I've been blogging for about 5 years now. The reason? I couldn't find a media that satisfied my progressive thirst... I couldn't count on Tim Russert, Chris Matthews, Dana Bash, Monica Crowley, or Wolf Blitzer, et al. to ask the questions I wanted answers to. They can't remember what the world looks like from my perspective; they are too busy donning black ties and evening gowns and yukking it up with the ruling class they are supposed to be covering.
So... When George Allen called a kid "macaca," none of them ever thought to ask, "Well... what other ethnic slurs have you used?" And, "What about the confederate flag and noose you kept in your office?"
As they allowed Allen to spin and spin (it was the kid's haircut... it was Allen's nickname for the kid... he made the word up... he had a niece named 'maca maca'), I steamed. Couldn't one of them ask a question about Allen's history of, at a minimum, racial insensitivity?
That's when I decided to become my own media.
I attended an Allen event and asked the questions that were on my mind.
"Have you ever used the word n*****?"
Allen: "What? No!"
Me: "Never in your life"
Allen: "No... No..."
Me: "Why did you keep a Confederate Flag and noose in your office?"
Allen: "Let me get back to you."
At that point, Allen's staff flipped out and asked the hotel management to have me removed.
A few weeks later, just before the Mark Foley scandal broke in late October of 2006, the press swarmed on a Salon story in which several witness came forward to say that Allen had been a frequent user of the racial slur.
Anyway, I tell that story because it encapsulates the idea behind my latest project, StarkReports.com. Back then I had just begun law school. I graduated last May and decided that before I start a career writing briefs and motions, I want to give reporting a try. If the media won't serve me, I'll be the media.
With that in mind, I thought you all may be interested in my latest mini-project. As you know, the country has been debating health care for about 50 years now. It's taken on extraordinary intensity over the last 20 weeks or so. By now, the contours of the debate are pretty sharply defined. Both the House and the Senate have bills and all of the big names have had an opportunity to weigh in. We've heard from Pharma, the Chamber of Commerce, AHIP, Humana, Blue Cross, Kaiser and the rest of the usual suspects. With all that corporate cash floating around, I thought it would be interesting to see how much some of the most virulent opponents of health care reform knew about the people they are supposed to be representing.
I came up with two simple questions:
1) How many people from your state (district) have been forced into bankruptcy by medical expenses?
2) How many of your constituents are uninsured?
(When you are done here, come on over to StarkReports.com, set a bookmark and check back for more news as it breaks...)