NBC Follows Comedic Code in Earmark Reporting

The earmarks story is a peculiar genre of journalism wherein you focus on how much government spending is directed to legislator-specified projects–generally without pointing out what a tiny fraction of total spending this is, or that without the earmarking this money would be spent anyway, on some project chosen by the executive branch. Then you rattle off a list of earmarked projects, often provided by a partisan source, which are generally chosen not for their inherent wastefulness but for their comedic potential. Thus NBC Nightly News' Kelly O'Donnell on December 14: Senator McCain's staff pointed to a few examples they […]