To the editors.
The news that Jon Margolis, the Tribune's political correspondent, will be moving to sports after the election should come as no surprise. (Hot Type, July 1.) Margolis's cynical, smart-ass style has always seemed more suited to covering the fortunes of the Cubs and Sox than the future of the world.
But the move may hint at a deeper problem with political coverage in the U.S.: perhaps most political reporters would really rather be sports columnists. That would explain why they cover politics almost entirely as sport: who's ahead, who's behind, and who made an error, with tracking polls replacing box scores. Issues have no more a role in their coverage of politics than does sportsmanship in most sports coverage. What counts is making a dazzling play and winning.
I wish Margolis well at Comiskey and Wrigley. And I hope the Tribune can find someone who really wants to cover politics to replace him.