Dec 18, 2009

Famous or Comes with the Territory

It's been a long time, I shouldn't have left you without a few lines to read through...

I'm not a rapper or a poet so I'll stop there even though the line rings true. These past few weeks have been filled with various activities surrounding my completion of grad school and a myriad of other things I do. I promise the major events, like my knighting will make it up here. For now, I wanted to comment on a column in the Boston Herald today.

Howie Carr wrote a column discussing the connection between state jobs and people who supported both Deval Patrick and Barack Obama. The lead graph is about my family. Having read it a few times, I can safely say that I find it more humorous than anything else. My sister, however is having a bit a difficult time with it.

I guess what amuses me is how the the column is set up to highlight certain facts and avoid others. All the numbers are accurate since they are public record so I have no gripe with them. But a closer look at the numbers and the dates reveals that my parents didn't donate to Patrick's campaign until a few days before the election because of my mother's employer at the time. That information can be found easily through a search engine, Howie, why not make mention of it?

Also, the application to become a Justice did not open until April of 2009. How do contributions to a presidential campaign in 2008 secure an eight month interview and vetting process? Or is it just that she was born in Chicago, like Patrick and Obama? I don't know, seems like a flimsy connection.

As for my sister, trying to make a connection between the campaign donation of a college sophomore and a state job three years later is even more of stretch. It also says nothing her background and the work she put in to actually qualify for the job.

Sure, you're presenting an argument and you need facts to back up your idea. I get that, but can't we do better than taking numbers at face value? As journalists aren't we supposed to be methodical in our approach? It just feels like you missed some stuff here. As one of my professors would say, "You've got holes in the story."

At this time I would like to say thank you to that same professors at Boston University who told me that all donations to campaigns are public record and as journalists we may want to think twice about having our name associated with a political party.

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