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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Monday, October 01, 2007

Where was The Globe?

It's a compelling yarn of small town politics, big stakes and backroom deals.

The Globe's Sean Murphy takes an in-depth look at the wheeling and dealing in Middleboro prior to the July town meeting vote for a casino. The look is pretty seamy -- with a retiring town manager working with selectmen, a shady and now discredited tribal leader and gaming industry fixers to arrange the land auction that paved the way for the deal.

The run-up to that rushed vote included included a deal to boost his salary (and his pension) and a grudging decision to take the question before voters -- a decision that led to the rushed town meeting on a sweltering July Saturday.

I think that Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz would be pretty interested in the sordid tale spelled out by Murphy.

So why does the story appear in CommonWealth, and not the Globe?

No disrespect to MassINC's fine quarterly publication -- a solid read for policy wonks and the rest of us who revel in the nitty gritty details of town meetings and transportation infrastructure.

But when a reporter covering Indian casino gaming publishes a 7,000-word look at the run-up to one of the more controversial aspects of the debate that is gripping (or nauseating) Massachusetts, why isn't that story in his newspaper?

Surely the Globe has published 7,000-word pieces before? The not-so-gripping series on Myth Romney must have included several yawners of that length.

Didn't metro editor Brian McGrory promise to take the Globe beyond being the paper of record to the "paper of interest"?

Let's recall the Globe has yet to acknowledge there were two votes that steamy Saturday -- yes to the casino and no to gambling. That sort of contradiction that should have prompted the unleashing of the Spotlight Team. But if that were the case, would Murphy's story have appeared in another publication?

McGrory owes us some answers.

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