The piece, which includes a number of comments from disheartened family members of those killed in the mines, is a great no-holds-barred bit of follow-up that targets not only donors and receivers but also President Obama. The reporters lead with the speech he gave following the Upper Big Ranch explosion, and its promises that something has to change, before itemizing the ways and reasons that nothing has. This kind of sharp, critical, well-researched revisiting is something we don’t see enough of in the quick-churn news cycle. And three cheers to the Times’s Washington bureau for seizing on this issue when it is somehow both timely and seemingly forgotten.

Also worth checking out: the report is accompanied by a revealing, and downloadable, database showing how representatives voted on the bill and how much money they received from the mining industry in 2009-2010.


Joel Meares is a former CJR assistant editor.