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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Friday, April 06, 2007

You can't please everyone

I'm not the kind of person who sniffs media conspiracy everywhere, but I admit to be taken aback by the tone of the Globe's lead story.
Under pressure to respond to a surge of violence in the state's capital, Governor Deval Patrick announced an array of measures targeting crime yesterday, including a statewide anticrime council and new restrictions on gun purchases but only $900,000 in immediate funding for Boston.
Stand back for a shocking statement from a liberal: you can't fix every problem by throwing money at it. And this problem requires more than dollars to hire more cops. It also requires a commitment of parents, teachers and people like you and me.

Not that this is insubstantial cash, according to what the Globe says it will buy: 60 cops about six months sooner than expected, and an 18 percent increase in summer jobs funding for Boston.

Throw in some cash from the MBTA to buy security cameras for buses and we're talking about a decent initial response.

It's clearly not good enough for Adrian Walker either, but in a climate where it is clear the state has more priorities than dollars -- and where taxes are off the table -- it is not insubstantial.

But the Globe's copy desk should realize that while Walker, as a columnist, has a right to an opinion, the lead story is different and the tone here clearly is loaded -- especially when the facts seem to indicate that this will be money well spent. It may be a "drop in the bucket", according to one advocate, but it's a start.

JOURNALISM ALERT: That last paragraph may have been as inelegant as the Globe lead. What I meant to say is the lack of attribution in the lead makes it appear as if the clearly loaded "only $900,000 in immediate funding for Boston" was the opinion of the reporter. Two sources are clearly cited as offering that view, but it doesn't come out that way when you read it. But I probably shouldn't be complaining about unclear writing in this particular instance.

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