The five-member Federal Communications Commission regulating the nation's news media has always had since 2001, curiously enough, at least one member, and usually two members, drawn from the small Bush-Cheney Florida vote recount team created post-election to ensure the GOP victory.
Kevin Martin, commission chairman from 2005 to 2008 after leading the Florida team and serving as an FCC commissioner, benefited from an especially close relationship with the Bush White House. Martin's wife was communications director for the vice president and then for the president. In essence: her job was to influence the media, and his was to regulate it.
Furthermore, politics is a way of life for all concerned. Many of the top political reporters have spouses who are campaign consultants or office-seekers. Todd's wife, for instance, co-founded Maverick Strategies and Mail, a political consultancy.
Rove is the ultimate example of DC cross-pollination between the media, campaigns, and elected officials. He receives press passes as a journalist. Also, he dispenses hundreds of millions of dollars to political causes, thereby creating vast loyalties and dependencies for years ahead.
Think about it: Most of that spending is ultimately going to media organizations, especially broadcasters.
Cleaning Up Washington
For the secretaries of state, Todd waived his usual speaking fee as a goodwill gesture.
"I owe you a 'thank you,'" Todd told the officials at the beginning of his remarks. "The more complicated elections are state-by-state," he joked, "the harder it is for NBC/Universal to get rid of me."
The officials and their vendors obviously welcomed the presence of a media celebrity, and sought to leverage it even in small ways.
Ohio's Husted, an executive committee member of the secretary of state association, boasted on Twitter afterward, "Enjoyed having lunch today with NBCs @chucktodd -- he and I agree Redistricting reform needs to happen in OH and across the US."
This, then, is your Washington.
Officials and the media seem to be getting along quite well.
And, as always when one hand washes the other, everyone looks clean.