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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

If your mother says she loves you, check it out

Like other bloggers, let me correct a post that relied on incorrect information from the Globe about the MBTA and a bridge on the Greenbush Line.

Of course, my post may be a bit more egregious than some of the others because I leaped to a second conclusion when I saw the contractor involved was Jay Cashman, Inc. and noted his relationship with House Speaker Sal DiMasi. I owe a definite apology to DiMasi and Cashman for that incorrect leap.

And while I'm at it, I also owe one to my frequent favorite target -- the MBTA.

But I am also struck by how many folks took the Globe story as an article of faith. We assumed it has been carefully reported and thoroughly edited. Never did I or anyone else assume that the Globe could mess up so gigantically and not be able to tell the difference between a three-year-old bridge and a 100-year-old one.

We have learned two lessons:

The cuts at the Globe are really starting to hurt. Noah Bierman inherited this beat only recently While his predecessor, Mac Daniel, left a lot of heads scratching with his coverage of the T -- and a lot more shaking by bailing out of the Globe for the Big Dig -- at least he had covered the beat awhile.

In other words, he probably would have had enough skepticism to really check the story out. Did Bierman report this story from his desk?

And speaking of desks, where was his copy desk? Or the Metro editor? Or old Greenbush Line skeptic Brian McGrory?

Then there's the matter of bloggers believing everything we read in the newspapers. I don't intend to rehash the argument of whether bloggers are journalists, but let's just say whatever little skepticism was registered at the Globe, it was a massive amount more than I (and doubtless my blogging colleagues) displayed.

There are two old lines that apply here: When it's too good to be true, it probably isn't.

And in the great tradition of the late, lamented City News Bureau of Chicago: If your mother says she loves you, check it out.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

At least you escape the egg left on the face of all those bloggers who wrote the story but didn't attribute it to the Globe, and now have to explain how they were both wrong and plagarists.

June 11, 2008 11:33 AM  
Blogger Outraged Liberal said...

Small solace, but thanks.

June 11, 2008 9:26 PM  

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