The facts of the sequester, though critical, hardly make for spellbinding television. There’s controversy over the expected impact of the $85 billion in spending cuts, over who bears responsibility for them, over who needs to exercise leadership to avert them. Even the Bob Woodward ruckus can inject only so much color into the impasse.
To solve this problem, CNN retreats to a couple of staples of television news: 1) Chasing people with cameras and microphones always works; 2) So does getting a car door slammed on you. To make those things happen, CNN chief congressional correspondent Dana Bash catches lawmakers on their way out of town for the weekend, an exodus that, she reports, will guarantee that the budget cuts will kick in. “I go home every weekend to see my family,” reports Republican Rep. Tim Griffin of Arkansas.
The segment yields a helpful bit of media-handling advice for up-and-coming politicians: When approached by a team with a camera, stop and chat. Don’t rush past and bark.