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August 19, 2013

Top Headline Comments 8-19-13

Happy Monday.

To pick up a topic we discussed at length in our latest podcast, I know I was dubious about the premise that GOP congressmen shouldn't be dodging awkward town halls, but upon further consideration over the weekend, I don't think I was dubious enough.

As I wrote at the time, the NYTimes rounded up disgruntled conservative activists and asked them how they felt about congressmen foregoing town hall meetings. It was the Times, so of course, I tended to assume this wasn't getting coverage out of the paper's concern for the GOP. But my skepticism didn't quite go far enough, and now I'm thinking that we were completely had.

We bought a false premise hook, line, and sinker. I have no reason in particular to believe the Times' claim that GOP congressmen are dodging town halls. The NYTimes piece named three and implied that there were more. But, check this Roll Call tally. Plenty of town halls seem to be going on for Republicans and only one Democratic rep managed to crack the top 10. Where was the NYTimes article wondering about Democrats' lack of town halls?

Implicitly, we already knew this, right? I mean, I mentioned the two reps that were getting uncomfortable coverage because of the birthers that showed up for their town halls. Here's another one trying to navigate an answer to a little girl who says her father's going to be deported.

As often as certain folks like to remind me not to buy into media spin -- actually, they frequently tell me not to even link to mainstream media websites -- these same folks were certainly eager to buy this particular claim.

Oh, one bit of non-politics news (if there is such a thing) that deserves highlighting this morning is a scientific breakthrough that allows plants to fix nitrogen from the air, not just obtain it from the soil. A very big deal.

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 06:53 AM

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