Never use a five-dollar word when a fifty-cent one will do…except, maybe, when laboring to describe what it is that cable pundits do. From the LA Times’ James Rainey (while complaining about the quality of coverage of Candidates On Economic Crisis) :

Armed with these scraps of near-news, horse-race junkies…then launched new rounds of soulless palavering.

Rainey applauds Bloomberg News’s coverage (they examined the candidates’ relevant track records!) and offers simple advice to other reporters:

It’s not surprising the candidates are flummoxed by a meltdown like none we have seen in our lifetimes. But reporters need to keep boring in and asking what they would do, specifically, other than feeling really, really worried about the fate of Joe and Josephine Voter.

Why can’t Obama, for instance, say clearly whether he would support bailouts of AIG and Washington Mutual? It seems like the eloquent senator should be able to come up with a yes or no answer.

And can McCain please specify one type of regulation he would now favor? He’s demonstrated there are many he opposes.

Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.