The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Friday, April 15, 2005

The 'death tax' needs knowledgable reporters

The average political journo knows nothing worth knowing about almost everything. His stock-in-trade is gossip, who's up/who's down, the usual bollocks.

Troublingly, the pols he's gossipping about take decisions and make laws that give rise to technical considerations - none of which he is capable of comprehending. The typical he said, she said mode of coverage serves an additional purpose in such cases: to mask the journo's ignorance of the subject-matter.

CJR Daily supplies an example: the repeal of the estate tax, extended by the Paris Hilton Act (HR 8), brings unpleasant - unforeseen? - consequences for many more estates than benefit from the repeal.

The piece explains, and links to an article by a specialist that explains in greater depth.

It looks like a dreadful piece of lawmaking: but you need to get into some technical detail in order to make the point clear.

The get-out is to say, The reader won't understand. My guess - the understanding problem is with the journalist - and, let's never forget them - his editors.

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