By Mark Brown for BrowardBeat.com, Special to EyesOnNews.com, Nov 24, 2014 – Polls consistently show that most Americans dislike Congress, but they think their own Member of Congress is doing a good job. How do we account for this disparity? Surely the primary reason is the power of incumbency, and the many advantages it gives sitting Members in elevating their profiles around their districts.
But there are other reasons as well. One of them is that most Members of Congress receive very little independent, hard news coverage in their home-town media. Here in South Florida, it’s difficult for me to find out how our area Congressmen are voting, or to get a detailed explanation of where they stand on the issues, just by reading the local newspapers or watching television. There is not a lot of news coverage to begin with, and the few stories we do get tend to focus more on politics than policy. It’s little wonder that people have a higher opinion of their own Representatives than Congress in general when they don’t really know that much about them.
Press coverage of Congress wasn’t always this soft. In the 1970′s, I was a reporter for the Griffin-Larrabee News Bureau in Washington, D.C. We provided Washington coverage for 26 small and mid-size newspapers across the country. We carved out a niche by reporting primarily on regional issues and events which were not being covered by the mainstream national media.
(Mark Brown is a town commissioner in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea. He was a Washington correspondent for a chain of newspapers before working 26 years in Congress. Here is his bio. )