Thursday, March 08, 2007

Is It Too Late to Enter This One?

The Globe found out it had two finalists for this year's Pulitzer Prizes today. The paper sure paid their potential honorees a strange tribute.

Charlie Savage is a finalist for his series on presidential signing statements and the Spotlight Team is one for it's "Debtor's Hell" series. Both were outstanding pieces of journalism and both are eminently worthy of a Pulitzer.

This morning's story on the front of the Metro section "Obama Paid Late Parking Tickets", on the other hand, not so much. Did the Globe plagarize that one from the Onion?

There's diligent scrutiny of a presidential candidate and then there's being a smarmy idiot. Digging into a senator's unpaid parking violations from his college days falls squarely on the latter side of the ledger.

Newspaper political staffs just don't get it. Readers on the right and left both hate them because this sort of meaningless trivial "gotcha" reporting has become papers' poor excuse for election coverage. This story reeks of the false assumption of moral superiority that's been the Globe's worst and most irritating habit for over three decades.

If you're going to be the public's watchdog, barking every time Dad opens the front door a bad idea. The family will keep sleeping when you finally bark at real burglars. And sometimes, when a reporter or his newspaper get flak from political partisans of both persuasians, it doesn't mean he and it are fearlessly calling 'em like it is. It means everyone can see he and it did a lousy job.


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