Brownstein discloses

At the end of yesterday's column on the Senate filibuster compromise, L.A. Times political correspondent Ron Brownstein alerts readers that his new wife recently became the spokeswoman for Sen. John McCain. She had been a producer at CNN.

My wife recently took a job as an aide to Sen. John McCain [R-Ariz.], one of the judicial deal's architects. Marriages that span the divide between the media and politics are common in Washington. They require both parties to draw a firm line between their personal attachments and professional responsibilities. I do not intend to treat McCain any differently as a result of my marriage, and my wife does not expect favored treatment for her boss. I certainly don't expect any special treatment from McCain or his aides. Readers, of course, will have to make their own judgments, but I am confident that her new job will not affect my judgments, pro and con, about McCain and his initiatives.

Blogger Brendan Nyhan claims credit for prompting the disclosure; here's my May 16 post a week after the Brownsteins were married. Times basher Hugh Hewitt gives Brownstein points for transparency, but asks "how in the world are we supposed to believe that employment by a significant Washington player and probable presidential candidate of a spouse of a reporter who covers Washington players and probable presidential candidates won't affect Brownstein's judgments? Would a paper allow the wife of an Enron executive to continue reporting on the Enron scandal? Would the son of an NBA owner be allowed to cover his father's franchise?"

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