Now that the American journalism establishment has been almost completely replaced by the Twitter account @depressionbook, how will the twenty or so Americans who care about politics receive their news about the presidential campaign? The answer: Babies.

Yes, The New York Times reports, CBS News and National Journal (which have teamed up for their coverage of the campaign) are hiring a bunch of tiny newborns, who will literally have to crawl after their subjects and cannot take aspirin due to Reye's symptom:

Now, more and more, because of budget cutbacks, those once coveted jobs are being filled by brand new journalists at a fraction of the salary. It is not so glamorous any more.

For these reporters the 2012 campaign is both the assignment of a lifetime and the kind of experience that is tying their stomachs in knots. Three of them are just out of college. One just got engaged. And none of them seem quite sure what to expect from more than a year on the road.

Given that reporters in their 30s, 40s and 50s have such a great track record of not embarrassing themselves in a variety of ways, this is a risky gamble. What if they're almost caught in a James O'Keefe love sting, or check their email accounts while watching Hillary Clinton talk about some bullshit, two incidents the Times cites as examples of a "new, more perilous media climate"? Well, luckily for the discerning public, CBS and NJ are giving their poopy-diapered but impossibly cheap reporters terrific advice for the road:

At National Journal and CBS News, which are running a joint, six-person reporting program for the 2012 election, reporters must attach the suffix "CBSNJ" to their Twitter account names and have been directed to talk to their editors before they send out a Twitter blast.

"If Jon Huntsman drops out of the race, we want to know back at the news desk," Caroline Horn, senior producer for the CBS Evening News, told them. "We don't want to find out about it on Twitter."

Yes, God forbid these little monsters break news on Twitter!

[NYT; blogger's rendition of CBS political reporters via]