Move over Liz "Sprinkles" Sidoti. There’s a new fangirl in town:

Steve Schmidt has made a career out of not being a creature of Washington. If the 2008 campaign were an action film, he would play the tough-talking Steven Seagal character, an idiosyncratic hero who is duty-bound to rescue the desperate from burning buildings (which Schmidt literally did last Christmas), but who longs to retreat into his easygoing world of family and suburbia.

Next up, the WaPo’s Lois Romano asks Steve Schmidt for an autograph on her McCain campaign sun visor while squealing like a Beatlemania re-enactment teenybopper.

Good lord — Steven Seagal? That’s the best you could do? Telling. Especially since Steve Schmidt has been described thusly:

Mr. Schmidt’s elevation is the latest sign of increasing influence of veterans of Mr. Rove’s campaign efforts in the McCain operation….

The ascendance of more Rovians in the McCain people reminds me of something I once heard Wayne Slater, a Dallas Morning News reporter who co-wrote a book on Rove called "Bush’s Brain" say. Slater said that Rove had trained so many Republican operatives in his strategies and methods that if he were to get hit by a bus, it would have little effect, the next generation of Rovians were ready to take over. And so they are.

I’d say to contact our very bestest pal Deb, but this is likely all part and parcel with her rounding out the disparate numbers campaign for more positive spin on the McCain side of the reportage, whether he’s earned it or not. Because reporting isn’t about the facts, the evidence, or even serving the readers needs by pointing out the truth or lack thereof — it’s about the bean-counting and appearance of balance.

Journamalism, forevah! Git along, L’il Debbie!

(YouTube — Words of wisdom from Steven Seagal. Who…news flash…is an actor who portrays fictional characters on screen but in real life is..erm…well, you’ll see. Excellent choice of "heroes," there, Lois. Stay classy.)