate press galleries and they would never be so aggressive in pressing a Member of Congress. So this was big, it was unprecedented to have a blogger asking such questions. We need more bloggers up here asking questions because they aren’t controlled by the galleries.”
I agree, the more bloggers are covering Congress, the more likely it is that Members will be asked and, as Durbin discovered today, have to answer questions they never expect to hear from mainstream journalists.
It is exactly the kind of aggressive, don’t-let’em-off-the-hook questioning by Mirengoff that I have long lamented as being a thing of the past among establishment media journalists. They are either afraid to ask the tough questions, or they don’t know the tough questions.
So come on up to Capitol Hill, bloggers!
It occurs to me that in all the years that Ted Kennedy and Dick Durbin have stood before microphones on Capitol Hill, answering questions posed by the Washington press corps, they might never have had to answer a question asked by someone who wasn’t a fellow Democrat. This may, indeed, have been a watershed moment.
Naturally Durbin attempted to deflect the question with a “where are you from”-style question, which (as we’ve noted before) is rather silly these days: given how rapidly news disseminates, where it starts off is much less important than its actual content.