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Lazy Beltway media infuriatingly blows debt limit “coverage”

For a few days now, Greg Sargent at the Washington Post has been warning that the political media -- either jaded or encumbered by professional conventions -- will mischaracterize the nature of the debt limit fight Republicans are trying to pick with Democrats.

Here, via Jonathan Chait, is an example that might land Sargent in the hospital with stroke-like symptoms.

"The negotiating technique that [Obama adviser Dan] Pfeiffer was describing, however, is by no means novel," writes Time Magazine reporter Zeke Miller. "Hostage taking—by promising harm if you do not get your way—has long been a standard way of doing business in Washington. At the beginning of the year, President Obama said he would allow taxes on all Americans to go up when previous tax cuts expired if Republicans did not permit some increase in taxes on the wealthy. Republicans eventually agreed to a tax increases, since they did not want to be blamed for a broad tax increase. This summer, Senate Majority Harry Reid threatened to undo generations of Senate precedent by unilaterally rewriting the rules if President Obama’s nominees were not confirmed. Senate Republicans ultimately agreed to confirm most of the nominees, since they wanted to preserve the rules under which the Senate operates."

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