Washington DC’s Missing Men

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.


Norm Ornstein and Thomas Mann are the most quoted men in Washington. They have been for years. A couple of weeks ago they released a new book, and normally this would mean plenty of Sunday chat show bookings. But this book wasn’t the usual pox-on-both-your-houses tome. Instead, they came right out and said it: Republicans are the big problem in American politics right now. Bob Somerby thinks this has gotten them on the wrong side of the Sunday bookers:

But now, the pair of scholars are missing—and no one is saying a word about it! Yesterday, for the third straight week since that book appeared, Ornstein failed to turn up on a Sunday news program. Mann was missing too. No one asked them about their book—the book which says that our current decline is the fault of only one party.

For decades, they were the most-quoted experts in Washington. Now, the Sunday programs can’t find them! Bob Schieffer can’t locate his trusted old friends. David Gregory is mystified too!

I really don’t know if there’s anything to this. But it’s certainly a provocative observation. Where are Mann and Ornstein?

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.