Whether it's deliberate obfuscation or just plain laziness is up for debate, but the media have a penchant for misleading news consumers with the meme that Blue Dog Democrats are politically "conservative." While the Blue Dog caucus is decidedly more moderate than Democrats as a whole -- you could individual members are "conservative for a Democrat" -- they rarely if ever qualify as conservatives when you look at the entirety of their voting records.
Update (15:20 EDT): Fargo, N.D.-based radio host friend of NewsBusters Rob Port takes on this Newsweek item on his Say Anything blog today and eviscerates David Graham's article as error-laden and grossly misleading.
"Can one Blue Dog’s unorthodox ad strategy localize his election and head off the demise of another incumbent?" asked the subheadline.
Of course, both the moderate and Blue Dog tags bring to mind a Democrat that perhaps agrees with the liberal leadership of his party about half of the time, but is fairly independent and conservative-minded on a whole host of issues. Trouble is, this is precisely what Pomeroy is not, according to both the liberal Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) and the American Conservative Union (ACU).
Very often criticism of journalists is actually criticism of journalism. Effective investigative reporting entails asking the tough questions and demanding answers. Powerful Democrats, including White House officials, have derided Fox News for this reason. But even conservative bloggers are not immune to the "extension of the opposition" charge for simply asking the tough questions.
Late last month Congressman Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., held a conference call on the administration's reform efforts. Pomeroy reiterated his support for the House health care bill. Rob Port, of the center-right blog SayAnythingBlog.com, asked a question during the Q and A period, in which he displayed open skepticism that the "public option" would increase consumer choice in the health care market (audio and transcript below the fold).
Congressman Earl Pomeroy (photo) of North Dakota, a supposed Blue Dog Democrat fiscal hawk, demonstrated his peculiar brand of "hawkishness" this week when he quickly announced his support of Nancy Pelosi's health care bill. Perhaps worried about the appearance of his less than stellar reputation on fiscal responsibility, Pomeroy issued this invitation to the North Dakota media:
** MEDIA ADVISORY **
Pomeroy to Hold Press Conference Call on House Health Care Reform Bill
Washington, DC - Congressman Earl Pomeroy will hold a press availability in Grand Forks and then a press conference call for media statewide this afternoon to discuss the details of the health care reform bill that was unveiled yesterday. All media are invited to participate. WHO: Congressman Earl Pomeroy
WHAT: Press availability and conference call on House health care reform bill