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Anxiety 101:  If you’re a reporter, and you have a story that might put fire to sleep – there are tricks that can be used in order to spice up your piece. [Journalistic integrity]

Each journalist uses different techniques – some fair, others not so much.  In the case of a Roll Call piece that ran today, we’ll let you decide if reporter John Stanton took “out of context” liberties in an attempt to spice his piece. [$ubscription]

From the Politico’s Huddle:

COORDINATED ATTACK: Roll Call’s John Stanton sees Republicans in the House and the Senate making some gains by synchronizing their messages on gas prices.

‘House Republican leaders kicked off the last week with the ‘Pelosi Premium’ message, seeking to link Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and her fellow Democrats to spiking gas prices. Unlike many similar efforts cooked up by House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) that have gone unconnected to the Senate, the upper chamber’s GOP leadership jumped on board. . . .

Says Michael Steel, with a firearm metaphor he may live to regret: ‘Particularly in a presidential year, when it’s very hard to drive a message from Capitol Hill, we naturally improve our chances of the American people hearing us if we’re all rolling in the same direction … we do our best work when our guns are pointed in the same direction.’

If you’re a reporter looking to fill the inbox of the press flack interviewed in your story, the best way to accomplish that is to casually toss in an ellipsis right in the middle of that person’s quote.  Flacks love the ellipsis.  It always does them right.

Ellipsis (plural ellipses; from Greek ἔλλειψις ‘omission’) in printing and writing refers to a mark or series of marks that usually indicate an intentional omission of a word or a phrase from the original text.

It’ll be forever unclear as to what this Republican flack actually said, but that’s not important – Roll Call editors already got exactly what they wanted out of an otherwise boring story.  I’m sure they also got a cheerful phone call from Mr. Steel earlier this morning.