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Sunday, October 30, 2005

Tim Chapman is Making Blogosphere History

Tim Chapman is the Blogosphere's first full-time Capitol Hill reporter. He is the author of Townhall.com's "Capitol Report" blog, which means his "day job," his only job, is to get the real news about what Congress is and isn't doing, day in and day out.

Tim is a former colleague of mine at The Heritage Foundation where he was in the government relations department for more than a year. Before that, he worked on the Hill for a couple of Members of Congress as a deputy press secretary and a legislative correspondent. Tim and his wife Liz even live on Capitol Hill. That means he knows how the Hill works and he knows who is who.

Not only does Tim understand the often arcane nature of congressional processes, he knows the key staff on the congressional committees and in the caucuses where so much of the work of legislation is done. He goes to meetings mainstream journalists rarely see and he has a level of knowledge about congressional strategy and tactics that is rare in the newsroom.

Most important, Tim has a passion for getting the truth. He comes from a moderate conservative perspective to be sure, but he has no more illusions about the frailities and foibles of those in Congress who claim the conservative label than he does about those on the liberal side of aisle.

As you might have guessed by now, I have great respect and high hopes for Tim and not just because I've worked with him in the past. Tim really is in an historic position. Regular readers of Tapscott's Copy Desk know that my passion is to see the Blogosphere open the government to its "audience" - we, the people - just as it already has done with the mainstream media and its news consumers.

Because Tim is the first full-time congressional blogger, at least that I know of, that puts him in a unique class. Michael Yon has been doing sterling work as the Blogosphere's first reader-financed foreign correspondent in Iraq. Covering Congress may not be so potentially lethal, but it is no less important or historic.

So add Capitol Report to your blogroll and your list of favorite daily blog stops. Tim just started Capitol Report and is getting his sea legs but he's already broken some important stories and I have absolutely no doubt that they are just the first of many to come.