Doc Hastings is anything but lazy.
The 4th District Republican congressman is a tough man to get most spending bills past, but he has worked hard for his constituents.
The most visible example of this for most of us was the years when Doc routinely presided over the House of Representatives when the Speaker of the House was absent. Doc was almost always there, on C-SPAN, watching the debate, swinging the gavel.
So we were surprised by a story based on reporting by The New York Times, bearing the headline in the Herald, "Hastings logs bad attendance record in D.C."
Hastings, who routinely racks up 97-plus attendance percentages, simply had a bad year.
As the story stated, he suffered a serious illness and was hospitalized during the period covered and was also absent during his mother's final illness and death.
Even in those tough times, Hastings managed a decent workload, from advocating for public access to Rattlesnake Mountain to promoting international trade for local produce to the development of job opportunities here.
And his gaze has never strayed from keeping a sharp eye on Department of Energy budgets and proposed policies for cleanup of Hanford and its future.
Hastings missed 78 votes during the period of his hospitalization and his mother's death. His office said 21 of those votes were on bills he sponsored (and corresponding amendments).
Seven additional votes were missed July 13, because Doc was in a meeting with Tom D'Agnostino, the new acting under secretary for nuclear security and administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration.
No one in the Tri-Cities would begrudge him that time, because it was to discuss the changes to Environmental Management under the Department of Energy and how it will affect cleanup.
As can occasionally be the case with news stories, the facts were true, but they lacked context -- which we hope this editorial has provided.