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An old Texas political adage concerning lobbyists goes thusly: "If you can't take their money, drink their whiskey, screw their women and vote against 'em anyway, you don't belong in the Legislature." But what of reporters, specifically the reporters who are screwing political consultants? Today's LAT takes a look at some of the reporters covering the race for the White House who happen to be married to various campaign aides. Fortunately, a number of the spouses are working for John McCain, so conflicts will be resolved by Super Tuesday. For the rest, it actually sounds like a cushy gig: If we were reporters looking to reduce our output, we'd start doing someone from a campaign immediately. Hell, new Portfolio D.C. editor Matt Cooper's been doing it for years, all part of a perfectly concocted scheme that has admirably kept him without a byline for as long as we can remember.

News media and politics: an uneasy union [LAT]