Lott accuses Daschle of being irresponsible Here’s a non-news item in which the “news” peg is the drama of Lott’s accusation. There is little in this story to suggest what policies the two major parties are pursuing and how those policies might affect citizens. But, in a moment of tearing back the veil, the reporter writes:
Mr. Lott’s broadside at Mr. Daschle and the Democrats was intended to get Republicans back on offense in the midterm elections where a net gain or loss of one seat could decide which party will control the Senate for the next two years.
Yes, that’s the political tactic. By calling such overt attention to it the reporter emphasizes the fact that this situation is completely manufactured by Lott to manipulate public opinion without dealing in the merits of policy (Democrats do the same thing; Lott is reacting to Daschle). Certainly, the 1-seat margin is important to the future power structure of the Senate. But in this article, the margin acts a mere dramatic backdrop, an unexplained circumstance that’s assumed to be important. Why is it important which party controls the Senate? Hmmmm…don’t mistake that for a stupid question. My emphasis is on citizens. Re-phrase it this way: What difference does it make to (insert constituency) which party controls the Senate? What would happen if the reporter covered the story with this question in mind?