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A Bad Week For The Politico

By Amanda Terkel  

"A Bad Week For The Politico"

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thepolitico.gif Politico’s Roger Simon covers Saturday’s CAPAF/SEIU presidential health care forum with the headline, “More Than You Wanted to Know About Health Care.” His lede:

Because you did not want to spend your Saturday sitting in a room for three hours listening to Democratic presidential candidates tell you how they are going to provide universal health care for America, Politico did it for you.

Simon may be bored by health care, but the American public isn’t (especially the 47 million who don’t have health insurance). A recent NBC/WSJ poll finds that Americans rank health care just below the war in Iraq as the “highest priority” for the federal government to address. Eighty percent believe it is an extremely or very important issue that Congress and the President need to deal with.

Simon’s insights top off what was a very bad week for the Politico. A round-up:

Politico (Tuesday): “Republican sources also disclosed that it is now a virtual certainty that Deputy Attorney General Paul J. McNulty, whose incomplete and inaccurate congressional testimony about the prosecutors helped precipitate the crisis, will also resign shortly.”

FACT: McNulty has not yet resigned.

Politico (Thursday): “John Edwards is suspending his campaign for President, and may drop out completely, because his wife has suffered a recurrence of the cancer that sickened her in 2004.”

FACT: “Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, seeking to overcome doubts he can stay focused while his wife undergoes treatment for an incurable cancer, said on Saturday he will campaign until the very end. ‘I’m definitely in the race for the duration,’ he said.”

Politico (Friday): “The Politico will be co-hosting a debate among the major Republican presidential candidates on May 3 in Simi Valley, Calif., where for the first time citizens will be able to submit real-time questions for the candidates via politico.com.” (Press Release)

FACT: On Saturday, March 24, citizens were able to submit real-time questions for the candidates via ThinkProgress.org.

White House senior adviser Karl Rove once speculated that Politico “would prompt regional papers to dismantle their Washington bureaus.” Reporting that’s wrong won’t have that effect.

To the people who brought us slow-bleed: We wish you better luck in your reporting this week.

UPDATE: Media Matters has more on Politico’s reporting problems.

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