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A longtime Washington editor who deals with Capitol Hill regularly also said this is not the norm: “”I have never heard of a reporter briefing staffers. It’s supposed to be the other way around. This arrangement seems highly unusual.”
Klein’s speech to high-level Democratic aides was in the Capitol, closed door and off the record.
Briefings for journalists covering Capitol Hill are usually the reverse of what transpired here. Lawmakers brief reporters. Aides brief reporters. Think tanks brief reporters. Think tanks brief aides. But reporters briefing aides? This is unheard of.
From JournoList to activist, it appears that WaPo‘s liberal blogger Ezra Klein is once again blurring the lines between being a journalist and trying to sway politics. In what appears to be at a minimum a breach of journalism ethics, Klein spoke to a group of Senate Democratic Chiefs of Staff last Friday about the Supercommittee, just days before the Committee announced its failing. “It was kind of weird,” said a longtime Senate Democratic aide, explaining that while people “enjoyed it” and gave it “positive reviews” this sort of thing is far from typical.