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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, April 05, 2008

One more nit to pick

First Barack Obama steals Deval Patrick's words. Now Patrick steals Obama's crowd. Or did he?

Amid a host of real problems -- like more financial shenanigans involving the Big Dig, a state budget heading for trouble because it is overburdened by health care reform costs in a slowing economy -- the Globe chooses to try and milk one more story out of a subject that has pretty much been exhausted.

Matt Viser's original story on Patrick's book proposal was a solid scoop. It raised a lot of legitimate questions about Patrick and his style. But today's installment reads as if it is looking for the last remaining nit to pick.

Governor Deval Patrick said in his book proposal that he was able to "fill the Boston Common recently with ten thousand people," a boast intended to prove to publishers that his message of hope and optimism generates enthusiasm and will translate into sales.

But Patrick left out a key fact about the Oct. 23 Boston Common rally.

It was held to celebrate Patrick's endorsement of Senator Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential candidate, who stood by Patrick's side at the event. Obama has filled sports stadiums around the country and caused onlookers to faint during his speeches, and he was almost certainly the bigger draw on the Common that day.

Except Viser contradicts himself a few paragraphs later with his own reporting:
"Several thousand people gathered on Boston Common to hear Obama speak, but it was Patrick who seemingly stole the show," wrote Aswini Anburajan, a reporter for NBC and National Journal, in the blog post distributed by Patrick's aides.
Is that worse than stealing words that weren't stolen in the first place?

The book proposal story was placed on Page B1. A story by Viser and Frank Phillips on the state budget is on Page B3. Which is more important to the long-term future of people who depend on the Commonwealth for their health care, education and public safety.

Not to mention that the Incredibly Shrinking Globe continues to contract, eliminating Saturday's Sidekick (observers will differ on whether that is a loss.) But with space at a premium, was Book Proposal II, The Sequel, really that important?

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Blogger Harry said...

The employment practices of the groundskeeper hired to cut Mitt Romney's lawn made the Globe front page complete with a color "undercover" photo. I think Deval should count it as luck (it couldn't possibly be bias)that this exaggeration isn't there as well.

April 05, 2008 11:03 AM  

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