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Policy Ratios

Kevin Drum said yesterday:

Of the three basic types of campaign coverage — horserace/process stories; “outrage of the day” hyperventilating; and actual policy coverage — I’d peg the blogosphere’s overall percentages at about 40/50/10. That’s probably better than Chris Matthews, but not that much better.

I think that’s the wrong way to look at it. I don’t think I wrote any posts yesterday covering substantive policy issues in the Democratic primary campaign because nothing new happened in terms of substantive policy issues. And so it goes. It’s hardly MSNBC’s fault that in the midst of an interesting primary campaign it has some days where its campaign coverage is all horse race — some days nothing happens except the horses go racing; after all the campaigns are long and you can’t release new policy ideas every day. The trouble is what the press does on the days when policy news does happen — the tendency is to cover the policy news as a kind of horse race story rather than doing some coverage of the policy question and accepting the reality that there’ll be plenty of days down the road when there’s nothing to cover but the horse race.

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