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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Like father, like son?

I'm as big a cynic as the next person -- and I have my issues with WBZ-TV's Jon Keller's slant on things -- but this conspiracy theory goes a little too far.

I'd opt for coincidence over conspiracy in the fact that Keller senior did his hokey Spin-o-Meter test of Deval Patrick's recent pronouncement of his Top 20 accomplishments on the same day Keller junior pushed a similar story with the press.

After all, what else is going on -- at least on the surface -- on Beacon Hill? You can't cover conference committees so reporters are reduced to covering Patrick's sick day, a first in my memory.

Slow news day and the fact the Top 20 List is a reasonable subject for discussion makes the Herald story seem to be a different approach to the same problem of a slow news day. And notice that no "media ethics" expert was cited in the story.

It's true that Keller senior has been one of leaders of the Patrick Skeptic Club. But it's also true he's been using that gimmick probably as far back as when little Keller was still in diapers. Some things are just learned through example -- even hokey ideas that only scratch the surface of analysis.

And it should be pointed out in fairness, much of the skepticism is of Patrick's own making -- we don't need to rehash the litany of "gates." It's only natural for his team to try and put out some positive stuff, particularly in light of a poll showing Patrick's standing with Bay State voters may be a drag on Barack Obama in Massachusetts.

And a story about whether Patrick's claims of accomplishment are real is far more legitimate than the sick day story.

Now if John and Barney both call for Deval to produce a doctor's note excusing his absence, I might be included to get on board the conspiracy train.

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