The Examiner needs some work on a fundamental news skill, and that is couching its fluff pieces with just enough mitigating material to make it sound like actual journalism. You know, when you’re profiling some person you want to make look great, at least call a couple of detractors and print a bland qualifier or two.

None of that happened in today’s suck-up to anti-tax activist Grover Norquist. If Norquist hasn’t already forwarded this sweet bit of publicity to his friends and family, I’ll sign up for a voluntary tax hike.

Here’s some of the good stuff:

*”Too many people in this town think they’ve accomplished something merely by airing a complaint, [Norquist] said. ‘Whining is not work. Work is work.'”

*”For the past two decades, Norquist, a 51-year-old Massachusetts native who earned an MBA at Harvard, has worked as a master networker, gluing together a formidable collection of conservatives and libertarians who may disagree on some things but are united in their goal of moving America solidly to the right.”

*”Norquist also has earned the respect of some traditional adversaries to the conservative movement. Billionaire philanthropist and anti-Bush activist George Soros has addressed the Wednesday meeting, as has consumer advocate Ralph Nader. Former Vice President and Nobel Prize winner Al Gore delivered his PowerPoint presentation on global warming to Norquist’s meeting long before ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ hit the theaters.”

What a guy.

The following is a paragraph that, pointedly, does not come from the Examiner profile.

“Five conservative nonprofit organizations, including one run by prominent Republican Grover Norquist, ‘appear to have perpetrated a fraud’ on taxpayers by selling their clout to lobbyist Jack Abramoff, Senate investigators said in a report issued yesterday.”

That comes from the Washington Post in October 2006.