There's something to be said for a slightly irreverent, punchy writing style when it comes to reporting political developments in an online news venture. But is conjuring up the image of Ohio as flyover country a way to endear outside-the-Beltway readers to The Politico?

In "Flyover states lose another Republican," writers Josh Kraushaar and John Bresnahan see trouble for the GOP in the 2008 congressional races with the retirement of Rep. David Hobson.:


Check out these opening paragraphs, and guess who's being described.
Looking into [his] eyes is like falling into a swimming pool.

His eyes are deep and blue and comforting and, as person after person will tell you, when his eyes lock onto yours, you feel like you are the only other person in the world.

Margarida Perreira, 48 . . . can stand it no longer.

“Can I give you a kiss?” she asks him.

Leftist uber-funder George Soros's group America Coming Together has been slapped with a $775,000 fine by the Federal Election Commission - the third largest fine in FEC history, but really only a minor fine considering the crime.

According to the FEC, ACT used tens of millions of dollars of unregulated cash to boost Democratic candidates during the 2004 elections. The Politico reports that, according to the FEC, ACT raised $137 million for its get-out-the-vote effort in 17 states in the 2004 elections, but the FEC found most of that cash came through contributions that violated federal limits or were otherwise barred by campaign rules.

Besides big money from Soros, ACT also got a lot of money from the Service Employees International Union.

A liberal activist merely alleges that Fred Thompson's breaking the rules by campaigning as a candidate while claiming merely "testing the waters" status with the FEC and it makes the news. Now we have a liberal organization hit with the third largest fine in FEC history for illegally raising and spending tens of millions of dollars to influence an American election. And ACT isn't the only group Soros funded to try to influence the election.

So ... do you think this story will be on the national news today or tonight?


Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R) recently told an Illinois woman that while his grown sons have never served in the military, they are displaying their patriotism by campaigning heavily for their father's nomination for the presidency.


Updated. See below fold.

If you have trouble imagining the establishment media speaking at CPAC -- although I do remember a slick Tim Russert and a prickly Ted Koppel attending one at the invitation of Accuracy in Media ten years ago -- it's not as hard to imagine "objective" reporters at the second annual lefty-blogger Yearly Kos convention, this year in Chicago. Mike Allen of the Politico (formerly of Time), Matt Bai of the New York Times Magazine (formerly of Newsweek) and Time deputy Washington bureau chief Jay Carney will all be speaking at the Chicago event. At the Huffington Post, blogger Ari Melber explains he will be moderating a let's-kiss-and-make-up panel on Friday between the media and bloggers featuring Allen and Carney:

I'm moderating a panel that will pair bloggers Glenn Greenwald and Jill Filipovic with The Politico's Mike Allen and Time magazine's Jay Carney, to discuss whether media-blog relations can evolve towards more constructive interactions. We're calling it "Blogs and the MSM: From Clash to Civilization."

Bai will help moderate a "presidential leadership forum" on Saturday. The Kosmonaut hosts boasted:


There's nothing biased here, just some industry news. Politico and Media Bistro's fishbowlDC are reporting that it looks like NBC/MSNBC will be giving up their Capitol Hill cubby hole digs and moving most if not all of their DC bureau operation out to Nebraska. Avenue that is.


Clay Waters of Times Watch alerted me to a new item in the Shameless Hillary Department: Ben Smith at Politico.com reports Mother Teresa's missionaries have protested Hillary's use of a photograph of her waving next to Mother Teresa in a Hillary campaign video, in which the announcer said: "Hillary in effect, was the face of America, in Africa, in India..." The picture was used as the words "in India" were narrated.


Not that this is a competition or anything, but I think I've got Tim beat here.

At the very, very least, it's an odd juxtaposition:

A picture of a smiling Dr. Jack Kevorkian being released from prison, next to a tease of a Politico.com story about former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-Mass.) having a "quick mind and smooth delivery" but a "lack of warmth."

As Conan O'Brien might say, "a whaaaa?!"

Here's the screencap from CBSNews.com from shortly after 15:30 EDT:


Politico's Mike Allen gave readers a peek at excerpts of "The Reagan Diaries," set to hit bookstore shelves on Tuesday, May 22.

Well before the Media Research Center was conceived in 1987, the Gipper was watching the media's liberal biases and recording his "frustration with the press," Allen noted:


We’ve now finished the first two presidential debates, both on MSNBC. Pundits are debating whether they will make a difference in the race, but one thing is very clear: it’s business as usual for the media moderating these things. The Democrats were treated to an amiable chit-chat among friends. The Republicans took round after round of hostile fire from enemies. Nothing ever changes.


While being interviewed on Friday's “Today” show by Meredith Vieira, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews attempted to explain the rationale behind a bizarre question he posed to Republicans the night before at the debate he moderated.

Weighing in on Time's "Swampland" blog, journalist Joe Klein opined that the best question of last night's GOP primary debate was the infamous "What do you dislike most about America" question. Klein slammed the candidates' performances, but particularly picked on Romney, whom he mocked as overly optimistic: