Immigration, Financial, and Climate Reform: The Rock-Paper-Scissors of Politics

In today's Wilshire & Washington, we are joined by our special guest host for the month of May, Megan Carpentier, who will be filling in for Maegan Carberry. Carpentier is a well-read freelance writer whose work appears at, The Guardian,, the Women's Media Center and The Gloss, among other places. She was most recently the editor of news and politics at Air America, and remains the only person she knows to have earned bylines simultaneously at Us Weekly and on Foreign Policy. (Follow her on twitter at @megancarpentier.

Today's show starts off mulling the question that is flabbergasting Washington: What comes first? Immigration reform, financial reform, or a climate change bill? President Obama wants to get it all done, and right now, financial reform appears in the lead, but current events have pushed immigration (thanks, Arizona!) and climate change (a little impending oil disaster in New Orleans) back into the national spotlight. The Republican point of view on most of these issues is pretty simple: no way, or let's do something else. What is the best focus for the Democrats before the 2010 midterm elections? Do the Democrats really want to pick up a huge controversial issue at this point, when it took them over a year to pass health care reform?

Charlie Crist's announcement that he's going to run for the Senate seat in Florida as an independent has thrown a bit of a monkey wrench into prognosticators' plans for 2010. Will Crist siphon off a bunch of Democratic and Republican voters, a-la Joe Lieberman in Connecticut? Do voters have any negative feelings toward politicians who switch parties so brazenly? (Arlen Specter's switched parties twice!)

Finally, we talk the iPhone 4G story and the new trend of "checkbook journalism." With Gawker Media paying for this scoop, is this really as big as a threat to old school journalism? Is it any different when TMZ pays the paparazzi to follow celebs? Isn't this a pretty accepted practice in television journalism, like with the Salahis? At least Gawker is transparent about its checkbook journalism, like when Jezebel purchased an un-photoshopped photo of Faith Hill. Isn't the real problem transparency of these payments then, and isn't Gawker on the right side of this debate?

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Wilshire & Washington, the weekly Blog Talk Radio program that explores the intersection of politics, entertainment, and new media, features co-hosts Ted Johnson, Managing Editor of Variety; and bloggers Teresa Valdez Klein ( and Maegan Carberry ( The show airs every Friday at 7:00am PST on