Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Maine Papers: Recording Collins Unfair

In today's editions, both the error-prone Portland Press Herald and the Bangor Daily News chastise those dastardly, mean Democrats for the unsavory, sneaky and downright despicable tactic of...recording Sen. Collins in public.

In explaining the practice of tracking, the PPH editorial notes:

It is meant to capture the opposing candidate off-guard, saying something that he or she probably wouldn't blurt out if given time to think.
Shocking but true: Maine Democrats want to take Collins' unscripted, public comments and, y'know, hold her accountable for them! As part of a political campaign!

What will they think of next? Buying time on television and then running advertisements that point out their candidate's strengths and Collins' weaknesses? Because that would really be over the line.

In all seriousness, these editorials--while ridiculous and out-of-touch--are also a bit disturbing.

Here we have two news gathering organizations telling readers that the unscripted public comments of their elected officials aren't fair game in a political campaign.

Whether these papers are willing to condemn tracking-type activities by their own reporters is an open (and interesting) question.

But what is clear is that both papers have contempt for political activists who want to sift out the tired, canned rhetoric to find out what elected officials are really saying and thinking. Even if they pursue the truth politely and at a safe distance--and only at public events.

The contempt both papers have for this kind of activism is palpable. And it's not very flattering.

No comments: