The Baseball Test

Brad DeLong is a fan:

A reporter should not be assigned to cover subject X unless he has as good an understanding of X as a baseball writer is expected to have of baseball.

I'm certainly sympathetic to the notion of demanding greater expertise from reporters - even if it would mean putting the folks at Get Religion out of work - but alas, applying the baseball test might not carry us quite so far as one might think. The sports blogosphere may be slightly ahead of the political blogosphere in providing alternatives to lousy, lazy MSM reporting and commentary, but overall the pattern in both realms is similar - scads of bad professional journalists, and hordes of bloggers who love to ask, DeLong-style, "why oh why can't we have better baseball writers?"

Alex Massie has the gory details.