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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Tell me something I don't know

In striving the stave off irrelevancy, the Herald prides itself on looking at different stories than the Globe or looking at the "other side." Sometimes, those efforts are worthwhile, tweaking the Globe's tail. Other times, you struggle to avoid laughing at the agenda-driven drivel that is produced.

Compare the Globe's report on the naming of the Deval Patrick transition team and chief of staff with that of the Herald.

The Globe notes the Joan Wallace-Benjamin is an "outsider" who has spent her years leading organizations such as the Urban League and the Home for Little Wanderers but, they pointedly note "no experience in the rough and tumble of Massachusetts politics."

The Globe also makes note of the fact there are no current state legislators or other government officials but a handful of veterans with the requisite experience in knowing how Beacon Hill works.

It is also worth noting the team includes representatives from health care, the arts, education and finance, sectors which form the foundation of the Massachusetts economy.

A pretty straight forward story -- not particularly earth shattering except to give the first glimpse into the thinking of a someone who ran as a person not beholden to the power structure.

That's not the picture you get from the Little Picture Paper, which indignantly announces that the transition team consists of "deep-pocketed campaign contributors who come from diverse backgrounds but share one key fact in common: They gave heavily to Patrick's cause."

Well duh. Did they really expect it to be stocked with Kerry Healey's financial backers (which consisted principally of Sean Healey.)

Further down in the double-bylined story we learn that "notably absent are legislators or others immersed in Beacon Hill politics" and are reassured "it's certainly not uncommon to draw from the pool of people . . . who have supported you."

Feisty journalism is telling readers something they don't know that can or should make a difference in their lives. Sometime the Herald does that. Other times, like this, the produce stories that offer nothing beyond fish wrap.

For the paper to survive it needs far less of these obvious stories that reflect faux populism and more substantive looks into real issues that affect real people.

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