Having a business owner make this crucial point was an effective technique. Sinclair’s comments were more engaging than having a policy wonk raise the same concern, which is what too many news outlets have done. Businessmen on Main Street have a huge stake in the outcome of the legislation. We will be watching for more installments in The Gazette’s series, and continue to urge the press to tell how the legislation will affect not only Main Street businesses, but everyone else in town. Remember Long’s observation: “The public doesn’t know anything.”

Trudy Lieberman is a fellow at the Center for Advancing Health and a longtime contributing editor to the Columbia Journalism Review. She is the lead writer for The Second Opinion, CJR’s healthcare desk, which is part of our United States Project on the coverage of politics and policy. Follow her on Twitter @Trudy_Lieberman.