On the House

Journalists have a long and essentially uncomplicated relationship with alcohol. “Between 1899 and 1904 there was only one reporter south of the Mason-Dixon Line who did not drink at all,” H. L. Mencken wrote, “and he was considered insane.”

The industry has changed a lot since 1904, but some things endure—and one is that while trade groups and PR flacks generally struggle to get reporters to their briefings, the liquor lobby can always count on a roomful of ink-stained wretches. And...

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About the Author

Nick Baumann is the news editor for Mother Jones.