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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, February 19, 2009

Dead Tree Society

It's been the source of silence on much of the web, so it's time to ask the obvious: is anyone reading the Globe series on Ted Kennedy?

When a segment on Chappaquidick generates 34 (unedited) comments you really have to wonder whether this is the largest large series dud in newspaper history.

Let me start by saying my respect and admiration for Kennedy is deep -- personal warts and all. I always point to the large clan of children he became surrogate father to after his brothers' murders -- and how well they have turned out for the most part -- as the ultimate symbol of the man.

But let's also be clear, Globe insistence aside, this is not a seven-part prelude to his birthday on Saturday. At best, let's call it a premature obituary. At worst, let's call it an extended advertisement for the Peter Canellos book hawked at the end of every story in print and online.

I have not read every word of every segment, although I've tried. I usually get bogged in in the second to last column on the second inside page.

So that's still a lot of words read -- and I am searching for even a nugget of news to justify such a massive expenditure of staff time and space.

Maybe I'm being premature in writing this -- but I doubt it. Kennedy, it has been noted, was not interviewed for the series.

I hope Kennedy defies the odds. He is a national treasure, certainly a Massachusetts one. But this series is not ready for the Pulitzers.

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