Saturday, December 10, 2011

Things (bad) newspapers do (part II)....

Run riveting political analysis such as this:

(Runoffs will decide final makeup of Houston City Council, Zain Shauk,
"The mayor has some real stake in this, of course," said Richard Murray, a political science professor at the University of Houston. "She had a fairly rocky two years, I thought, with council. So, the new council, will it be better for the mayor? Worse?"
Never mind that the Chronicle still can't get Richard Murray's identification correct (He's a Democratic analyst and party activist, not "just" a political science professor as they continually note) but that analysis should have been thrown back into the ocean like a small fish.

Not content to stop there, Houston Democratic political analyst (and bicyclist!) Bob Stein gets his chance to weigh in:
Although Jones often has voted with Parker, she "has never been an easy vote" and likely will become more aggressive in a third term, Rice University political science Professor Bob Stein said.

"She will be term limited," Stein said. "All the gloves will be off with Jolanda. She won't have to worry about appeasing stakeholders or interest groups."
Ummm, the thing with Jolanda has been (whether people have liked it or not) that the gloves were never ON with her.

The problem with over-relying on the same, reliably left-leaning, experts is that eventually, they just have nothing new to add. Curiously absent from almost any story on local politics are voices from Republican poli-sci professors. There are some in Houston, and you don't have to go too far to find them. (St. Thomas University for example) If wanted to include a variety of thought in its analysis it wouldn't be that hard to find. That they don't tells you a lot about the editorial influence over their reporting.

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