THE 14th GRAF….Here is today’s winner of the crappy journalism award. It comes from the front page of the LA Times:

Retirement season hits GOP hard

This is crunchtime for members of Congress who must decide whether to seek reelection next year or leave office, and so far Republicans seem to be lunging for the exits. While 16 GOP lawmakers have decided to throw in the towel on their Capitol Hill careers, only two Democrats so far have called it quits — and they both are seeking higher office.

….”I don’t like being in the minority,” said Rep. Ray LaHood (R-Ill.), who was first elected in the 1994 GOP landslide and will retire after this term. “It’s not that much fun, and the prospects for the future don’t look that good.”

Wow! What a bunch of weenies. A couple of years in the minority and they’re all bailing out. But if you read past the jump and down to the 14th paragraph, you get this:

The fact that at this early stage, 11 House Republicans have announced retirement — and one is leaving the chamber to run for Senate — is not out of line with past years. What is more unusual is that almost all Democrats are staying put.

In other words, the headline, the lede, and the accompanying artwork are all deceptive. Nice triple play, guys.

The conventional narrative buzzing around Washington says that Republicans are retiring in droves. According to the Times, though, that isn’t true: retirement rates aren’t actually much different from the past. So why wasn’t that the lede? Or maybe the fact that Democrats are staying in higher numbers than usual. Isn’t the fact that the conventional narrative is wrong more interesting than a strained effort to pretend that it’s right?

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