First we discover that White House correspondents play sudoku on the job (well, sort of…still haven’t found one that actually plays it on their Blackberry as reported). Now reporters are playing computer solitaire during Sam Alito’s hearings? Says Dana Milbank (from CNN’s Reliable Sources):
KURTZ: Dana Milbank, you were in that hearing room. Were your fellow reporters frustrated by the fact that the senators couldn’t pin Alito down on abortion and executive power and a number of these other issues, thus, depriving them the ability of writing clear-cut stories with dramatic leads?
MILBANK: Well, maybe. But I don’t think that that’s quite the emotion. Like, if the picture zoomed out a bit there and you saw what was going on at the table, first of all, you would see that three-quarters of the tables were empty after about two hours of this.
KURTZ: Reporters left the hearing? They couldn’t take it anymore?
MILBANK: They left. They were reading a newspaper. There’s computer solitaire going on.
Fortunately, we had some wi-fi there in the chamber. You would have seen me weeping. Forget about Mrs. Alito. It was dreadful. Gloria was two tables over. She was, I’m sure, beyond tears by the end of the…
KURTZ: But this is dereliction of duty. There was legal substance being discussed.
MILBANK: There was legal substance, but, as a matter of fact, I’m sure you could actually draw up an equation, every time you mention “due process” on the air you lose 5,000 viewers. Every time you mention “unitary theory,” the executive, 20,000 viewers click off. And the same thing with the newspapers. It’s not something that people can appreciate.
KURTZ: Well, I’m shocked about the computer solitaire.