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The Reporters: US mid-terms

Justin Webb

The barmy army


Over lunch in Bullfeathers - a Capitol Hill favourite of impecunious interns and parsimonious correspondents - a fine chap who covers Congress for one of America's greatest newspapers told me the other day what these elections mean to him: misery.

dcskyline203.jpgYou see the kind of folks who care - really care - about the mid-terms this far out from the vote are barmy partisans who spend the whole day surfing the net looking for bias. They dissect my friend's copy and challenge every supposed deviation from total impartiality (of which they know nothing and everything) with lengthy rejoinders and demands for clarification.

All of it proof - my newspaper friend acknowledges gloomily - that this November 7th is a REALLY BIG DEAL. Sure a few conservative Republicans are licking their lips and looking forward to the exquisite pain of defeat, the better to prepare for the libertarian future, but most see a Democratic victory as just that, a Democratic victory. And they don't like those words.

From the Left the feelings are even more intense: this is after all the last chance they have to poke the eye of the president, metaphorically speaking, and a failure now would surely call into question their capabilities given all that has gone awry for this White House and for the Republicans generally.

Watch this space: it's going to get mighty rough, and we (the mainstream media as we are affectionately known) are in the firing line.

Justin Webb is the BBC's chief North America radio correspondent.

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 02:42 PM on 06 Oct 2006,
  • Karl Hopkins-Lutz wrote:

Republicans are trying to say that it is on the interests of political correctness that they avoided calling out Congressman Foley, to avoid "Gay Bashing." But in consideration of the fact that republicans have spent the last twenty years riding a platform of being against homosexuality, talking about a "Gay Agenda" to destroy any traditional parts of life.

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