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Scritti Politti: January 29, 2009

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We posted earlier on this interesting finding by Think Progress, which found that in the discussion over the economic stimulus package, the cable news networks allowed GOP lawmakers to outnumber their Democratic colleagues by a two-to-one margin. How's this for a curiosity? The Fox News Channel did the best job of anyone in balancing the opposition. Naturally, that's a pretty surface-level observation that doesn't necessarily speak to the quality of each sides contribution to the debate, or how well one side was received over the other. MSNBC, on the other hand, seems to have gone out of their way to let on any conservative who wanted to to get in their licks. But again, this is a pretty surface-level observation.

That said, Matt Yglesias neatly reiterates the standard Rule of Engagement, where booking decisions are concerned:

When the GOP is in power, it's important to have more Republican guests because they're the influential newsmakers. And when the GOP is out of power, it's important to have more Republican guests to provide an alternative point-of-view to that presented by the powers that be.

If you've got data points that disprove this contention, let us know!

Story Worth Noting: CJR's Ryan Chittum flags this piece by the Wall Street Journal's Ben Casselman, that follows the chain reaction that a single job layoff can cause in a local economy. Rightly so! Typically, this is the sort of thing that ends up getting theorized about, but Casselman does a really excellent job of tracking through the various causes and effects and putting a human face on the downturn without being mawkish.

Revenge Is A Dish Best Served Etymologically: What Dan Savage once did for Rick Santorum, he now does for Rick Warren's Saddleback Church.

Fear And Loathing From The Ivory Tower: Ava Thompson Greenwell of the Medill School of Journalism goes all "j'accuse" on journos who failed to cover the Epic Inauguration Charlie Foxtrot: "On inauguration day most reporters covered the comfortable and forgot about the afflicted." Well, we gave the afflicted a chance to speak, anyway.

Rick Sanchez Overshares: Thanks to Twitter, CNN managed to TOTALLY NAIL that story of Rick Sanchez's knee surgery.

Just because I can: It has nothing to do with media, or politics, but to give readers some modicum of pure delight, here's the incredibly true story of a rampaging dog, a mislaid pork roast, and the hilarious intra-marital debate it touched off, from two of my favorite bloggers in the world. I think that enjoyment is important, for everyone.