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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, November 13, 2010

The Empire Strikes Back

We may be about to embark on a brave new world of Massachusetts politics and media. Hours after the Herald socked Senate President Therese Murray with one of its new "enterprise" features -- straight from GOP talking points -- Murray socked back, tweeting a link to a three-year-old Globe feature about this supposed Herald exclusive.

In case you missed it, Herald editor Joe Sciacca told CommonWealth Magazine earlier this week that chasing the Globe's tail wasn't in the cards for the tabloid.
The overarching goal I have for the Herald is that we start the daily conversation, whether it’s in the coffee shops or the boardrooms or the governor’s office. That we bring something each morning that people are going to be talking about, buzzing about throughout the day. We try to be very proactive and very agenda-setting, forward- looking, exclusive in a lot of things that we do each day in the paper.
In keeping with that mission, the Herald continued its election season efforts of zeroing in on a Republican talking point and getting comment from "concerned" Republicans. Occasionally they would note the action in question is thoroughly legal.

That's the gist behind today's story about Murray taking a trip to Russia on campaign funds, a thoroughly legal practice. Of course you would be hard pressed to know this given the "fair and balanced" lead:
Senate President Therese Murray — who vowed to focus on Bay State job creation after narrowly beating back a GOP challenger — is packing her bags for an eight-day jaunt to Russia in her second European excursion this year.
The Tea Party Newsletter then quotes Murray's unsuccessful challenger lamenting her trip. It also includes comment from traveling partner Sen. Stan Rosenberg saying the trip will include a stop at the Abandoned Children’s Hospital in Pskov.

So we have a hard-hitting "exclusive" on the Senate President making an annual trip to a Russian orphanage, legally employing campaign funds, but ostensibly ignoring problems at home.

Nothing out of the ordinary here. Except for Murray striking back on Twitter:
Learn more about my annual humanitarian trip to Russia.
That link takes you to a 2007 Globe story that begins:
When Terry Murray held orphaned babies last year at the Abandoned Children's Hospital in Pskov, Russia, they were empty-eyed, lethargic. "There was nothing going on, nothing at all," says Murray. "It jarred us into action. When she returned to the same hospital this summer, the babies were happy and active toddlers. Even better, many had been adopted. The change was thanks to an innovative program introduced by Murray and her friends.
Yep, rotten Globe-trotting pol.

In an even better twist, the tweet appears just above one noting the Herald's endorsement of her, reelection, an apparent show by the Tea Party Newsletter that it is fair and balanced.

It's fun to imagine what might happen if Murray and other Beacon Hill heavyweights opt to tweet back every time the Herald twitches.

And who knows, a little pushback might even prompt the Herald to take a look at the party with four Senate members, all of whom will be collecting leadership bonuses next year.

Which is a better "exclusive" about wasting dollars?

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