Congresswoman Jane Harman of California called as the debate was taking place. "Look, I would love to have cast a vote against Bush on this," she told me.Huh. Is it true that politicians routinely speak in the past tense in situations like this? This makes sense (and I've done it myself) if you're taping a radio show that won't air for a while, which makes the time context unclear to the audience. But in news articles that's not really true. The time context is usually obvious.
....And then Harman changed her position. After we spoke, she voted against the funding. The next day, I was blasted by a number of left-wing bloggers: Klein screwed up! I had quoted Harman in the past tense common usage for politicians who know their words will appear after a vote takes place. That was sloppy and... suspicious! Proof that you just can't trust the mainstream media.
Anyway, I've never heard this before, so it's an interesting tidbit to know. Do all politicians do this? For print and broadcast, or just print? Or what? Inquiring minds want to know.