Meet the DC reporter who monitors Senate milk intake

Earlier this week, the public had a cow by rediscovering a 1966 precedent allowing only water and milk on the floor of the Senate. Capitalizing on the legendary moment, CQ Roll Call reporter Joshua Eaton started tracking senatorial milk consumption in a spreadsheet.

“PPeople like to hang on to these little bits of color, especially in things that are really heavy, or that divide or that are partisan, ”says Eaton. “Those little bits of lightness in the news.”

There is more to the spreadsheet than who is drinking milk and the number of “confirmed drinks”. He also records snack pairings like Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton‘s Hershey’s chocolate along with various notes, such as a Tweeter of Ted cruzthe deputy chief of staff of Sam cooper, who revealed that the Senate is a BYOM facility.

Eaton decided to create the spreadsheet after scrolling through Twitter and seeing the Senators were Actually drink milk. As an investigative and data journalist, Eaton is a spreadsheet enthusiast. He says he even thought about creating spreadsheets for his spreadsheets. Because it does not report in the press gallery, Eaton relies on advanced research on Twitter to identify sources of milk spots.

So far, only four Senators, three Republicans and one Democrat, have sipped their way down Eaton’s Google Drive. (Cotton had two drinks.) There was some confusion as to whether the senator and the presidential candidate Elizabeth warren was drinking yogurt or milk (possibly Go-Gurt), but Eaton decided he had passed the test. Surprisingly, no senator from Wisconsin has replaced the dairy drink.

As for Eaton, would he drink a glass of milk if he was in the Senate? “I am lactose intolerant.”

Assistant editor

Daniella Byck joined Washingtonian in August 2018. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she studied journalism and digital culture.


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