As many of our readers have learned by reading coverage on the antics and constant spin doctoring coming out of the hallowed halls of the United States Congress, the truth is often up for interpretation. Even National Public Radio Andrea Seabrook can't handle it anymore. After working for 14 years as a congressional correspondent at NPR, Seabrook couldn't take it anymore. She wondered if there was some way to break through the rhetoric and get the truth that her listeners needed to know about the culture and clashes of Washington.
In an interview with Politico to promote a brand new endeavor, Seabrook has no nice words for lawmakers.
"I realized that there is a part of covering Congress, if you’re doing daily coverage, that is actually sort of colluding with the politicians themselves because so much of what I was doing was actually recording and playing what they say or repeating what they say," Seabrook told POLITICO. "And I feel like the real story of Congress right now is very much removed from any of that, from the sort of theater of the policy debate in Congress, and it has become such a complete theater that none of it is real. … I feel like I am, as a reporter in the Capitol, lied to every day, all day. There is so little genuine discussion going on with the reporters. … To me, as a reporter, everything is spin."
So what can one reporter do to get the truth out about nefarious legislation like SOPA, PIPA, and CISPA, while avoiding the half-truths and spin? She can start her own blog and podcast. Seabrook has done just that with DecodeDC. The site will feature her blog posts and podcasts that she hopes – can "decipher Washington’s Byzantine language and procedure, sweeping away what doesn’t matter so listeners can focus on what does."
Seabrook goes on to say that the media needs to stop coddling lawmakers, buying into the red state v. blue state narrative, and needs to start asking harder questions.
She hopes to cover stories that are going on in Washington that other reporters don't have time to cover, but she also emphasizes that she has no harsh words for her colleagues still covering the beat.
"There’s a lot of great work being done," said Seabrook. "I think the problem is the Congress itself. And we’re all in the same positions, scrambling to figure out how the hell to cover these a*sholes."