Why do reporters keep falling for GOP spin about Pelosi?

Here's the headline on a blog post by Los Angeles Times reporter Johanna Newman: “Secret Republican weapon for 2010 -- attack Pelosi.”

Now, you're probably thinking to yourself “What's so secret about that? Republicans have been running against Nancy Pelosi for years.”

And sure, enough, Newman acknowledges:

Republicans have used this playbook before, without success, running against Pelosi in 2006 and 2008.


The Republicans have been running the playbook all year.

So, basically, it isn't “secret,” it isn't new, and it hasn't been effective in the past. So why does Newman hype it as though it's news? Because:

Republicans are salivating over Pelosi's low ratings, Obama's slipping popularity and a stubborn recession, convinced the mid-term elections give the anti-Pelosi campaign new promise.

Except, of course, that Pelosi's “low ratings” aren't really any worse now than they were when Republicans tried to use this same “secret” playbook in 2008. (The latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll finds slightly more people have positive feelings towards Pelosi now than right before the 2008 elections, and slightly more have negative feelings toward her, while slightly fewer have neutral feelings or are unsure.)

Oh, and except that “Obama's slipping popularity” still leaves him with about a 15-point net positive rating.

But other than that, Newman's analysis is spot-on.