VandeHei On D.C. Incest

Dan Froomkin points out Jim VandeHei‘s surprisingly candid (in places) chat yesterday about White House coverage. An interesting exchange about something that Andrea Mitchell mentioned too:

Question: There’s a belief that White House reporters are entirely too friendly with the people they cover–they hang out together, go to ball games together, send their children to the same schools, etc. To what extent is that true, and do you think it significantly affects the substance of new coverage?

Jim VandeHei: Washington is a small town. So I think a lot of reporters have friends in politics. You might think this would help get information, but it often does not. It usually leads to tension because no one seems to like what we write–at least some of the time. I have friends in politics, on both sides, and I don’t think it factors into my reportering at all.