When bologna met grinder

Paul Mirengoff is too modest to post any of the many congratulatory messages we have received regarding his attempt to interview Senators Kennedy and Durbin this afternoon. All the kind words and congratulatory messages are appreciated. A few are too good to keep to ourselves. A propos of Senator Durbin’s promise to check out the Pajama Line, reader Philip Burstein writes:

The Pajama Line is the line I’m in
And I’m proud to be in the Pajama Line, I love it
I can hardly wait
To wake and get to work at eight
Nothing’s quite as fine as the Pajama Line!

Now how do I can’t get that blasted melody out of my head? Reader Jack Lifton writes:

Paul Mirengoff is actually just continuing what John Roberts and Samuel Alito started. If mediocre intellects like Dick Durbin, Ted Kennedy, and Joe Biden want to question sitting justices of the federal appellate courts (Roberts and Alito) or a former Chief Justice of a large state Supreme Court (Alberto Gonzales, Texas) with regard to their interpreting decisions of the United States Supreme Court on issues of Constitutional law, then it should be perfectly normal for the press to have members who are top- notch lawyers, such as Paul Mirengoff, to question the Senators.
Unfortunately up until the recent flowering of the blogosphere the mainstream press not only did not hire such luminaries, but it didn’t have the ability to select them. Mediocre intellects questioned mediocre intellects.
The blogosphere has raised the ante on professional reporting to a level undreamed of just a few years ago. This is the beginning of the end of intellectual duds winning high office. I cannot wait until persons with the abilities of Paul Mirengoff are posing questions to candidates this fall.
The first reaction of the MSM will be to try and close ranks. Watch for press passes to be very hard to obtain other than for “professionals” employed by MS news gathering organizations.
I beg you to start a campaign now to have the best of the blogosphere regularly go to Washington, DC, and question our elected representatives and attend their news conferences…

Glenn Reynolds quotes Mark Tapscott to similar effect:

A veteran Senate GOP staffer who requested anonymity offered this observation about the significance of the Durbin-Mirengoff exchange:
“The mainstream news media that covers Congress is tightly controlled by the House and Senate press galleries and they would never be so aggressive in pressing a Member of Congress. So this was big, it was unprecedented to have a blogger asking such questions. We need more bloggers up here asking questions because they aren’t controlled by the galleries.”
I agree, the more bloggers are covering Congress, the more likely it is that Members will be asked and, as Durbin discovered today, have to answer questions they never expect to hear from mainstream journalists.
It is exactly the kind of aggressive, don’t-let’em-off-the-hook questioning by Mirengoff that I have long lamented as being a thing of the past among establishment media journalists. They are either afraid to ask the tough questions, or they don’t know the tough questions.
So come on up to Capitol Hill, bloggers!

At NRO’s Media Blog, Stephen Spruiell writes:

Score one for Powerline’s Paul Mirengoff, who asked Sen. Dick Durbin some tough questions about the NSA hearings today. Durbin, as public figures sometimes do when they’re under pressure, tried to make Mirengoff’s credentials an issue…
The “who do you work for” defense isn’t going to work anymore, but my guess is that politicians will be using it more often as bloggers start doing original reporting and covering live events. Why? Because bloggers often come from the ranks of working professionals

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