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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Sunday, February 03, 2008

The Irritables

The Globe had an interesting collections of stories in City Weekly today about the primary, including a look at a group labeled the "Irritables" because they have consciously decided to sit out elections because of their disenchantment with the political process.

Well you can label me an Irritable (in a different context) after checking out the other regional editions and finding uplifting stories about first-time voters in Everett, Lowell, Marlboro and Brockton.

No mention of the disillusioned (mostly) lefties who live in Boston, Cambridge and Somerville to mar the suburban good news stories. And of course, no cynicism to mar the pastoral suburban landscape.

What's up with that?

I actually read the City Weekly story (and the trite sidebars about Republicans in Cambridge and conservatives on campus). The unreconstructed lefties who shun the system are indeed valid stories (would George Bush have been elected in 200o if not for Ralph Nader?)

But come on, aren't there any newly naturalized immigrants voting in the City Weekly area?

Do Globe editors presume that hip, with-it and slightly cynical urban dwellers won't give a rat's patoot about the fact that the irritables can be matched or outvoted by inspirationals, many of whom are living and working not in leafy, green neighborhoods but in communities as gritty and working class as Dorchester and Roxbury.

The Globe's news hole has been shrinking precipitously in recent years and coverage of Boston and its immediate neighbors has been shrinking along with it. But that's not a good reason to ignore "the other side" -- particularly in a community like Everett that sits astride the city but not within the Globe's random designation of "City."

And while we're at it, why has the Globe opted to start running Brookline stories in GlobeWest? I doubt it has anything to do with needing more outlets for the overwhelming non-existent coverage of the town in City Weekly.

Isn't there any obligation to present a broad view of issues -- and not just circulation-restricted snapshots?

Maybe some of the small army of reporters out on the national campaign trail can be spared to look at political trends in Boston -- with its mayor for life -- and Massachusetts -- where the governor's inspiration is draining rapidly?

Probably not.

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