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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, December 30, 2006

Show me the money...

... or the special interest treatment. Or at the very least, the source of the aspersions.

The Globe and Herald both offer a short list of contributors to the Patrick inaugural (you need to go to Blue Mass. Group for full list).

The Herald, as is its modus operandi, shares the view of Brian Dodge, the chap with the task of directing a state Republican Party that doesn't have enough elected representatives to fill out a professional football squad. Dodge offers the usual low-key response:
"This list represents nearly 150 businesses and special interests that stand to directly benefit from decisions made by Governor-elect Patrick,"said state GOP chairman Brian Dodge. "This is blatant influence peddling. Who knew 'checking back in' would be so expensive."
While Mr. Dodge should switch to decaf, the Herald at least has a named attacker. The Globe violates one of the cardinal rules of political journalism by letting an anonymous source do the attacking.
One insurance industry insider said the four insurers were clearly trying to get into Patrick's good graces.

"There's no question," said the insider, who has an interest in the outcome and would speak only on on condition of anonymity . "We're all interested to see what new governor does."

Well duh. Insurance companies, lawyers, labor unions and other special interest (often referred to by another name, employers) are among the list of virtually every Massachusetts citizen who wants to see what Deval Patrick does. And as of this moment the answer is: nada. Even Dodge recognizes Patrick hasn't taken the oath yet -- even if he believes Patrick must have some magic decision-making powers.

Watchdog journalism calls for reporters to keep an eye out for things that are not right. But (at least in the olden days) that requires something called evidence.

Right now, you have a quid without the pro quo. Show me the favor that has been received and I will be among the first to scream loud and long. But today's stories represent attack dog journalism. That's something the Herald has long practiced (if only with limited targets). But Globe editors should consider switching to decaf too until they have the goods on something bad.

1 Comments:

Blogger Margeware said...

Good for you. One of the reasons that good people are reluctant to get into public service is this kind of "we'll make our judgments first and find some pseudo-facts to back it up later" carping which passes for journalism these days.

January 01, 2007 9:32 AM  

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