James Fallows at the Atlantic points out a disturbing trend in journalism – referring to 60 as the number of votes to pass something in the Senate as opposed to 50. While it seems a bit petty, the filibuster has become so routine that news outlets frequently fail to even mention it when a bill is held up based on the filibuster:
You would assume from the headline above that 56 voted against and 42 voted for the bill – when in fact, the bill got 56 “Yay”‘s and was only defeated because of a Democratic filibuster. The headline above obscures the fact that the Bill could actually pass the Senate, if not for a few Democrat hold-outs and the use of the filibuster. I’ve not been a fan of the now-routine use of the filibuster on the Senate floor, particularly as it pertains to the appointment of nominees. The press needs to report these things accurately, even though doing so would take a few more words.