Sunday, December 23, 2007

What Spud1 Said

There are a bunch of problems with the Maine Sunday Telegram article on the junior senator's relationship with Sen. Joe Lieberman (CFL-CT). And Spud1 enumerates most of them.

The piece isn't the worst we've seen. But parts of it read like a Collins press release. And in describing the race, reporter Jonathan Kaplan adopts the Collins camp's preferred frame: Collins is a "centrist"; only hot-headed "liberal" Democrats oppose Lieberman. Etc.

The worst stretch comes in a discussion of the Government Affairs committee:

Lieberman is the chairman and Collins is the senior Republican on the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee. They have alternated roles twice since 2001, when party majorities changed hands.


The panel has broad jurisdiction to investigate everything from the White House and executive branch to the U.S. Postal Service, the Census Bureau and local government in Washington, D.C.


In 2005, when Collins chaired the panel, they wrote and passed legislation that reformed the structure of the U.S. government's intelligence community. They produced the only bipartisan report on the government's failure to respond adequately to Hurricane Katrina.

Lieberman and Collins plan to continue investigating the roots of Islamic extremism in the United States, how to prevent suicide bombings in this country and revamping government contracting laws.
Context, anyone?

Lieberman has been a disaster as committee chair. And Collins was much worse. But the article simply parrots their version of the last six years without providing anything resembling a critique.

As Brad DeLong might say, why oh why can't we have a better Maine press corps?

UPDATE: In comments Mainefem notices that Jonathan Kaplan has a history of embracing GOP-friendly narratives in his reporting.

The analysis at the above link fails to mention that he also publicly called former Rep. Tom Delay a "very good" majority leader; has reported for The National Review; and has written dismissively about the six months he spent working for Tipper Gore.

Kaplan seems to be a new PPH hire. Let's hope this article isn't a sign of what to expect from him in the future.


mainefem said...

Furthermore, why is Jonathan E. Kaplan ("from away"--The Hill) writing for the _PPH_?

I detected zilch source substantiation.

mainefem said...

Follow-up on Kaplan's _PPH_ gig.

Considering the layoffs in Maine's dead tree newspapers, I'm assuming that folks who *live here* would appreciate the money in their paychecks?

Secondly, how can Kaplan "report" on local campaign events, if he's located (physically) in D.C.?

See former news reporter, Ted Cohen's OpEd~

What’s news?
How George W. Bush brought down a newspaper

mainefem said...

More on _PPH_'s "layoffs" (and dead tree subscriptions tanking).

From Jeff Inglis, of _The Portland Phoenix_ (8.29.07).

Laid off

Furthermore, if you haven't as yet read Jean Hay Bright's reissue of “A Tale of Dirty Tricks So Bizarre: Susan Collins v. Public Record”, pls. do so.

I have 6-7 copies (all signed by Future Senator Tom & Diana Allen; and Jean).

A $500.00 minimum donation to my ActBlue account for Tom takes one (limited run on this updated edition).