NBC political correspondent Andrea Mitchell is one of the network's news stars, so it's only natural that we've been seeing a lot of her lately. Even when the topic turns to the government's and the candidates' responses to the current financial crisis. But you will not see her, supposedly, when the discussion turns to "past economic decisions" that led up to the crisis. Because Mitchell is married to Alan Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve Chairman who many say is basically responsible for the housing bubble. And that is their conflict of interest compromise : Mitchell will report as usual until the reasons we got to this point are discussed, at which point she'll quietly disappear from your television without explanation. Unethical! Or, you know, the standard way of doing business in political journalism. DC is an incestuous town and everyone knows and is basically friends with everyone else. The media-political complex has lots and lots of intermarried "journalists" and "operatives" and everyone has politely agreed to assume that everyone else is totally professional about it. So they get a bit tetchy when the Columbia Journalism Review is all "disclose your relationships or just be more independent or something" because what do those kids know? If Tom Brokaw wants to play golf with John McCain that is his business (note: we don't know if John McCain can play golf but the two are still definitely probably friends). The standard argument is that one has to find concrete evidence of "bias" before one can claim these chummy relationships are no good, but honestly the "bias" is so ingrained in the process that it's a useless task and one is best served by appyling a gimlet-eyed suspicion to everyone one sees on the TV and then voting for Ron Paul.