The WSJ told readers that: "in the hopes of gaining a high-paid lobbying position after leaving the Senate, six senators including Mr. Durbin are negotiating a deficit-reduction framework." The piece then went on to explain another deficit hawk who recently left the Senate, former Indiana Senator Evan Bayh, just took a job with a major Washington lobbying firm.

Actually, this is not quite what the WSJ told readers. The paper said:

"responding to public unease about the country's fiscal standing, six senators including Mr. Durbin are negotiating a deficit-reduction framework. They are betting that worries about federal red ink—expected to exceed $1.6 trillion this fiscal year—will put once-untouchable factors, such as entitlement spending and tax increases, into the mix."

Of course the WSJ has no idea what motivates these senators. Are they really responding to public unease about the deficit? How come they aren't responding to public unease about 9.0 percent unemployment? Can the WSJ assure readers that these six senators have not at all considered their career prospects after leaving the Senate and that this is not a factor in their actions?

Since reporters do not know the real motives of politicians, good reporters do not ascribe motives. They report what people say and what they do, they let readers figure out motives for themselves.

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